This project will establish a framework with County, Soil and Water Conservation District and watershed staff that will outline their involvement throughout the development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Cottonwood River and Redwood River watersheds.
The Cottonwood River watershed is one of the last remaining watersheds to complete Cycle I of the Watershed Restoration & Protections Strategies (WRAPS) process. The scope of this project upon completion is have two reports developed; a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the entire watershed.
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.