The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
This project will directly inform the Lake of the Woods (LoW )TMDL process by identifying nutrient reduction targets, a timeline of phosphorus loadings to the lake, and measures of historical in-lake variability (e.g., nutrients, biological communities). Results will complement and build on ongoing research efforts on internal loading and sediment core analysis.
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
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.
Co-sponsorship and assistance with a portion of the financial support for the 9th & 10th Annual International Lake of the Woods Water Quality Forum (Forum) to be held on March 7-8, 2012 and March 13-14, 2013 at the Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota. The Forum will feature the latest information on research conducted by Canadian and U.S. researchers regarding the International Lake of the Woods waters.
This project will gather watershed data necessary for the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy to maintain or improve water quality within the LoW Watershed; and establish project and sub-basin work groups and/or focus groups to guide the MWRPP process.
This project will determine pre- and post-settlement nutrient trends from sediment chronology, fossil diatom assemblages, and from sediment profiles representing human history in the region (i.e., at least 150 years). Project activities include sample collection; sample preparation; diatom analysis; database creation and management; and data interpretation. Sample cores will be taken on the Lake of the Woods in five major bays (i.e., Four-mile, Muskeg, Sabaskong, Little Traverse, and Big Traverse) in the southern basin.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by MPCA EAO 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.
Regionally, nitrate nitrogen concentrations are continuing to increase in both surface water and ground water based on monitoring data. The increasing trends are thought to be attributable to over application of manure and commercial nutrients on row-cropped fields. In order for nitrate concentrations to decrease, nutrient management is needed throughout the basin. Two nutrient management specialists will assist landowners in the eleven-county Southeast Minnesota Area with writing nutrient management plans and implementing conservation practices for manure and fertilizer use.
The lack of sewage treatment in some small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes discharging raw sewage directly into the environment;surfacing sewage or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The Statewide Sediment Network was established to measure the levels of suspended sediment concentrations and particle size distributions at eight sites across Minnesota to evaluate the amount of sediment carried by rivers. USGS sample collection and laboratory analysis techniques provide a more rigorous, robust, and technically accurate measure of sediment in water than the current use of total suspended solids as the measure of sediment in water.
The Lake of the Woods Watershed Assessment will include the waters of Warroad River and Willow Creek in Roseau County and Williams Creek and Bostic Creek in Lake of the Woods (LOW) County. This assessment project will focus on the collection of water chemistry and field parameters at the six key sites identified and modified by MPCA. One site on the Warroad River will have extra nutrient and chlorophyll analysis done. Sites are located in the lower reaches of each surface water system.
This project will support the operation and maintenance of a stream gage that records stage, index-velocity and water temperature at Wheeler's Point on the Rainy River. The USGS will visit the stream gage approximately every six (6) weeks to perform maintenance and, as needed, to define the range of flows that occur.