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 addresses the identified need for an Implementation Plan that provides an overall roadmap for the effort it will take to meet the Carnelian Marine St. Croix Multi-Lakes Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). An Implementation Plan will be developed, with involvement of the Project Partners and stakeholder groups, that sets forth prioritized strategies for attaining the TMDL and a method for tracking the progress of those efforts. The Implementation Plan will be restoration-focused, but will include protection-oriented information/actions as well.
Chisago County will coordinate up to three community dialogue meetings to inform its water planning decisions. The goal of the meetings will be to provide safe, productive and effective venues for citizens to become authentically engaged in the water planning process. The outcome of this Civic engagement work with Chisago County and their county water planning process will be a more engaged public in the County Water Planning Process.
This project will support the necessary activities for improving the water quality and biological community by reducing nutrients, sediment levels and managing in-stream habitat within the Goose Creek 10-digit HUC Watershed. This restoration and protection plan will identify pollutant load reduction estimates and management strategies that will be used to obtain the TMDL goals outlined in the plan.
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.
This project will provide baseline data through water monitoring, recording and analyzing the results of six unassessed rivers/tributaries, three unassessed lakes and five storm water outlets in the city of Mora which drain to the Snake River; promote and implement approved BMP’s.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
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.
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 Sunrise Watershed is a high priority subwatershed of the St. Croix River. Chisago County, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), the MPCA and several additional cooperators will complete a study of the Sunrise River Watershed. The goal of the study is to develop a watershed-based plan and strategies for water quality and aquatic ecosystem management, restoration and protection. Once completed, the study will provide input to the development of the TMDL and Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan for the Sunrise Watershed.
This project will complete a chloride management plan which will lay out a strategy for addressing chloride impacts to our surface waters for the 7-county metropolitan area. This chloride management plan will satisfy EPA requirements for impaired waters, address waters not yet listed, and develop a strategy to protect waters that are currently meeting the water quality standards.