This project will accelerate production of County Geologic Atlases (part A). An atlas is a set of geologic maps and associated databases for a county that facilitate informed management of natural resources, especially water and minerals.
“Acquiring Land and Creating Opportunities - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘create new and expanded park and trail opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones’.
Widseth Smith Nolting (WSN) will evaluate and recommend to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) groundwater monitoring staff prospective sites/locations for the installation of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate contaminant/pollutant concentrations from various sources. Peer will oversee the installation of monitoring wells by retaining a state drilling contractor or preparing bid documents to retain well driller through the Department of Administration.
The goal of this project is to develop a stream restoration opportunities matrix for the Amity Creek watershed, which will prioritize the various protection and restoration options in the watershed for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local partners.
This project is studying the response of certain aquifers to groundwater pumping. Research involves an aquifer test, which is an experiment where a well is pumped at a known, constant, pumping rate; changes in groundwater levels and stream flows in the areas around the aquifer test site are observed while the well is being pumped. These tests help us understand how groundwater flows between aquifers, which are underground rock and sand layers that hold water.
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.
The goals of this project are to develop and implement a stakeholder and public engagement program, update the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Big Fork and Little Fork River Watersheds, develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies for impaired waterbodies, remove naturally impaired streams from the impairment list, develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and to conduct civic engagement activates necessary to ensure project success.
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 data collected in this workplan is the foundation for an accurate TMDL allocation and accurate implementation strategy design. Current and historic phosphorus inputs will be calculated and evaluated as to source. Nutrient and algal history and trends in sedimentation will be reconstructed to identify ecological changes that have occurred in the lakes both recently and historically.
This study will test groundwater and drain tile waters at concentrated animal feedlot opperations (CAFOs) to evaluate the presence of intibiotics and hormones. Samples will be collected from monitoring wells, tile drain sumps, and tile line discharges.
Water samples will be sent to Axys Analytical Services as they are colleced from each monitoring site. A total of 18 samples will be generated in the field by pumping ultrapure water through the sampling system.
“Connecting People to the Outdoors- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.’
The goal of this project is to develop a core team of wastewater professionals and academics engaged in understanding and solving wastewater-related problems in Minnesota, with national relevance. The team will promote the use of new technology, designs and practices to address existing and emerging wastewater treatement challenges, including the treatement of wastewater for reuse and the emergence of new and unregulated contaminants.
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.
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.
The purpose of the project is to fill critical data gaps - this data will provide a foundation for future development of watershed models, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports and the creation of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report.
The goal of this project is to create a contact strategy for community/landowner opportunities, obstacles, and opinions on land management and water quality that will result in the identification of restoration and protection strategies for the East Fork Des Moines River watershed.
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.
Groundwater sample collection and analysis will be conducted for contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) at large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) and rapid infiltration basins (RIB), using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. Results from the ELISA analysis will be reported to the MPCA and used to conduct follow-up investigations at a select number of these sites.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build on local partnerships, and develop a better of understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota.
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.
This project will gather watershed data necessary for the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report to maintain and improve water quality for the Hawk Creek Watershed.
This project will fix problems at the statewide/system level so that all Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) reports and other projects will benefit by saving money and time as they will no longer have to do data reconciliation work.
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.
The Lake Superior Beach Monitoring and Notification Program exists to test recreational beach water and notify the public if bacteria levels become unsafe. This project will expand the Beach Program to include additional outreach efforts, sanitary surveys and testing of new technologies to improve the Beach Program. Monitoring results will be used to inform the public, find the sources of bacterial contamination and address polluted runoff from improper waste disposal.
The main purpose of this project is to provide ﬁscal resources for Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (Lake County SWCD) to be engaged and participate in efforts for civic engagement in the Lake Superior South (LS South) Lake Superior North (LS North) watersheds and lead and carry-out civic engagement in the early stages of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process in the Cloquet River watershed.
This project will dentify critical pathways and areas on the landscape that contribute a disproportionate amount of sediment stressors to selected streams located in LS South and/or LS North HUC 8 watersheds. Unlike other HUC 8 watersheds with one mainstem stream and nested tributaries to the mainstem, LS South and North consist of numerous individual streams flowing to Lake Superior. Each of these streams has a mainstem, tributaries flowing to the mainstem and a surrounding watershed.
The main outcome of Phase III of the project will be the final deliverable of a WRAPS report that will prescribe the restoration and protection strategies for the surface water resources within the Leech Lake River Watershed. The WRAPS will provide the analytical and strategic foundation which will be essential in protecting the surface water resources within this high quality watershed. Along with the development of the WRAPS report, this project will support the development and completion of the MPCA Stressor ID and Watershed Assessment reports to be completed for this watershed.
Appropriations from the Clean Water Fund allow the Minnesota Department of Health to expand and improve the way groundwater and drinking water protection is implemented at the local level. In 2015, $300,000 was allocated to update wellhead protection areas within groundwater management areas. From 2016 onward, funding will be dedicated to the Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS) initiative which will provide groundwater and drinking water information and management strategies on a HUC 8 watershed scale.
“Maintaining Existing Holdings - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan calls this ‘Take Care of What We Have,’ and identifies its purpose to ‘provide safe, high-quality park and trail experiences by regular re-investment in park and trail infrastructure, and natural resource management.’
The goals of Phase I of the Marsh River Watershed (WRW) Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project are to: 1) gather or develop watershed data needed for the development of the WRAPS project; 2) establish project and sub-basin work groups, develop a social outcomes strategy, and develop a civic engagement evaluation strategy to guide the WRAPS project; and 3) begin to identify, create, and organize tools that can be used to determine potential stressors and priority management areas.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is using a watershed approach to protect and restore waters of the state. This approach encompasses all of the 80 major watersheds over a ten year period. The process includes intensive biological and chemical monitoring followed by an assessment report. The assessment results determine which lakes and stream reaches are in need of restoration and which are in need of protection.
This project is to create a contact strategy for community/landowner opportunities, obstacles, and opinions on land management and water quality that will result in the identification of restoration and protection strategies for the Minnesota River Mankato watershed in Redwood, Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood and LeSueur Counties.
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 DNR has been charged by the legislature to develop rules that protect and manage the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) for natural resource, economic development, transportation, historic preservation, and other values. This project engages stakeholder groups in a public process to balance regulatory protections with local flexibility and control.
This project was part of a three-state partnership to test, demonstrate and promote a simple, inexpensive and reliable new system for edge-of-field water monitoring. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm, in collaboration with UW-Platteville Engineering, has developed a low cost monitoring system that can obtain good quality, edge-of-field monitoring data in agricultural settings. By eliminating unnecessary features and assembling components in-house, the prototype monitoring system derives the majority of cost savings with minimal sacrifice in accuracy.