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.
This project is a continuation of Statewide Lake study that revealed the obiquitous presence of endrocrine active compounds (EACs) in many MN Lakes. The initial project findings suggested two potential knowledge gaps in our understanding of EACs and their effects in lake environments. First, the sources of EACs and their entrance points into lakes need to be better defined than was possible in our previous statewide lake study.
This project will utilize a systematic approach to identify principal sources, or “hot-spots”, of sediment contributions and work with individual landowners, county drainage officials, and municipalities to coordinate and implement critical Best Management Practices (BMP’s), establish demonstration sites, and provide education and outreach efforts. This project will also establish baseline watershed data with the addition of site specific information, and determine high priority watersheds. Appropriate practices will be identified and mapped utilizing GPS and GIS equipment and software.
Continued TMDL project to support next phases associated with completion of TMDL's for ten lakes in the Carnelian Marine Saint Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD). Ten lakes are; East Boot, Fish, Goose, Hay, Jellum’s, Long, Loon, Louise, Mud and South Twin.
Common carp, introduced from eastern Europe over a century ago, are an invasive species in Minnesota that adversely affect water quality and aquatic communities, particularly in shallow lakes and wetlands. While solutions for suppressing common carp reproduction and abundance are emerging, controlling the movement of common carp, and therefore preventing reinfestation, has so far proved difficult.
Deep, cold-water lakes have different physical properties and support different wildlife than their more numerous shallow counterparts. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is using this appropriation to conduct a study that will help identify, monitor, and predict the consequences of climate change and land use changes on water quality, habitat dynamics, and fish populations in deep, cold-water lakes.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to develop County Geologic Atlases to convey geologic and hydrogeologic (groundwater) information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, as well as private organizations and citizens. The MGS focuses on geology (Part A reports) and DNR focuses on groundwater (Part B reports).These studies provide information about the region’s geology and groundwater’s presence, direction of flow, natural quality, age, and pollution sensitivity.
The Minnesota County Geologic Atlas program is an ongoing effort begun in 1982 that is being conducted jointly by the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Geological Survey and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The program collects information on the geology of Minnesota to create maps and reports depicting the characteristics and pollution sensitivity of Minnesota's ground-water resources.
TMDL project in the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District that will develop a watershed based plan and provide strategies for water quality and aquatic ecosystem management, restoration, and protection within Sunrise River Watershed. This project will also aid in understanding the Phosphorus loading to Lake St. Croix.
The VLAWMO watershed covers approximately 25 square miles in the northeast metropolitan area in northern Ramsey County and a small portion of Anoka County, Minnesota. It encompasses the City of North Oaks and portions of the Cities of White Bear Lake, Gem Lake, Vadnais Heights, Lino Lakes, and White Bear Township. This project will gather and organize existing data, support the continuation of modeling and TMDL allocations along with an additional stakeholder meeting. It will also provide the completion of a draft and final TMDL report.
The Snake River Watershed Management Board (SRWMB), working in concert with other local governmental units in within the watershed, will assist the MPCA, the project consultant, and other members of the Snake River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) technical team in the completion of tasks associated with this TMDL project. SRWMB, with assistance from members of the technical team (Kanabec Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Pine SWCD, Aitkin SWCD, and Mille Lacs SWCD) will provide the services to complete this TMDL project.
This project will result in the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for turbidity for Deer Creek and the Nemadji River, and will also define which reaches of the Nemadji basin may be meeting standards for turbidity. It will also allow the Carlton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to become a full and active partner in this TMDL study and implementation project as well as future restoration and protection projects.
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.
Ballast water - water carried in tanks on ships to help provide stability and aid steering - is likely the single greatest source for introduction of non-native and invasive aquatic species. Ballast water is collected in one body of water and discharged into another body of water, usually large distances apart. At least one new invasive species is found in the Great Lakes every year, with Lake Superior being particularly at risk. Scientists from the U.S.
Increasing energy conservation and efficiency in residences can play a significant role in Minnesota's goals for energy savings and carbon emissions reductions. The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, is using this appropriation to develop and implement innovative residential energy efficiency programs. Programs will be demonstrated in eight cities: Apple Valley, Austin, Duluth, Minneapolis, Owatonna, Park Rapids, Rochester, and St. Paul.
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.
