Aquatic invasive species pose critical ecological and economic challenges for the entire state and beyond. They can cause irreparable harm to fisheries and aquatic habitat as well as damage to infrastructure. The problems posed by aquatic invasive species continue to grow as existing infestations expand and new exotic species arrive, most of which are poorly understood. New ideas and approaches are needed to develop real solutions.
Brown's Creek is the namesake of Brown's Creek Watershed District (BCWD) and a designated metro trout stream. But in recent years the stream hasn't been home to as many trout and cold-water insects as we would hope. The creek is too warm and too muddy.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources is required to contract with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa (formerly Minnesota Conservation Corps), or CCMI, for installation of conservation practices benefitting water quality for at least $500,000 in each year of the 2010-11 biennium.
A partnership of local, state and federal organizations has used multiple funding sources to target nonpoint pollution reduction efforts to the Hay Creek Watershed, a 24-square-mile area in Becker County that features several high- quality lakes. Clean Water Legacy grants were received in 2008 by the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District and in 2011 by the Becker SWCD. The grants leveraged both local and federal dollars, and it built on previous efforts to identify locations where conservation projects could provide the greatest benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.
Kittson County and the Two Rivers Watershed District both have plans that emphasize the use of Best Management Practices to improve the water quality of Lake Bronson. Lake Bronson State Park is one of only a handful of state parks in the Northwest corner of Minnesota and the Friends of the Lake Bronson State Park met with Watershed District staff to explore how to improve the water quality of the lake. The lake is subject to sediment and nutrient loading from several upstream ditches.
State law (M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6) directs restoration evaluations to be conducted on habitat restoration projects completed with funds from the Clean Water Fund (M.S. 114.D.50 Subd. 6). The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is responsible for convening a Restoration Evaluation Panel containing at least five technical experts who will evaluate a sample of up to 10 habitat restoration projects annually. The Panel will evaluate the restorations relative to the law, current science, stated goals and standards in the restoration plans, and applicable guidelines.
This program is a part of a comprehensive clean water strategy to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; protect groundwater and wetlands. Specifically the Riparian Buffer Easement Program targets creating buffers on riparian lands adjacent to public waters, except wetlands. Through the Reinvest in Minnesota Program (RIM) and in partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and private landowners, permanent conservation easements are purchased and buffers established.
This goal of this project is improving water quality and expanding critical wildlife habitat by permanently restoring and enhancing wetlands in the Sand Creek and Prior/Spring Lake Watersheds. By making sign-up payments available through this grant, this project will restore or enhance 400 to 500 acres of wetlands moderating flows and improving water quality. The NRCS has committed $2.5 million through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP), the Scott WMO $314,000, the PLSLWD $145,000, Rice SWCD $40,000, Le Sueur SWCD $40,000, and the Scott SWCD $75,000.
Minnesota Department of Health has been collaborating with cities and other community water suppliers since 1993 to develop and implement source water protection plans. Support from the Clean Water Legacy expands and accelerates the number of water suppliers that can be assisted each year in undertaking protection planning and implementation activities.
This program is a part of a comprehensive clean water strategy to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; protect groundwater and wetlands. Specifically the Wellhead Protection Conservation Easement program is targeted to protect drinking water through the Reinvest in Minnesota Program (RIM).