All Projects

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Recipient
Shell Rock River Watershed District
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$700,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,127,000
Fund Source

The Albert Lea Lake Management project replaced the previous Albert Lea Lake fix-crest dam with a 3-in-1 structure that included a rock riffle dam, a lake level management structure, and an electric fish barrier. The benefits from this project include improved aquatic and waterfowl habitat, invasive species management, and improved desirable fish populations.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$381,896
Fund Source

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.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$260,000

Over a three-month period in 2010, approximately five million barrels of oil was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and resulting in significant losses in fish and wildlife populations. A number of Minnesota's migratory bird species spend parts of their lives in the areas impacted by the spill and impacts on their populations in the state could become evident over time.

Recipient
DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,550,000
Fund Source

The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program will be managed by the Department of Natural Resources to provide competitive matching grants of up to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national non-profit organizations and government entities.

Recipient
DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$4,000,000
Fund Source

The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program is managed by the Department of Natural Resources to provide competitive matching grants of up to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national non-profit organizations and government entities.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$135,000

Appropriations to non-state entities must be made through a formal contract with a state entity that manages all of the funds for the project on a reimbursement basis. This appropriation to Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) funds the expenses incurred by the DNR in contracting, contract management, and expense re-imbursement for most of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund appropriations made to non-state entities, including both new projects funded during the biennium and existing projects funded in previous bienniums.

Recipient
Three Rivers Park District
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$370,000
Fund Source

The Crow-Hassan Prairie Complex Restoration and Enhancement restored 246 acres of prairie, 28 acres of forest and enhanced 500 acres of prairie within a larger prairie complex totalling 1200 acres.  This is the largest prairie complex in the metro area.  It will provide excellent breeding and nesting habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds, and other wildlife.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$416,000

Minnesota’s natural resource professional workforce is much less diverse than its citizenry and many other professional fields. The benefits of a more diverse workforce are many, including the ability of organizations to increase innovation and creativity, attract higher qualified candidate pools, and ensure services that meet the diverse interests and needs of all citizens.

Recipient
Will Steger Foundation
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$325,000

Climate change has and will have profound effects on Minnesota’s economy, agriculture, tourism, and natural resources. While climate change is often discussed in the broader contexts of its potential impacts at a national or international level, research has shown that climate change education and behavior change happens more effectively when the issue is made local and relevant.

Recipient
City of Silver Bay
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$176,000

New and innovatively designed greenhouse facilities have the potential to provide sustainable food, fuel, and other products year round by utilizing ecological processes and other practices to integrate production of fish, plants, and algae in a low input, self-sustainable system. The City of Silver Bay and researchers at the University of Minnesota – Duluth are using this appropriation to expand and enhance a demonstration greenhouse facility. Refined techniques developed at the facility have the potential to be transferred and replicated at similar facilities throughout the state.

Recipient
MN Wildflowers Information
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000

The average Minnesotan and even most natural resource managers are not skilled in plant identification, yet the ability to positively identify plants is crucial to a number of conservation activities, including identifying areas that need protection, recognizing new or existing invasive species, monitoring restoration projects, and delineating wetlands. The Minnesota Wildflowers project attempts to fill this need with a free web-based field guide ultimately aimed at providing profiles for each of the over 2,100 vascular plant species in Minnesota.

Recipient
National Audubon Society
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000
Fund Source

Floodplain forest enhancement projects were implemented at 10 sites covering 292 acres along the Mississippi River from Red Wing to the Iowa border.  We completed site preparation; controlled invasive species; planted trees and shrubs using a combination of direct seeding, bare root seedlings and large, potted trees; protected trees from deer and voles; completed post tree planting weed control; and installed willow and cottonwood cuttings.  Outcomes varied by site, ranging from poor to excellent tree seedling survival.    

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$103,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$100,000
Fund Source

$100,000 the first year and $103,000 the second year are for Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission capacity building to undertake system planning and provide recommendations to the legislature for grants funded by the parks and trails fund.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,808,000
Fund Source

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.

