Strategic planning efforts guide the expenditure of Legacy funds towards desired outcomes which are derived from public and stakeholder input, research, analysis and input from a variety of experts and leadership. Parks and Trails planners conduct these efforts. Staffing levels were adjusted to complete this legacy work.
The goals of the program are to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices, identify underlying processes that affect water quality, and develop technologies to target critical areas of the landscape. Funded projects provide current and accurate scientific data on the environmental impacts of agricultural practices and help to develop or revise agricultural practices that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining farm profitability.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
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.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems, which encompass 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional public library system receives a formula-driven allocation from the annual $3 million Minnesota Regional Library Legacy Grant.
Minnesota’s twelve regional library systems, which encompass more than 350 public libraries in all areas of the state, can benefit from a portion of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Through State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, each regional library system is eligible to receive a formula-driven allocation from the annual $2.2 million Minnesota Regional Library System Legacy Grant. Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) is a consolidated regional public library system in northwestern Minnesota.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on the type and abundance of selected plants or animals. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) in streams to help determine whether these waterways are impacted by water pollution. The DNR has developed a similar tool for fish in lakes and is developing a tool for aquatic plants. Both are used to help the MPCA identify lakes that may be impacted by water pollution.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. MIDS offers guidelines, recommendations and tools that help low impact development practices be implemented more uniformly across Minnesota's landscape and provides guidance to effectively implement the concepts and practices of low impact development. Products include performance goals for new development, redevelopment and linear projects, a graphic user interface calculator and flexible treatment options for sites design.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. The consultant was hired to conduct research and design specifications for permeable pavement and turf.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
Staffing support to evaluate the performance of existing stormwater infiltration sites, as identified in the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project. Monitor the range of existing infiltration devices in Minnesota and compare to design criteria, maintenance records, and quantify year-round infiltration rates. Develop and refine pretreatment options and standards for municipal stormwater treatment.
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
The goal of this project is to update and revise the Twin Cities Metro Area (TCMA) Chloride Management Plan to a Statewide Chloride Management Plan (CMP). The Statewide CMP will provide stakeholders the information and tools necessary to improve and/or maintain water quality with respect to chloride.
The Legislature created the Statewide Survey of Historic & Archaeological Sites to provide opportunities to expand our understanding of historic and archaeological sites statewide.
Projects are defined by an oversight board and are conducted through competitive-bid contracts.
The goal of this project will be to research and develop statewide winter maintenance best management practices (BMPs) for inclusion in the Statewide Chloride Management Plan and Winter Maintenance Assessment tool (WMAt). The WMAt is a necessary technical resource and planning tool for stakeholders and permittees to implement the chloride reduction strategies described in the Statewide Chloride Management Plan.
This project will conduct on-going sampling and lab analysis for suspended sediment concentration at select sites. It will also develop real-time continuous suspended sediment concentration measurements using turbidity and Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter sensors, data analysis and draft United States Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report, and comparison of sampling and laboratory methods for total suspended solids and suspended sediment concentrations.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability in its sustainability program. To pinpoint opportunities for ongoing progress, the sustainability program will harmonize a broader range of institutional needs and objectives. The program will establish integrated, continuous, electronic reporting that unites environmental, social and economic risk analysis. This reporting will be used to further reduce our environmental impact and improve the sustainability of our operations as a whole.
The Chicano Latino Affairs Council in collaboration with the Minnesota Humanities Center will use funding to address the education challenges and opportunities faced by Latino students. The central theme and core value is “culture and language matter,” that culture and language is an asset and not a liability. A research project will focus on identifying specific strengths in Latino culture that improve education engagement.
The DNR provides technical support regarding the causes of and solutions to drainage impacts, actively engaging with other Minnesota modelers and scientists working on issues related to altered hydrology. We use state-of-the-art models to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practices. This involves collaboration with multiple partners and at multiple scales.
This project delineates and maps watersheds (drainage areas) of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands for the state of Minnesota and provides watershed maps in digital form for use in geographic information systems. These maps become the basis for clean water planning and implementation efforts.
The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
Project outcomes include data that will ultimately allow the MPCA to quantitatively compare the environmental conditions (surface water and sedimentary geochemistry) at sites that successfully support wild rice growth to sites that do not support wild rice. These data, in particular the analysis of the porewater samples obtained under this project, will be compared to the results from a separate project that will assess the growth of wild rice using hydroponic methods.
The MDH Environmental Laboratory provides essential analyses of water for the MPCA Wild Rice Standards Study, which is gathering information about the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. For this study, the lab developed a ultra-sensitive test for hydrogen sulfide, which greatly facilitated the research. For this large study, the lab staff analyzed several thousand water and sediment samples from lakes, wetlands, rivers, rice paddies, experimental mesocosms, and hydroponic experiments.
The goal of this project is to maintain and make enhancements to the Winter Maintenance Assessment tool (WMAt), which is a necessary technical resource and planning tool for stakeholders and permittees to implement the chloride reduction strategies described in the Chloride Management Plan.