The goal of this project is to facilitate strategic networking, relationships, and learning in targeted groups to assess, build, and leverage community capacity (i.e. community resources and values) to increase knowledge of the Blue Earth River watershed’s water resources and increase best management practice (BMP) adoption to restore and protect water quality in the Blue Earth River watershed. Additional goals include providing information that is readily available to the general public for updates on Watershed Approach work in the Blue Earth River watershed.
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.
This project will provide Agency staff, local partners and the citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication / outreach efforts. This will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed. MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers will also be able to integrate the results of the biophysical and community assessment into strategies for improving water bodies on the MN 303d List of Impaired Waters
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
This project will educate the local residents of the importance of groundwater protection and provide financial assistance to those who need to properly abandon their unused well. This project will also support the upgrade of nonconforming sewage treatment systems to reduce nutrient contributions to groundwater and surface water through groundwater permeation.
This project will continue the restoration of Osakis Lake and protect the water quality of the Sauk River by addressing stormwater runoff from urban and rural areas. Activities include assisting eight landowners in designing and funding their shoreland restoration and rain garden projects.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
Provide education, outreach and civic engagement necessary for the development of structural and non-structural best management practices needed to improve water quality within the Greater Blue Earth River Basin. General Education will have a regional focus to landowners. Outreach effort will be focused on regional officials, staff and landowners. Civic engagement efforts will have a smaller watershed scale focus with efforts resulting in structural BMPs being placed on the land and non-structural BMPs being adopted. Implementation of structural best management practices on the land.
The purpose of this project is to develop a framework to implement best management practices (BMPs) on ditches in headwater areas utilizing a partnership between drainage staff and the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA). By replacing failing side-inlets with an alternative design, we can make strides towards our water quality and water quantity goals. The alternative inlets serve to prevent sediment and phosphorus from washing downstream and the design can also alleviate peak flows by temporarily storing stormwater.
This project will initiate the process of community engagement in the LeSueur River watershed by assessing the needs and interests of the community and bringing a diverse set of stakeholders together to determine how best to foster action in improving and protecting water quality.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.
This Sauk River Watershed District project will conduct the Whitney Park river clean-up, adopt a river program and other community events as part of their healthy living programs; will collaborate with the city of St. Cloud to install a rain garden demonstration site at Whitney Park; use local radio and public television stations to promote the District’s “neighborhood rain garden initiative” and other incentive programs.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The purpose of this effort is to create an educational video that will “bring to life” geo-scientific information related to groundwater movement in southeast Minnesota. This video will be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and other regional partners to help explain the local geology and related groundwater movement. It is anticipated that the video will be used at meetings and other events related to water resource management and natural resource issues. In addition, three stand alone high resolution graphics will be created.
This project will identify priority management zones (PMZ), for the purposes of water quality restoration and protection, within the LeSueur River major watershed. This project is only one component of a larger effort in the LeSueur watershed to complete Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies while engaging citizens and landowners in land management planning.
This project will complete a Acetochlor Impairment Response Report. This report will combine and coordinate information relating to actions being done in direct response to the acetochlor water quality impairments with those being done and support MDA’s on-going responsibility to assure pesticides are used in a manner that does not cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.
The project will work with county and Waseca Soil and Water Conservation District staff to increase knowledge and participation in the Watershed Approach efforts and provide input to the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) document.