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 include lake and stream monitoring on 23 lakes and 4 streams found within the Leech Lake River and Pine River watersheds in Cass County. The project will be conducted in an effort to gain sufficient data on these data-deficient lake and stream sites within these watersheds. All of the proposed monitoring sites are target sites located in the targeted watersheds for 2012. Cass ESD is partnering with Hubbard SWCD, the Leech Lake Band of Objibwe, and RMB Environmental Laboratories to conduct the fieldwork for this project.
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.
This project supports the planning, coordination and civic engagement/outreach components of the Leech Lake River Major Watershed project. Phase 1 will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and reviewing current and past watershed project data. Phase II of this project will focus on source assessment, running of watershed modeling scenarios, lake protection planning, stressor identification and the continuation of the Civic Engagement components of the project.
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.
This project will include stream monitoring of six preselected sites from the Leech Lake Watershed (HUC 07010102) and Pine River Watershed (HUC 07010105). The sites will be monitored for chemical, physical and biological parameters for two years.