The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
Naturally occurring arsenic can make groundwater unsafe for drinking. Before going to the expense of drilling a well and sampling the water for arsenic, it would benefit public health to be able to predict the level of arsenic in groundwater in a certain area. A special research project with the U.S. Geological Survey is designed to develop the capacity to assess local geological conditions, related groundwater chemistry and well construction factors in three counties in order to predict the levels of arsenic found in groundwater related to those variables.
Continued TMDL project to support next phases associated with completion of TMDL's for ten lakes in the Carnelian Marine Saint Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD). Ten lakes are; East Boot, Fish, Goose, Hay, Jellum’s, Long, Loon, Louise, Mud and South Twin.
The Division of Parks and Trails (as directed by Chapter 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(c)) utilizes Conservation Corps of Minnesota services for restoration, maintenance, and other activities that supplement the ability to reach Legacy Fund goals. Budget associated with this program area capture an accounting of dollars that support CCM Summer Youth, Individual Placements, and special projects for park and trail renewal and development. Other dollars not accounted for in this program area are part of other PAT program areas and included as part of those budgets.
The Minnesota County Geologic Atlas program is an ongoing effort begun in 1982 that is being conducted jointly by the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program collects information on the geology of Minnesota to create maps and reports depicting the characteristics and pollution sensitivity of Minnesota's ground-water resources.
TMDL project in the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District that will develop a watershed based plan and provide strategies for water quality and aquatic ecosystem management, restoration, and protection within Sunrise River Watershed. This project will also aid in understanding the Phosphorus loading to Lake St. Croix.
The VLAWMO watershed covers approximately 25 square miles in the northeast metropolitan area in northern Ramsey County and a small portion of Anoka County, Minnesota. It encompasses the City of North Oaks and portions of the Cities of White Bear Lake, Gem Lake, Vadnais Heights, Lino Lakes, and White Bear Township. This project will gather and organize existing data, support the continuation of modeling and TMDL allocations along with an additional stakeholder meeting. It will also provide the completion of a draft and final TMDL report.
The Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB), working in concert with other local governmental units in within the watershed, will assist the MPCA, the project consultant, and other members of the Snake River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) technical team in the completion of tasks associated with this TMDL project. SRWMB, with assistance from members of the technical team (Kanabec Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Pine SWCD, Aitkin SWCD, and Mille Lacs SWCD) will provide the services to complete this TMDL project.
This project will result in the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for turbidity for Deer Creek and the Nemadji River, and will also define which reaches of the Nemadji basin may be meeting standards for turbidity. It will also allow the Carlton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to become a full and active partner in this TMDL study and implementation project as well as future restoration and protection projects.
The commissioner shall develop a ten-year strategic state parks and trails plan considering traditional funding and the funding available under the Minnesota Constitution, article XI, section 15. The plan shall incorporate the 25-year framework developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Changing Landscapes. (HF 1231, Art 3, Sec 2)
Increasing energy conservation and efficiency in residences can play a significant role in Minnesota's goals for energy savings and carbon emissions reductions. The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, is using this appropriation to develop and implement innovative residential energy efficiency programs. Programs will be demonstrated in eight cities: Apple Valley, Austin, Duluth, Minneapolis, Owatonna, Park Rapids, Rochester, and St. Paul.
This project will provide information about the amount and sources of phosphorous flowing into Lake St Croix by implementing additional water quality monitoring and reduce the amount of phosphorous flowing into Lake St Croix by implementing phosphorous reduction activities. The St Croix River Association (SCRA) will coordinate with the St. Croix Basin Water Resources Planning Team (Basin Team) on the identification and funding of comprehensive water monitoring and phosphorus reduction activities in the Lake St. Croix portion of the St.
This project will create a high accuracy elevation dataset - critical for effectively planning and implementing water quality projects - for the state of Minnesota using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and geospatial mapping technologies. Although some areas of the state have been mapped previously, many counties remain unmapped or have insufficient or inadequate data. This multi-year project, to be completed in 2012, is a collaborative effort of Minnesota's Digital Elevation Committee and partners with county surveyors to ensure accuracy with ground-truthing.
The laws governing the drainage of Minnesota wetlands and other areas have been largely unchanged for more than a century. However, many other laws protecting public waters and wetlands and governing water use have been enacted as concerns about water quality and land use increase. Often these laws conflict. The Smith Partners Law Firm is analyzing the legal and policy issues surrounding Minnesota's drainage laws in order to make recommendations to the legislature on updating the laws to reflect the realities of the 21st century.
The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).
This project will develop databases to manage TMDL activities and track progress. It will also provide assistance to promulgate rulemaking. This project will also support agency operations to review civic engagement proposals from basin and sub basin organizations. Assistance provided to establish a coalition between organizations creating productive environments where citizens and stakeholders can come together to dialogue about issues of concern to them and create their own visions and strategies for TMDL-related change/issues in their communities.
Earthworms are common throughout much of Minnesota, but few realize that they are not native to the state and were in fact introduced from Europe and Asia. Earthworms are invasive in Minnesota and have been shown to have large and potentially irreversible impacts on hardwood forest biodiversity and regeneration. As dispersal by human actions is the primary means of introduction and spread of invasive earthworms, there exists great potential to arrest the current spread of earthworms already present and prevent the introduction of additional species.
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.
Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state's ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes unique landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, or other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.
Turbidity and sediment yield from the Le Sueur River watershed to the Minnesota River is a problem. Studies have shown that 200,000 tons/yr come from non-field sources and 25,000 tons/yr come from field sources. With this grant we will develop strategies to reduce sediment yield from the Freeborn County Cobb River Ditch subwatershed.
Upper Mississippi, North Fork Crow River Major Watershed TMDL Project led by CROW with assistance from local partners North Fork Crow River Watershed District (WD); Middle Fork Crow River WD; Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality.
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.
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.