This project will improve water quality, reducing phosphorus annually by 1,842 in the St. Croix, Kettle and Snake River Watersheds in Pine County by establishing cover crops to reduce erosion and phosphorus/fertilizer applications, increase soil fertility, permeability, and microbe activity. A no-till drill will be purchased for use by agricultural producers for installing cover crops as a means of decreasing soil erosion, reducing phosphorus and fertilizer applications and increasing soil health.
This project will identify and prioritize opportunities to implement a multipurpose drainage management plan that will provide adequate drainage capacity, reduce peak flows and flooding and reduce erosion and sediment loading, improving water quality to the West Branch Rum River.
The Project and Outreach Coordinator will facilitate efforts within the watershed to provide landowner support and assistance in identifying areas in need of conservation plans and best management practices. The coordinator would use the Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy Report and county water plans to target and prioritize outreach and education to maximize water quality benefits. This will greatly multiply the number of educated landowners in the watershed and increase the number of projects implemented.
This project primarily focuses on riparian restoration (permanent vegetative buffer enhancements and plantings) on 6.5 miles (both sides) of targeted tributaries, ditches, and wetlands within five sub - watershed areas identified in the Snake River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report. These plantings will consist of native perennials, trees, and shrubs where practical. In addition to the riparian plantings, this project will include fence exclusions for cattle and heavy use protections at cattle crossings in streams and ditches.