The grant will use local data to develop stormwater planning options that prioritize, target, and measure the effectiveness of Best Management Practices and allow local city officials to make decisions on stormwater Best management Practices that reduce pollutants in the stormwatershed.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring in high priority areas of the Upper Mississippi River Grand Rapids Watershed. Five lakes will be sampled, including Savanna, Shumway, Loon, Hay, and Washburn. Through this effort we will obtain information that will be useful in assessing the health of this watershed. This will be valuable in planning for future restoration and protection efforts that will ensure good water and environmental quality for Aitkin County.
"This proposal is to monitor all MPCA target streams and lake sites in the Upper Mississippi Grand Rapids watershed located within Itasca County. Itasca County SWCD has been working collaboratively with MPCA in its intensive watershed monitoring effort on a number of grants to assess the overall health of our water resources and to identify waters with impairments along with those in need of additional protection to prevent future impairments.
Itasca County is about to begin their water plan update process, which will be finished in 2017. This plan will be watershed protection oriented following a similar format to what Crow Wing County has done. We are currently in the process of have lake screening reports completed for 38 Itasca County lakes, and we would like to continue this program to add reports for an additional 34 lakes.
This project will focus on creating a watershed identity, monitoring & assessment, stressor ID assistance, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report development, Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report development, watershed prioritization and targeting, and the continuation of the Civic Engagement components of the project. Currently, this watershed has seven listed conventional impairments (Lake Eutrophication); however, it is possible that additional stream impairments (up to four) may be identified during the IWM process.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with local lake associations and other eligible community partners to reduce the impacts of storm water runoff and retain water on the land. We will implement a mini-grant program that will install rain gardens and native vegetation buffers along shorelines using deep-rooted native vegetation that will filter runoff, promote infiltration, and control stormwater runoff and soil erosion.
The goal of phase 1 of this project is primarily to support organizational planning and coordination among project partners, forming and training a civic engagement team, creating a civic engagement strategic plan, holding two watershed kick off meetings and gathering and summarizing available water quality data. The completion of phase 1 will help provide significant momentum towards the completion of the future phases of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process.
The primary goal of this project is to examine the calibration and validation of recently extended Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models for the Mississippi River-Headwaters, Mississippi River-Grand Rapids, Mississippi River-Brainerd, Mississippi River-Sartell, Mississippi River-St. Cloud, Leech Lake, Pine River, Crow Wing River, Long Prairie River, and Redeye River watersheds and revise the calibration.
The main outcome of the project will be the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study that address total suspended solids/turbidity impairments of the Mississippi River (Swan River to Crow Wing River). Community outreach to communicate the results and strategies for restoration will also take place during this project.