Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
Lake Seven is located in Otter Tail County and is a waterbody of statewide significance, often leading the north central hardwoods forest ecoregion in water clarity. Lake Seven has also been identified by DNR Fisheries staff as one of 77 refuge lakes with the potential to maintain tulibee populations into the future given sufficent watershed protection and the only one in Otter Tail County.
This grant program provides community groups with the ability to make positive improvements, a venue to grow community and identify water quality opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities helps build connections and foster a stewardship ethic. Selecting projects requires community groups to collaboratively develop priorities among the range of water quality impacts. Implementing projects provides a unique active social enviroment that helps build connections and energy to motivate and grow the community into the next project.
The Pomme de Terre River watershed is located in west central Minnesota and occupies a portion of six counties. For many years surface water quality within the watershed has been a concern to local government. In 1982 the Pomme de Terre River Association Joint Powers Board was formed to begin addressing this issue. In 2002 the Pomme de Terre River was placed on the Impaired Waters list for turbidity. This project is a continuation of a 2011 Clean Water Fund project.
A large portion of Otter Tail County has been identified as being susceptible to groundwater contamination from nitrates and other water soluble contaminants. Agriculture is the predominant land use activity in this area. Irrigation in the county has increased in the last few years. With the vast majority of the residents getting their drinking water from groundwater sources, protecting ground is a priority for the county.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.