Overall Project Outcome and Results
DNR spent $140,689 to continue on-site field investigations to accelerate management of shallow lakes and adjacent wetland complexes and support the accomplishments of Ducks Unlimited through HCP 2c and 3c. Temporary field personnel (1 full time and up to 6 temporary) documented shallow lake habitat occurrence and quality. Habitat surveys were conducted on 171 lakes within seven HCP project areas. The lakes surveyed totaled over 82,831acres. The surveys were distributed more broadly than in the past with:
Over the last decade, a parasitic disease, Heterosporosis, has spread to infect fish in at least 20 water bodies in Minnesota. The parasite infects a number of economically important fish, making them inedible. As the disease can currently only be detected in its late stages, little is known about how it is transmitted and how best to control it.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on how the type and abundance of certain species in a biological community vary from expected conditions. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) to help determine whether streams and rivers are impacted by water pollution.
Phase 4 of the Lake Winona Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project will finalize the draft Lake Winona TMDL, dated November 2009, by completing additional data analysis, lake quality modeling, updating the TMDL report, and supporting the public involvement process.
LEQA is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) program to help livestock producers address, using a non-regulatory approach, the unique water quality issues on their farms. The MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to assess different areas of each farms, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an environmental assessment and identify financial assistance for these projects.
This project will create a high accuracy elevation dataset - critical for effectively planning and implementing water quality projects - for the state of Minnesota using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and geospatial mapping technologies. Although some areas of the state have been mapped previously, many counties remain unmapped or have insufficient or inadequate data. This multi-year project, to be completed in 2012, is a collaborative effort of Minnesota's Digital Elevation Committee and partners with county surveyors to ensure accuracy with ground-truthing.
The laws governing the drainage of Minnesota wetlands and other areas have been largely unchanged for more than a century. However, many other laws protecting public waters and wetlands and governing water use have been enacted as concerns about water quality and land use increase. Often these laws conflict. The Smith Partners Law Firm is analyzing the legal and policy issues surrounding Minnesota's drainage laws in order to make recommendations to the legislature on updating the laws to reflect the realities of the 21st century.
The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).
This project will develop databases to manage TMDL activities and track progress. It will also provide assistance to promulgate rulemaking. This project will also support agency operations to review civic engagement proposals from basin and sub basin organizations. Assistance provided to establish a coalition between organizations creating productive environments where citizens and stakeholders can come together to dialogue about issues of concern to them and create their own visions and strategies for TMDL-related change/issues in their communities.
Earthworms are common throughout much of Minnesota, but few realize that they are not native to the state and were in fact introduced from Europe and Asia. Earthworms are invasive in Minnesota and have been shown to have large and potentially irreversible impacts on hardwood forest biodiversity and regeneration. As dispersal by human actions is the primary means of introduction and spread of invasive earthworms, there exists great potential to arrest the current spread of earthworms already present and prevent the introduction of additional species.
This project will provide technical, planning and engineering assistance to the MPCA for the development and implementation of the St. Louis River Remedial Action Plan (RAP). USACE and USEPA in partnership with the MPCA will administer work plans to complete a sediment assessment for Minnesota areas within Superior Bay, St. Louis Bay, Lower St. Louis River and the Upper St. Louis River, encompassing approximately 5,349 acres of the St. Louis River and Estuary.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has partnered with the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) and University of Minnesota researchers to collect information about fertilizer use and farm management. Partners have pioneered a survey tool for characterizing fertilizer use and farm management on a regional and statewide scale. Surveys are conducted over the phone. NASS staff are highly skilled at obtaining critical information over the phone with minimal time and burden on the producer.
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.
Upper Mississippi, North Fork Crow River Major Watershed TMDL Project led by CROW with assistance from local partners North Fork Crow River Watershed District (WD); Middle Fork Crow River WD; Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
Endocrine disrupting contaminants are chemicals that may interfere with natural hormones in humans and wildlife and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects. These chemicals occur in a variety of everyday products, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, detergents, flame retardants, cosmetics, and pesticides. As these chemicals get discharged into the environment, humans and wildlife are exposed. The U.S. Geological Survey and St.
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. The WHAF website strives to make complex issues easier to visualize. An interactive map delivers 27 health scores organized by the five components.
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 to watershed managers and landowners regarding drainage issues. Drainage experts are using a state of the art computer model to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practice. This work is with multiple partners and at multiple scales.