An interagency workgroup is developing recommendations for best practices and policies for water reuse in Minnesota. Recommendations will include both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to successful implementation of water reuse. The workgroup will evaluate current regulations, practices, and barriers, and quantify and determine acceptable health risks associated with water reuse applications. The University of Minnesota is collecting and analyzing field data for use in targeting Minnesota-specific risks.
Partner: Minnesota Indian Affairs Council
American Indian undergraduate students from across Minnesota participated in this unique summer educational experience. The students selected for this intensive 17-day residential program attended onsite presentations throughout Minnesota and experienced hands-on learning about the museum and archaeology fields and other historical and cultural preservation organizations.
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.
A multi-partner effort has begun to study the amount of nitrate-nitrogen (nitrate) leaching loss that occurs below an agricultural field recently converted from timber land to irrigated row crop production. The landowner has made the property and their staff available to better understand the deep drainage and nitrate leaching dynamics following this type of land use change. This study is unique.
The overall goal is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study that will address water quality impairments and maintain or improve water quality throughout the Clearwater River watershed. The study will identify sources of pollutants to the streams and lakes, allocate pollution reduction goals, and prioritize and identify implementation strategies to maintain or improve water quality in key lakes and streams in the watershed.
Cornerstone Academy, the preservation education partnership of the Preservation Alliance and MNHS, launched in 2014. The statewide preservation education program has developed a training series for homeowners, community members, and professionals in fields that frequently interact with historic buildings and districts. Last year, hundreds of property owners across the state participated in more than 40 workshops. Courses included Understanding Historic Tax Credits, Handyman Special, Repairing Old Windows, and Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Older Homes.
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.
MNHS continues its focus on preserving and making accessible the newspapers published in the state. Last year, the staff concentrated on acquiring digital content from publishers and building the access hub, Minnesota Newspapers Online (MNO). Work on both of these activities will continue.
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.
Through this program, partners are extending the reach of National History Day in Minnesota. MNHS professional staff members coordinate school services with an emphasis on support for students from diverse backgrounds. Higher education partnerships help build college readiness skills for middle and high school students and strengthen the mentoring skills of Minnesota college students.
Partners: Northland Schools, Remer, and Washington Technology Magnet School, St. Paul
Improving the educational achievement of Minnesota's students is a strategic priority for MNHS. The Educational Achievement initiative allows MNHS to create partnerships with two school districts
MNHS exhibitions are supported by diverse programming that complements the content of the exhibitions. These additional programs augment and promote the rich stories of Minnesota's history. In FY16, programs included lectures, musical performances, hands-on family activities, and other events. In particular, three exhibitions
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.
The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
Minnesota’s use of groundwater has increased over the last two decades. An increasing reliance on groundwater may not be a sustainable path for continued economic growth and development. The DNR is establishing three pilot groundwater management areas (GWMA) to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future groundwater needs associated with economic development.
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site targeted for revitalization. This revitalization is one of MNHS's current strategic priorities. The Historic Fort Snelling revitalization project completed a master plan in June 2015. The predesign phase kicked off in September 2015 and continues through FY16. The project manager position, which coordinates various MNHS educational programs and building activities, was partially supported with Legacy funds.
The award-winning History Live! program served more than 5,500 students in FY15, bringing the total number of students served since the program launched in FY11 to nearly 29,000. For the first quarter of FY16, the History Live! program updated its business plan with a goal to increase overall revenue and serve more students. It provided 14 programs serving 421 students through Oct. 31, 2015. In addition, the program partnered with the Jewish Community Relations Council to launch a new History Live! lesson that integrates students' use of handheld technology with the live program.
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 Lake of the Woods (LOW) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study will: (1) identify water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the LOW/Rainy River Watershed; (2) recommend nutrient allocations to achieve TMDLs where waters do not meet standards; and (3) provide opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the process of watershed-management planning to adopt protection and restoration strategies. The project will include existing in-lake and watershed model updates, TMDL component development, restoration plan development, and public participation.
LSA is a statewide project that builds on the achievements realized during the first five years of Legacy funding. The LSA is a strategic document and a resource for the work of statewide history communities over the next four years. Through a collaborative statewide process, the LSA has identified four goals and four strategic priorities that ultimately will be measured and sustained. Legacy Vision
We are all deeply connected to each other when we are engaged in, enriched by, and excited about Minnesota's history and cultural heritage.
