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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and minerals and is commonly found in groundwater throughout much of Minnesota. The occurrence and distribution of arsenic in groundwater is difficult to predict. Research is steadily increasing our understanding of the mechanisms and geologic conditions that determine arsenic occurrence in groundwater. The arsenic concentration in a new well, measured at the time of construction, is sometimes higher or lower, compared to subsequent sampling results.
The Metropolitan Council is working with local partners to evaluate and address potential threats to the Seminary Fen, a calcareous wetland in southeastern Carver County. This rare and sensitive water feature, protected by Minnesota Statutes 103G.223, relies on the discharge of groundwater to sustain a unique and protected plant community. Growing communities near the fen also rely on groundwater for their water supply.
Phase I built the foundation for the South Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and created a civic engagement plan. Civic engagement strategies were identified to create greater communication and watershed activities. Phase II provided the analytical and strategic foundation essential to prescribing protection and restoration strategies. These strategies focus on both protecting current fully supporting and restoring impaired surface water resources to water quality standards in the South Fork watershed.
Stream flow information is essential for understanding the state of Minnesota's waters. Clean water funding has allowed the DNR to expand a network of stream gages that support planning and implementation for clean water protection and restoration. These gages are also used as part of the interagency Flood Forecasting/Warning System. This expanded stream gaging network has also significantly increased the real time data available to recreational water enthusiasts via the internet.
The project will improve water management in the State of Minnesota. The result will be a water management tool that can be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to determine low flow statistics when establishing permit discharge limits and by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to help in water appropriations permitting.
The goal of this project is to develop knowledge on pollutant removal and fate in infiltration Best Management Practices (BMPs). Results of this study will enhance pollutant reduction estimates, inform BMP planning and performance assessments, address groundwater protection concerns, and increase our understanding of stormwater and stormwater BMPs in the water cycle.
The goal of phase 1 of this project is primarily to support organizational planning and coordination among project partners, forming and training a civic engagement team, creating a civic engagement strategic plan, holding two watershed kick off meetings and gathering and summarizing available water quality data. The completion of phase 1 will help provide significant momentum towards the completion of the future phases of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process.
The goal of this project is to gather and collect necessary watershed data for the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Upper/Lower Red Lakes Watershed that includes impairments, their causes, and plans for restoration. Implementation of the WRAPS will maintain or improve water quality for the watershed.
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality.
This project delineates and maps watersheds (drainage areas) of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands for the state of Minnesota and provides watershed maps in digital form for use in geographic information systems. These maps become the basis for clean water planning and implementation efforts.
The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.
The DNR provides technical support regarding the causes of and solutions to drainage impacts, actively engaging with other Minnesota modelers and scientists working on issues related to altered hydrology. We use state-of-the-art models to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practices. This involves collaboration with multiple partners and at multiple scales.