Recipient
University of St. Thomas
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$136,000

Endocrine-disrupting contaminants such as environmental estrogens have been found and studied in large lakes and streams and shown to exist at concentrations that have adverse effects on wildlife. However, very little is known about the sources and effects of environmental estrogens in small, shallow lakes. Preliminary data suggests that these compounds are present in shallow lakes and have an effect on the survival and reproduction of wildlife. Researchers at the University of St.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$245,000

With only 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remaining, many prairie plant and animal species have dramatically declined. Of the 12 butterfly species native to Minnesota prairies, two species, the Poweshiek skipperling and the Dakota skipper, have already largely disappeared from the state and are proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act despite being historically among the most common prairie butterflies and having their historic ranges concentrated in Minnesota.

Recipient
Itasca Community College
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$112,000

Woody biomass energy systems have shown themselves to offer more locally-based, stable energy supplies for some communities. Itasca Community College is using this appropriation to design a renewable energy system based on woody biomass that will serve as a demonstration and educational tool in the region.

Recipient
Red Lake Watershed District
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$168,000

Since 2000, a diverse group of partners has been collectively working in northwestern Minnesota on one of the largest prairie-wetland restorations in the world. Spanning 22,000 acres and adjacent to an additional 16,000 acres of public and private conservation land, the goal of the Glacial Ridge Project has been to demonstrate whether large-scale habitat restoration is a viable way to reduce flooding and improve water quality. Prior to beginning restoration efforts on the project, a comprehensive baseline hydrologic study of the area was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Recipient
Audubon Minnesota
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

A state Breeding Bird Atlas is a comprehensive systematic field survey of the occurrence, distribution, diversity, and breeding status of bird species within every region of a state. Atlases are mainly used to set conservation priorities, develop conservation plans, and guide habitat protection, restoration, and management efforts – in addition to being useful for recreational bird watching. Minnesota is one of only seven states in the country that has yet to complete a Breeding Bird Atlas.

Recipient
Pheasants Forever Inc
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$100,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use.

Recipient
City of Morton
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$198,000

Morton, Minnesota is home to many unique natural, cultural, and historic sites, including sites from the US-Dakota War and some of the oldest exposed rock, called Morton Gneiss, on the planet. The City of Morton is using this appropriation to develop a municipal site along the Minnesota River in Morton to be converted into a public canoe landing and campground and a trail connection between the Minnesota River State Water Tail and natural and cultural sites in the area including the Morton Outcrop Scientific and Natural Area.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$100,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000
Fund Source

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.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Moose, one of Minnesota's prized wildlife species, are dying at much higher rates in Minnesota than elsewhere in North America. Recently observed increases in mortality rates amongst some moose in northeastern Minnesota have led to concern that the population there may be entering a decline like that seen in the northwestern part of the state, where moose populations fell from over 4,000 to fewer than 100 in less than 20 years. Additionally the specific causes of increased mortality amongst individual moose remain under investigation.

Recipient
The Nature Conservancy with USFWS
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,450,000
Fund Source

This appropriation allowed the permanent protection of 887 acres in western Minnesota. These properties included 664 acres of remnant native prairie, 76 acres of associated wetlands complexes, and 8,500' of streamfront. For this phase we originally planned to protect 740 acres with a minimum of 375 native prairie. Both targets were exceeded - 120% of total acres and 177% of native prairie acres.

Recipient
Red River Basin Commission
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$219,000

Aquatic invasive species are a threat to the ecology and the recreational and economic viability of Minnesota’s water resources. When an invasion is confined to a distinct lake or wetland, local government units will implement localized plans to address invasions. However, when a water body crosses jurisdictions, such as with river systems, to be effective a more coordinated, regional approach is necessary that is more attuned with the natural pathways for invasive species.

Recipient
Friends of the Mississippi River
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Recipient
Fond du Lac Bank of Lake Superior Chippewa
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,800,000
Fund Source

This project prevented forest fragmentation and protected lake and stream habitat in the St. Louis River watershed through the fee acquisition of 2555 acres. 

Recipient
Cass County
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$880,000
Fund Source

Protected 585 acres of forest wildlife habitat in central Minnesota through fee title acquisition of key forest tracts. Title of lands acquired is held by Cass County in Fee.

