The Wright SWCD applied for, and received, a Soil Erosion and Drainage Law Compliance grant in 2015. This grant was used to inventory Joint Ditch 15 (JD 15) for areas that could benefit from the installation of Side Inlet Control Structures (SICS) and vegetated buffer strips (buffers). JD 15 is known to have areas of significant erosion that effect both benefited landowners as well as a number of impaired waters downstream. The impaired downstream waters include Sucker Creek, Cokato Lake, and the North Fork Crow River. The JD 15 Inventory was completed during the summer of 2015.
This project will obtain spatial and long-term pollutant load information from the Root River watershed in Southeast Minnesota. To accomplish this, the Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will assist the MPCA with water quality monitoring and annual pollutant loading calculations. Approximately 25 grab samples will be collected/site/year at 5 sites within the Root River watershed (totaling 125 grab samples/year). Annual load calculations for each site will be determined using the FLUX32 model.
The Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) developed this project to help reduce the amount of pathogens and nutrients generated by livestock from reaching surface waters and groundwater by targeting feedlots located in areas that are highly susceptible to groundwater pollution and sinkhole formation.
The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will implement a targeted fertilizer application program in the Ann Lake watershed, allowing producers to measure soil fertility and apply needed fertilizer more accurately, preventing over-application and consequent runoff of nutrients, especially phosphorus, into surface waters. Phosphorus reduction will help meet the goals of the County's Water Management Plan and the TMDL implementation plan for Ann Lake.
Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
The primary objective of this workplan is to demonstrate the ability of the City of Paynesville to meet the current and future wastewater treatment needs and achieve beneficial use of wastewater effluent, to replace the use of groundwater.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on phase two of this comprehensive sediment reduction project to focus on stabilizing five of the most active gully erosion sites in targeted subwatersheds on the North Fork Crow River, as well as use the installed best management practices to help promote future conservation practices.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (Wright SWCD) has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Waters (CROW), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Wright County Planning and Zoning on this bacterial impairment reduction project to bring feedlot operations into compliance in the targeted North Fork Crow River (NFCR) impaired Unnamed Creek watershed. An analysis of the NFCR TMDL for Bacteria, Nutrients, and Turbidity was done to determine the area to be prioritized for further review of livestock operations in order to reduce the E.
The Wright Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Crow River Organization of Water and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on phase three of a comprehensive sediment reduction project that focuses on stabilizing seven of the most active gully erosion sites on the North Fork Crow River. These seven areas were chosen due to the high level of turbidity and low dissolved oxygen within that stretch of the North Fork Crow River, which has led to biological and turbidity impairments.
This project focuses on preventing and reducing sediment related turbidity problems throughout the Crow River Watershed and contains three main tasks; Best Management Practices (BMP's) installation, public outreach and administration.
The purpose of this project is reduce peak flows in the North Fork of the Crow River through culvert sizing. Culvert sizing will typically result in smaller culverts, which will provide short-term temporary storage within channels and on adjacent lands upstream from road crossings. In addition to reducing peak flow rates, flood damage and downstream erosion, increased sediment and nutrient removal through extended detention time is expected.
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
The primary focus of this project is the collection of lake core samples to aid in the completion of lake TMDLs for Dean, Malardi & Fountain lakes. This work will enable completing tasks included in the North Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration & Protection Project (WRPP). Additional data collection is needed to update lake response models. This new data will provide a cohesive and comprehensive data collection for Dean, Malardi and Fountain lakes.
This project will promote positive land use changes, along with a sense of watershed stewardship and awareness throughout the Crow River Watershed. This project contains three main tasks: BMP installation, public outreach and administration. This project will also work with the Big Swan Lake Association in Meeker County to host a shoreline naturalization workshop.
This project will evaluate and prioritize approximately 13,000 lineal feet of Lake Koronis shoreline for shoreline erosion and vegetative buffer condition. Those property owners with the most erosion, stormwater and vegetative buffer issues will be targeted to stabilize, infiltrate and buffer their shoreline. This project will also evaluate an additional 300 properties in the subcatchment area and target those properties that are best able to capture and treat stormwater from impervious surfaces.
The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District is home to many natural resource organizations, all of which have a vested interest in the quality of local and regional resources. The District will provide financial assistance in the format of sub-grants to local partners to implement Best Management Practices to improve water quality.
Diamond Lake and its neighboring lakes feature numerous public water accesses, resorts, parks, and trails and are supported by the recreational and aesthetic values that good water quality provides. In 2006, Diamond Lake was placed on MPCA's List of Impaired Waters. Improving water quality in Diamond Lake to meet state standards is a top-ranking priority for the district.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is the drainage authority for Stearns and Pope Counties. The SRWD manages 12 public drainage systems totaling over 90 miles. The majority of the public systems provide drainage for agricultural land uses and were constructed in the early 1900s.
