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 will gather watershed data necessary for the development of a comprehensive watershed management plan with parameter-specific thresholds that will maintain or improve water quality for the Kawishiwi Watershed.
Improved levels of civic engagement and community participation in support for the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) processes in the St. Louis River, Lake Superior South, and Cloquet River Watersheds. Monitoring plans and compiled field data will be provided and summarized that will aid in the future completion of Total Maximum Daily Load Reports (TMDLs) in these watersheds and in the Lake Superior North Watershed.
The project provides the opportunity for the North Saint Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (NSLSWCD) to engage in efforts to increase public participation in the St. Louis River Watershed and participate in the planning and technical review of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process. NSLSWCD contains the headwaters of the St. Louis River Watershed. The District’s knowledge of the area, communities, and organizations puts them in a unique position to work cooperatively in the watershed.
The St. Louis River watershed is one of the largest watersheds in northern Minnesota and the largest single contributing watershed to Lake Superior. Surface waters are abundant with 353 lakes and 97 streams segments. Large areas of forest and wetlands help to sustain areas of exceptional water quality. However, land use changes have degraded many lakes, rivers, and streams. 21 stream reaches have aquatic life impairments, as identified by high turbidity (1 reach), poor quality aquatic macro-invertebrate community (16 reaches), and/or poor quality fish community (12 reaches).
The project’s first phase includes development and implementation of a sampling plan to investigate stormwater quality within impervious areas; soil borings to determine the soil type; a topographical survey to determine drainage patterns and infrastructure locations; and data gathering of existing infrastructure. A season-long stormwater quality monitoring program will monitor stormwater within the drainage areas that flow directly to the storm sewer, including monitoring of roof runoff and overland flow to determine potential pollutant sources and mitigation options.