Recipient
DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,050,000
Fund Source

The Pinelands Sands Aquifer Phase 1 project protected 567 acres of priority forest habitat  in the Pinelands Sands Aquifer including high quality dry pine woodlands to prevent habitat loss, protect water quality in the aquifer, and provide access. Lands protected include 352 acres of forests which will be added to the Badoura State Forest and 215 acres which will be part of the newly established Jack Pine Woodlands Scientific and Natural Area.

Recipient
U.S. Geological Survey
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$394,000

The groundwater contained in confined glacial aquifers provides clean drinking water to many Minnesota residents. An important factor affecting the long-term sustainability of these aquifers is how water infiltrates through clayey deposits of overlying glacial till, which act as barriers to contaminants but also limit water flow and aquifer recharge. Very little is actually known about the properties and infiltration of water through till, which hinders the ability to accurately define the sustainability of these aquifers.

Recipient
Freshwater Society
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$59,000

Many lakes in Minnesota are classified as “impaired” for aquatic recreation and aquatic life as the result of nonpoint source pollution. These impairments can be addressed by the citizens that live by and have a vested interest in these water bodies, but there is often a lack of knowledge and resources to take effective action. The Freshwater Society is using this appropriation to train citizen groups in lake ecology and management in order to guide them in implementing water quality improvement projects for their local water bodies.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$165,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$36,720
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$463,910
Fund Source

Install fishing piers at 20 statewide locations (15 replacements and 5 new) with the goal of improving fishing opportunities especially for people with disabilities, children, elderly and those without a boat.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,540,000

Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state’s ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, and other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.

Recipient
Washington County
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,250,000

The St. Croix River is one of the most pristine, large river ecosystems remaining in the upper Mississippi River System. Washington County, in partnership with the City of Stillwater, is using this appropriation to acquire 15 acres containing 3,500 feet of St. Croix River shoreline just north of downtown Stillwater and parallel to the Brown’s Creek State Trail. The land will be turned into a local nature park for trail users, river users, tourists, and area residents with passive recreation including fishing, boat launching, walking, and picnicking.

Recipient
Deep Portage, Eagle Bluff, Wolf Ridge, Long Lake , Audubon Center of the Northwoods, Laurentian ELC
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$150,000

Over the past several years six environmental learning centers located around the state - Audubon Center of the North Woods, Deep Portage Learning Center, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, Laurentian Environmental Learning Center, Long Lake Conservation Center and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center – have been implementing demonstrations of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy on their campuses for use as educational tools for the thousands of students and visitors that come to the centers each year.

Recipient
DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$950,000
Fund Source

Priority lands were acquired within the Richard J. Dorer State Forest; protecting forests, habitat and providing public hunting, trapping and compatible outdoor uses as well as watershed protection.  This project protected 203 acres of forest land, reduced boundaries by 3720 feet, provided access to 1116 acres of state forest land, and protected 2000 feet of shoreline.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Natural springs occur throughout Minnesota and provide critical services for the state, such as creating trout streams and cool water fisheries, sustaining base flows in streams, creating unique ecological habitats, and maintaining the integrity of aquatic ecosystems against invasive species. In order to protect springs and the groundwater-dependent resources that depend on them, though, it is important to understand spring locations and status – information that is currently lacking in many areas of the state.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$50,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$50,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$40,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$40,000
Fund Source

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) each collect similar information on streams in Minnesota such as water quality, fish species presence, or the quality of fish habitat. For example, the DNR might sample stream fish to assess whether the agency’s management activities such as fishing regulations or stocking are creating good angling opportunities for the public, while MPCA might sample fish to assess whether a stream meets regulatory standards for a healthy fish community.

Recipient
Great River Greening
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Recipient
Wilderness Inquiry
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,093,000

There has been a sharp decline in participation in outdoor recreation and education amongst youth, particularly in urban areas. Some argue that youth who have meaningful outdoor education experiences are more likely to become engaged in environmental stewardship and invested in outdoor resources as adults.