The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District has been successful in implementing Best Management Practices in certain targeted locations within the county, including the prioritized and assessed areas of Chisago City, Lindstrom, and Center City. However, there are many areas that want to implement conservation projects but aren't within targeted areas. This award will empower community partners, especially lake associations, to award grants for rain gardens, shoreline buffers, and other worthwhile projects to improve water quality.
The Faribault Soil and Water Conservation District will provide mini-grants to conservation-conscious community organizations who voluntarily construct best management practices that provide storage and treatment of stormwater runoff at its source.
This project addresses the northeast St. Cloud drainage basin, the highest priority in the St. Cloud Stormwater Management Plan. St. Cloud has observed and documented ongoing sediment loading to the Mississippi River from the 367 acre watershed. The project is also a companion to the Green Roofs Blue Waters program in which several sediment reduction BMPs are being identified and installed along the Mississippi River.
There are currently more than 21,000 miles of drainage ditches and many thousands of miles of subsurface tile located throughout Minnesota and overseen by over 100 different local drainage authorities. Historically public records of these drainage systems have been maintained primarily in hard copy following differing protocols depending on local requirements. However, this antiquated approach limits the usability and accessibility of public drainage records creating various challenges for drainage management efforts.
This project will install nearly 800 linear feet of restored lakeshore with an emphasis on bioengineering techniques, native plants and locating buffers/swales at points of concentrated overland flow into Green Lake. By targeting properties that are eroding and/or with concentrated overland flow to the lake we will reduce suspended solids discharge by 16,697 lbs/yr and phosphorus by 1.3 lbs/yr.
Past and current monitoring data has shown Ramsey County's Lambert Creek has high levels of total phosphorus (TP), anywhere from 0.14 mg/L to 0.30 mg/L, which is above the proposed State standard of 0.10 mg/L for streams in the Central Region.
This project is a cooperative effort between Crow Wing and Itasca County to contract with RMB Laboratories to generate 65 lake assessment/trend analysis reports. The watershed protection model is an innovative and proactive approach to water resource management which is geared towards prioritizing areas of concern, targeting implementation strategies, and measuring their effectiveness. These assessments are also useful and understandable tools for lake associations and the public.
The Little Rock Lake Total Maximum Daily Load study has identified areas in the watershed where phosphorus reduction is needed and what best management practices need to be applied. This is a coordinated implementation effort with Benton and Morrison Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Little Rock Lake Association, the livestock industry and other partners to install best management practices at numerous sites to continue cleaning up Little Rock Lake.
Many of the most experienced conservation practitioners at local soil and water conservation districts throughout the state are nearing retirement, and with their departure will go much of their practical, on-the-ground knowledge, experience, and skills. Meanwhile, college students seeking to be the next generation of conservation practitioners have knowledge of emerging technologies and other innovations that can improve and contribute to current conservation efforts.
This project engages private property owners in a neighborhood scale effort to install up to 180 stormwater Best Management Practice (BMPs) to protect Lake Nokomis, a water body in Minneapolis impaired for excess nutrients. An analysis of the Lake Nokomis subwatershed identified priority areas for BMP installations based on drainage pattern, land uses and presence of previously-constructed BMPs. The project will install 160-180 BMPs adjacent to alleyways to disconnect residential backyards, rooftops and driveways on 15 residential blocks.
Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.
Capitol Region Watershed District is partnering with St. Paul Public Schools to implement a variety of highly visible Best Management Practices at Central High School that will improve the quality of stormwater discharged to the Mississippi River. A tremendous amount of sediment is discharged from the school annually due to the large impervious areas and lack of vegetation. Implementing the projects will reduce sediment by 86% and phosphorus by 90% over the target area annually.
This project will continue collaboration with faith organizations in priority areas to implement stormwater volume reduction retrofit projects. Priority areas are defined as areas with limited to no stormwater treatment before reaching a water body and/or areas that drain to an impaired or at risk water.