The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
The "Bigfork River Target Watershed Assessment – Lake of the Woods & Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation Districts" Project focuses on collecting water chemistry and field parameters at Bear River, Big Fork River (4 sites), Caldwell Brook and Sturgeon River. The project will support the biological assessments being completed by MPCA staff for this Target Watershed Assessment. This work will also train and develop Koochiching SWCD staff to enable them to continue water quality monitoring in the Rainy River Basin.
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.
This project will provide monitoring of four of the major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) in the western part of the Rainy River Basin. Staff from the Lake of the Woods SWCD will conduct water quality sampling, review, manage and provide collected data to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
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.
This project will develop an effective transferable model to engage and educate watershed residents, stakeholders and others to better understand and protect watershed ecostystems through environmental monitoring, training, and formal and informal education programs in their local watershed. The project will build on the foundation of the existing Red River Basin River Watch program by strengthening three main activity areas: 1) curriculum integration and teacher training, 2) youth leadership and civic engagement, and 3) applied research collaboration and watershed science skills building.
This project will collect water chemistry and field parameters at the Popple River, Bowstring River, Big Fork River, Rice River, Caribou Lake and Eagle lake. It will also support the biological assessments being completed by MPCA staff for this Target Watershed Assessment. This project is a collaborative effort with MPCA, 3 SWCDs, and the well established Bigfork River Watch Program. This project is a collaborative effort with Lake of the Woods and Koochiching County SWCDs because the Big Fork Watershed encompasses both Itasca and Koochiching Counties.
This assessment will be performed using scientific volunteers, will build capacity at a technical training program at Itasca Community College (ICC), and will provide MPCA with answers providing a reasonable expectation for water quality in this under-studied region of Minnesota.