The goal of this project is to collect data, water chemistry and field parameters, which will be paired with biological data collected by the MPCA to assess water quality conditions at seven sites along targeted reaches within the Snake River Watershed and five sites in the Two River Watershed.
The City of Thief River Falls drinking water is taken from a 135 acre reservoir that is supplied by the Thief River and Red Lake River. Sedimentation and erosion have significant impacts to the waters in Pennington County. The reservoir is filling with sediment faster than expected. Buffers and side water inlets will help reduce sediment and improve water quality for these types of erosion. Buffers would also reduce nutrients polluting the waters in Pennington County and have a beneficial impact to the dissolved oxygen impairment on both the Red Lake and Thief River.
The Accelerated Water Quality Project Implementation Program will increase the connection between landowners, local government units and the landscape to accelerate efforts addressing non-point source loading to surface waters throughout the Red River Valley Conservation Service Area.
This project will complete a Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan for the watersheds of Big Sandy and Minnewawa Lakes. This restoration plan will provide pollution reduction and watershed management strategies that are developed with input from stakeholders in the watersheds.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 13 local governments with funds to complete 143 projects. More information is available in the detail reports below.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 12 local governments with funds.
The Conservation Dashboard will provide the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District, its water plan, and local landowners a system to target, prioritize, and measure resource needs and effective conservation implementation within the subwatersheds of Carlton County. The Dashboard will identify where data gaps exist, translate the data in a way that partners and landowners easily understand, and insert Best Management Practice recommendations onto the county webmapping tool, used by citizens.
Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and local volunteers will lead an effort to collect total phosphorus, chlorophyll-A, hardness, chloride and secchi disc transparency data for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Surface Water Assessment Grant project on the following 10 lakes: Twentynine, Bob, Bear, Little Hanging Horn, Hanging Horn, Moose, Echo, Coffee, Kettle and Merwin.
This project builds on past successful civic engagement efforts and will focus in on critical problem areas, to both identify the contributing areas of pollutant and also outreach to identify the most likely landowner contacts and engagements for continued success in the watershed. Field monitoring will refine what is currently known about pollutant inputs. Several outreach events will target specific landowner groups to provide forums on best management practices in forestry management and lakeshore/riparian stream buffer management.
Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Carlton County Planning and Zoning, and local volunteers will lead an effort to collect Total Phosphorus, Chlorophyll-A, and secchi disc transparency data for the MPCA Surface Water Assessment Grant (SWAG) project on following six lakes: Eagle Lake, Upper (North) Island Lake, Lower (South) Island Lake, Tamarack Lake, Cole Lake, and Cross Lake.
The goal of this project is to develop and complete the Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) process and report, while also enlarging and sustaining a public participation process that encourages local ownership of water quality problems and solutions (civic engagement).
This monitoring project includes lake and stream monitoring and encompasses all of Cass County, and surrounding counties. The project will obtain water quality data for streams; in 2009, lakeshed assessments indicated that many surface waters throughout the county were data deficient. This project will address the need for sufficient data on a county-wide basis and fulfill the State’s intensive watershed monitoring program goals by obtaining water quality data at targeted lake and stream sites.
The Pennington SWCD has collaborated with Pennington County for several years to identify priority County Ditch reaches that are in need of buffers and grade stabilization structures. This cooperative effort has resulted in the reduction of nutrient and sediment delivery to the Red Lake River Watershed. Pennington SWCD has recently inventoried buffer and grade stabilization needs on three different County Ditch systems: 96, 21 and 16. A total of 23 miles of ditch has been inventoried, 15 miles of buffer are needed along with 81 grade stabilization structures.
Sediment and water quality issues are local priorities within the Thief River and Red Lake River watersheds, which have their confluence in the city of Thief River Falls. The 1W1P effort underway in the Red Lake River Watershed will identify opportunities for projects and practices that are targeted and result in measurable water quality benefits throughout the watershed using PTMApp.
The overall goal is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study that will address water quality impairments and maintain or improve water quality throughout the Clearwater River watershed. The study will identify sources of pollutants to the streams and lakes, allocate pollution reduction goals, and prioritize and identify implementation strategies to maintain or improve water quality in key lakes and streams in the watershed.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
This project will provide fiscal resources for South St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District (SSLCSWCD) to participate and lead efforts to attain geomorphic data sets, dissolved oxygen assessments, culvert inventory, and civic engagement activities in three major watersheds, Nemadji River, South Lake Superior and St. Louis River. This work is currently being worked on as a part of the MPCA’s Watershed Restoration and Protection Planning efforts.
