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.
This project will allow for outreach programs to engage interested citizens in protecting 200 acres of riparian buffer in the headwaters of the watershed, accounting for 1860 tons of sediment prevented from reaching surface waters each year the practices remain in place. The desired outcome would include 30 or more participants in the program, and to develop a more extensive volunteer base.
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.
The goal is to facilitate strategic networking, learning, and participation of targeted groups to assess, build, and leverage community capacity (i.e. community resources and values) to become aware of water quality issues and increase best management practice adoption to restore and protect water quality in the Pomme de Terre River watershed. This goal will benefit the completion of the second cycle of the watershed approach by providing useful information important in the completion of Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report.
This project will establish a framework with the Pomme de Terre River Association (PDTRA), county staff, Soil and Water Conservation District staff, and state agencies that will outline their involvement throughout the development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Pomme de Terre River watershed. This work will form the basis to establish restoration and protection strategies that local governments and watershed organizations can use to make decisions that will lead to protecting and restoring the waters in the watershed.