This project is the continuation of efforts to restore and protect watersheds and streams in Minnesota’s Lake Superior coastal region. The project provides the means to evaluate water quality impairments, complete pollutant source assessments, establish loading capacities and allocations for impairments, and to evaluate and recommend protection strategies for high quality water resources. It also leverages and encourages adoption of locally driven solutions to watershed management and protection.
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.
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).
This project will provide complementary (same year) physical and chemical data sets for three MPCA prioritized lakes in NE Minnesota to incorporate into the overall State database for MPCA assessment purposes as well as research purposes.
This is a joint project between the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), North Dakota, and Manitoba. The project is a basin-wide, up-to-date water quality trend analysis using the "QWTrend" program for approximately 40 bi-national river sites to review nutrients, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, sulfate and chloride from 1980 - 2015.