This project Phase will collect data, background information, and watershed characteristics within the Red Lake River watershed. This information will be documented within the framework of early draft TMDL Reports (with background information, but no load calculations) for impaired reaches within this watershed and early draft protection plans for the areas in the watershed that are not currently impaired.
This project will result in the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for turbidity for Deer Creek and the Nemadji River, and will also define which reaches of the Nemadji basin may be meeting standards for turbidity. It will also allow the Carlton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to become a full and active partner in this TMDL study and implementation project as well as future restoration and protection projects.
Numerous County ditch systems in Pennington County end at a natural drainage prior to outleting into a river or other watercourse and these outlets can be in a very erosive state. The goal of this project is to inventory these systems to determine needs and prioritize projects for implementation.
The Thief River is impaired due to low Dissolved Oxygen and high Turbidity levels resulting from high sediment load. These impairments affect the drinking water supply of Thief River Falls in addition to fish spawning habitat and recreation. The Erosion, Sedimentation and Sediment Yield Report completed in 1996 found that 63% of the sediment originates from the streambank of the Thief River. The Pennington Soil and Water Conservation District is therefore targeting the major sediment sources along the river.
This project will support Minnesota's condition monitoring strategy through the collection of water quality data on streams and rivers in the Nemadji River watershed. The Nemadji River watershed is located in southeastern Carlton County and northeastern Pine County. Water quality samples will be collected primarily during weather-related events that affect stream flow such as snowmelt and rainfalls.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
This phase of the project will complete the analysis of existing and newly collected water quality data in the Red River of the North-Grand Marais Creek watershed and also verify the impairments on the currently listed reaches and determine the status of the remaining river reaches as being either impaired or currently meeting standards. Stakeholder involvement and public participation will be a primary focus throughout the project.
The Thief River is the source of drinking water for the City of Thief River Falls. The river's other designated uses also include recreation and aquatic life. Water quality monitoring conducted by local agencies discovered that the Thief River is not meeting state water quality standards for both turbidity (muddiness) and dissolved oxygen. Each year, approximately 12,376 tons of sediment is deposited into the Thief River Falls reservoir by the Thief River. That is the equivalent of over 1,200 dump trucks full of dirt.
In the early 1900s, a joint State and County drainage project constructed a 1 mile outlet channel to Grand Marais Creek to provide a shorter outlet to the Red River and effectively abandoned the lower 6 miles of the natural channel. In recent times, the ditch has eroded from its original shape to a channel of steep gradients and unstable banks. This has resulted in head cutting of the channel and nearly continuous channel erosion and bank sloughing with the effect of depositing up to an estimated annual average of 700 tons of sediment into the Red River.
The purpose of this project is to prepare a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study for public notice. This project will include addressing and incorporating Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) review comments in both documents. The TMDL Study has been submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for preliminary review. USEPA comments will be addressed prior to public notice.
The Halvorson Streambank Stabilization site is located three miles north of the City of Thief River Falls on the Thief River. The Thief River is impaired for low dissolved oxygen and turbidity. A TMDL study began in 2010. These impairments affect fish spawning habitat, recreation and the drinking water supply of Thief River Falls. Studies show that 63% of the sediment in the Thief River is coming from the banks of the river itself. Stabilizing this bank will reduce the turbidity and low dissolved oxygen impairments.
Demand for Engineering services in Northeast Minnesota's nine-county Area III Technical Service Area is exceeding the capacity to deliver the needed services. There are increased requests from Soil and Water Conservation Districts for engineering needed to design and install Best Management Practices in part due to requests related to Clean Water Fund projects. These funds will be used to hire an engineer, which will increase engineering capacity and result in the completion of at least five additional projects per year.
The 14,080 acre watershed of JD#30 and JD#18 drains into the Thief River four miles upstream of Thief River Falls. The City of Thief River Falls draws their drinking water from the reservoir the Thief River supplies. This reservoir is filling with sediment faster than anticipated. It was first estimated that the reservoir would require dredging every 50 years. The last dredging was needed in only 35 years at a price tag of $1.1 million. Treatment of the water for drinking is a major expense to the City.
The Kettle River is a major tributary in the St. Croix River Basin. It is a State Wild and Scenic River and designated canoe route. Reducing sediment and nutrient pollution to the Kettle will protect water quality within the watershed and will also benefit the St. Croix River and help to address excess nutrient loading in Lake St. Croix. This project is a partnership between Carlton, Pine, Kanabec, and Aitkin SWCDs, with the Carlton SWCD acting as the project administrator.