This project targets nutrient reductions within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District will work with farmers in implementing a variety of conservation practices including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects, riparian pasture management, and nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. These strategies were identified through Total Daily Maximum Load Studies.
A completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study has identified mid to late summer phosphorus loading as a significant stressor to lakes and streams within the Big Elk Lake watershed. While this comprehensive study serves its role as the unifying document that identifies pollutants and sources, further work is required in order to develop site-specific Best Management Practices, design these practices, and oversee their implementation in order to reach clean water goals.
This project will provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites.
Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek.
Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek,Riley Creek, and Valley Creek tributary to the St. Croix River
Great River Energy (GRE) operates a power plant in the City of Elk River which generates electricity by incinerating municipal solid wastes. The plant is located proximate to the City of Elk River wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). This project will result in a corresponding reduction of groundwater use by GRE.
The funds requested will provide Big Lake Township with the technical and financial assistance necessary to retrofit up to six locations for stormwater treatment practices within the direct drainage area of Birch Lake, an impaired water body which is very close to meeting state standards. The projects have been identified as high priority in several water quality plans including a TMDL, a subwatershed assessment, the County Water Plan and the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) WRAPS.
The Briggs Lake Chain Association (BLCA) is one of Sherburne County's most proactive lake associations. This sub-grant will provide for approximately 20-30 stormwater reduction best management practices on strategically targeted parcels previously identified as contributing to degraded water quality through Total Maximum Daily Loads, aerial lakeshore analysis and site-reviews conducted by the BLCA.
This project will determine the magnitude and sources of pollutants in Little Rock Creek and will estimate the reductions in loadings that are needed in order for the stream reaches to support cold water fish assemblages and attain water quality standards.
The Elk River Watershed Association Joint Powers Board, via the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District, will utilize project funds to implement a pasture and manure management program which will provide technical and financial assistance to large animal/hobby farm owners. Staff will work with identified landowners to implement bacteria reduction best practices such as pasture renovation/management, riparian buffer strips, clean water diversions, vegetated buffer strips, and manure management including composting structures.
Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will subcontract with Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) to cooperatively coordinate monitoring of three locations within the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) Watershed. A total of four staff (two from each district) will communicate to ensure that the locations are monitored according to the WPLMN Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for AIS and non AIS sites
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
This project will provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites. Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek. Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek, Riley Creek, and Willow Creek. St. Croix River: Tributary includes Valley Creek.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at three subwatershed sites in 2016-2019 and ongoing as needed in 2020 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
This project combines the use of automated soil moisture probes for irrigation scheduling with diverse cover crop planting to reduce or eliminate leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients on cropland with an early season harvested crop in the rotation. The more efficient use of irrigation waters provides a secondary benefit: less withdrawal from the aquifers that provide recharge for the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
This project will conduct the second round of Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) for the Mississippi River St. Cloud watershed. Partnering organizations intend to complete sampling of lakes and streams following the protocols and guidance set forth by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Watershed partners include Benton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Clearwater Watershed District, Sherburne SWCD, Stearns SWCD, Stearns County staff, and Wright SWCD.
The West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA) serves 12 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in west central Minnesota and has been experiencing increased workload due to greater requests from member SWCDs. This funding will sustain a limited-term technician and purchase related support equipment to assist landowners in implementing targeted, high priority practices that result in the greatest water quality outcomes.