MNHS and regional public libraries across Minnesota are combining resources to educate, entertain, and build community among library patrons in the state. Libraries and MNHS are bringing a range of programs and events to local libraries that document and preserve community stories for future generations, educate people of all ages about the history of Minnesota and its people, and make high quality history programming accessible to
More than 60 programs were presented in dozens
of communities around the state, including:
The Minnesota Historical Society is deeply engaged in cultivating meaningful relationships with adult audiences as lifelong learners, members, donors, volunteers, and supporters. In FY16, MNHS continued to build the organization's capacity for using skilled volunteers through staff trainings, creating new programs, and a thorough evaluation of programs targeted at adult audiences. New initiatives: Fifty-eight new skilled volunteer positions were added, contributing 4,700 volunteer hours.
This project will develop draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies addressing seven impaired lakes in the Lower Minnesota River Watershed (Fish, Pike, O’Dowd, Thole, Schneider, Titlow and Cleary Lakes). TMDLs will describe the impairment in each lake and water quality targets, and will include a phosphorus source assessment, a lake response model and supporting report components that document assumptions and methodologies, and a TMDL equation with completed load allocations, wasteload allocations, and margin of safety for each impairment.
The goal of this project is to develop draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) computations for six impaired lakes and two impaired streams, and to provide TMDL development documentation for selected draft TMDL report sections.
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.
The Minnesota Main Street program is a proven, comprehensive strategy that helps communities create new jobs and businesses while revitalizing buildings and preserving their historic downtowns. MNHS's Heritage Preservation department works with the partners
listed above to implement Minnesota Main Street,
which provides the tools, training, information, and networking that communities need to revitalize their business districts.
There are currently seven Minnesota Main Street designated communities: Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar, and Winona.
The goal of this project is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan (WRAPS) to be used at the local level. It will increase the number of citizens participating in education and outreach events; foster information and idea exchange around watershed issues through relationships and social networks; involve community members in crafting civic engagement activities/plans in which they feel ownership and desire to implement; and promote awareness, concern, and watershed stewardship to community organizations/institutions.
This project will assist in assessing the quality of the Mississippi River bordering with Wisconsin in partnership with the Minnesota DNR (MNDNR), the Wisconsin DNR (WIDNR) and the Metropolitan Council of Environmental Services (MCES). Sampling will be conducted in 2016 using water chemistry and biological indicators, using a 5 state strategy recently developed recently with the leadership of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association. The Minnesota entities will focus their work on the River from St Anthony Falls to the Chippewa River confluence in Lake Pepin.
The goal of this project is to develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations and complete a final draft TMDL report for the 29 stream impairments listed in the Missouri River Basin. The project will produce completed models and pollutant source assessments for each impairment parameter, and a draft TMDL report that summarizes results of these analyses and TMDL allocations for each stream.
The MNHS Indian Advisory Committee (IAC) is made up of tribally appointed representatives of the 11 Minnesota tribes, as well as representatives of key groups, such as educators. IAC advises on planning, developing, and evaluating MNHS activities and initiatives including exhibitions, publications, public programs, and curatorial policy as they relate to the research, collection, preservation, and interpretation of Minnesota and American Indian history in Minnesota.
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 supports activities by Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) Watershed Division staff that provide technical assistance, project oversight, coordination, outreach and other agency activities associated with assessing, listing and conducting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies throughout the State of Minnesota. Project also includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with TMDL work at the MPCA.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities within the described priority watersheds. Lake Monitoring: Lakes are monitored for nutrients, clarity and other information to provide the data needed to assess the aquatic recreation use support. Biological and Water Chemistry Stream Monitoring: Monitoring to assess the conditions of streams in each watershed.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses a watershed-oriented approach to assess surface water quality and define restoration and protection measures. Each of Minnesota's 81 major watersheds is assessed intensively every 10 years, based on a staggered schedule that addresses, on average, eight watersheds per year. To increase the amount of data directly available to the public online, and to make internal operations more efficient, the MPCA started a multi-year Watershed Data Integration Project (WDIP).
The Minnesota Historical Society and the Wilder Foundation worked with two new groups of existing and emerging community leaders in 2015 to enhance their ability to act on important community issues.
During each six-month program, 245 participants explored neighborhood involvement and developed leadership skills to take effective community action.
This groundbreaking project is creating a new model for school field trips, using mobile and web technologies to capitalize on the natural behaviors and learning styles of today's students. Serving approximately 7,000 students annually, Play the Past demonstrates how museums can use technology to create self-directed, personalized, responsive field trip experiences that deepen students' connection to history while honing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and minerals and is commonly found in groundwater throughout much of Minnesota. The occurrence and distribution of arsenic in groundwater is difficult to predict. Research is steadily increasing our understanding of the mechanisms and geologic conditions that determine arsenic occurrence in groundwater. The arsenic concentration in a new well, measured at the time of construction, is sometimes higher or lower, compared to subsequent sampling results.