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 will provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites.
Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek.
Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek,Riley Creek, and Valley Creek tributary to the St. Croix River
The goal of this project is to update existing bacteria and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) source inventory through desktop survey and field reconnaissance to identify and prioritize locations to reduce sediment and bacteria loading to the Clearwater River; then, design and implement best management practices (BMPs) at prioritized locations to reduce loading.
The primary focus of this project is the collection of lake core samples to aid in the completion of lake TMDLs for Dean, Malardi & Fountain lakes. This work will enable completing tasks included in the North Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration & Protection Project (WRPP). Additional data collection is needed to update lake response models. This new data will provide a cohesive and comprehensive data collection for Dean, Malardi and Fountain lakes.
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.
With this appropriation, the Minnesota Land Trust plans to protect approximately 500 acres of critical shoreline habitat along Minnesota's lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams by securing permanent conservation easements and dedicating funds for their perpetual monitoring, management, and enforcement. Lands being considered for permanent protection in this round of funding are located in Becker, Beltrami, Blue Earth, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Otter Tail, Pope, and Wabasha counties.
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.
This project will provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites. Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek. Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek, Riley Creek, and Willow Creek. St. Croix River: Tributary includes Valley Creek.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by MPCA EAO staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities within the described priority watersheds.
Lake Monitoring: Lakes are monitored for nutrients, clarity and other information to provide the data needed to assess the aquatic recreation use support.
This project will establish a web-based permitting system to capture essential water appropriation information. The system will include an online permit application process for water use and other permits. The online system will streamline the permitting process for applicants and significantly reduce staff time correcting and managing permit applications and water use reports that are incomplete or have incorrectly calculated permit fees. The use of technology in the application and reporting process will also eliminate staff time needed to enter data and scan and route documents.
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 project will enhance volunteer monitoring efforts and improve the methods used by area Lake Associations in sample collection, handling and data management. It will also assist these organizations in developing simple, straightforward lake management plans that will carry their efforts well beyond the scope of this project.
This project will collect additional water quality and flow data on tributaries on the South Fork Crow River and Buffalo Creek. Further assessment of these reaches will provide a better understanding of what impacts these tributaries have on the impaired South Fork Crow River and Buffalo Creek.
This project will support the monitoring of reaches where there are data gaps, incorporate new data and relevant data, continue identification of pollutant sources, complete load duration curves, coordinate and encourage participation in stakeholder meetings. The information gathered during Phase IIB will be utilized towards the development of a Draft Restoration (TMDL) and Protection Plan (Plan).
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).
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.