The goal of this project is to develop a watershed-wide, multi-parameter Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Implementation Plan that will collectively address all water quality impairments throughout the Elm Creek watershed.
After 6 years of intensive baseline monitoring at 5 edge-of-field sites, 1 intermittent and 3 in-stream sites in 3 sub-watersheds representing the geomorphic regions of the Root River, the second phase of the project is well prepared for the implementation of BMPs. Continued monitoring will be used to measure the effectiveness of the BMPs for the next 6 years. In preparation for BMP implementation, extensive planning was completed using LiDAR terrain analysis and the Tomer Framework to prioritize practices.
The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District will conduct a river assessment to determine the scope of eroding riverbanks and a stormwater modeling project to identify targeted locations for stormwater management. The river assessment will: 1) verify that streambank erosion is the major contributor of pollutants, including sediment, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen; 2) catalog and quantify the erosion, and; 3) provide an assessment of reductions that could be achieved using specific solutions.
McLeod County will create an inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The County will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing the annual inspection and reporting requirements. The project will lead to improving the County's data management capabilities and better identification of drainage system needs that could lead to helping improve water courses that are impaired for turbidity.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
This project aims to improve water quality in the Middle Fork Crow River, as outlined in Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District 10 year Comprehensive Plan. This will be done by evaluating current water quality impacts, implementing best management practices already in the planning stages, and by promoting BMP’s to landowners with the support of a low interest loan program.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.
The District is seeking to further its goals of meeting multipurpose drainage management requirements under its obligations as a 103E drainage authority. Judicial Ditch 1 is the largest system in the District, and proportionally one of the largest contributors of sediment and nutrients to the downstream reaches of the North Fork Crow River.
There is one lake and three streams in the North Fork Crow River Watershed District impaired by excess nutrients and impaired biotic communities. The Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies have identified large areas and subwatersheds that have the potential to contribute high pollutant loads to the streams and lakes throughout the watershed. This Subwatershed Assessment study will evaluate three high loading subwatershed catchments in the North Fork Crow River Watershed.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed District will develop an inventory and inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The district will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects throughout the district. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing annual inspection and reporting requirements.
This contract will be to initiate the second cycle of the North Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development. The project will provide needed information and analysis to make sure that implementation strategies are well thought out and targeted. The result will be a framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
Regionally, nitrate nitrogen concentrations are continuing to increase in both surface water and ground water based on monitoring data. The increasing trends are thought to be attributable to over application of manure and commercial nutrients on row-cropped fields. In order for nitrate concentrations to decrease, nutrient management is needed throughout the basin. Two nutrient management specialists will assist landowners in the eleven-county Southeast Minnesota Area with writing nutrient management plans and implementing conservation practices for manure and fertilizer use.
Olmsted SWCD will work in coordination with Fillmore SWCD and Root River (Houston) SWCD to collect water quality and chemistry parameters on 14 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved sites within the Root River watershed during the 2018-2019 sampling season.
Parameters to be tested include:TSS, TP, Chloride, CaCO3 (hardness), E. Coli, Chlorophyll A, Specific Conductance, Temp, pH, DO, NO2/NO3.
This project will complete a Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) Plan that includes a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the listed pollutants, and that are understood and adoptable by local units of government and other stakeholders. This project will also provide an important water quality framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
This project will, over a 27 month period, fund a 0.75 Full Time Equivalent Conservation Planning Specialist position to update approximately 400 United States Department of Agriculture Highly Erodable Lands conservation plans on 40,000 acres in high priority areas within the Root River watershed. Currently, only 5% of the USDA conservation plans -approximately 40 per year - are being checked for compliance, and this project will increase that number to 150 or more per year.
Rice Lake, in Stearns County, is an impaired water for nutrients that has a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation plan developed. Rice Lake is one of the larger lakes in the county, offering major water recreation opportunities, economic benefits as well as fish and wildlife habitat. It is a priority for Stearns County to implement projects that have positive impacts on this resource.
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership is comprised of farmers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center, The Nature Conservancy, Fillmore and Mower County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Root River SWCD, Monsanto and academic researchers.Together, project partners are addressing the following key questions:What is the range of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus losses from agricultural fields on real farms in southeast Minnesota?What are the long-term trends and relationships between specific farming practices and water qualit
The goal of this project is to perform water quality monitoring in order to accomplish MPCA’s Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) plan in preparation for development of Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) monitoring efforts. The monitoring sites are located in Houston, Fillmore and Mower counties in southeast Minnesota. This project will provide intensive stream monitoring for Pine Creek in the La Crescent watershed, Winnebago and Crooked Creek in the Reno watershed, Bear, Pine and the Upper Iowa in the Upper Iowa watershed.