The goals of the program are to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices, identify underlying processes that affect water quality, and develop technologies to target critical areas of the landscape. Funded projects provide current and accurate scientific data on the environmental impacts of agricultural practices and help to develop or revise agricultural practices that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining farm profitability.
This project will quantify and qualify the effectiveness of herbicide treatments and native plant re-establishment at Duck Lake through systematic vegetative surveys pre and post herbicide application and following mid-summer die-off of curly-leaf pondweed. The data and analysis will ultimately be used in the development of TMDLs, implementation and protection strategies for other lakes in the Middle Minnesota Major Watershed.
Michael Sadowsky - University of Minnesota Department of Soil, Water and Climate, email@example.com (612) 624-2706
2008 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
The objectives of this study were to examine ditch sediment and water samples for the presence and numbers of E.coli and to determine what proportion of the E.coli were stable member of the microbial community (i.e. indigenous to the sites) and what proportion were likely transient or only present because of run-off. Researchers used sophisticated DNA technology to determine the potential sources of E.coli present in the ditch sediment and water samples.
The Twin Cities metropolitan area has a rich history and connection with its waters. In an effort to keep surface waters clean, a wide variety of stormwater practices have been developed and installed throughout the metro in recent years. Many of these, such as rain gardens and infiltration basins and trenches, are intended to reduce the total runoff volume by infiltrating stormwater. Six to seven aquifers underlie the metro area and provide residents with drinking water.
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 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 assess the exposure and effects of WWTP effluent on a model vertebrae organism, the fathead minnow. Through a series of controlled experiments, to be conducted on-site of the WWTP utilizing the Mobile Exposure Laboratory Trailer (MELT),SCSU will address (1) onset and timing of acute exposure effects, (2) downstream exposure effects, and (3) reproductive consequences of exposure for male and female fathead minnows. MPCA EAO staff will provide technical assistance and oversight of the project.
The overall project goal is to develop complementary (same year) physical, biological, and chemical data sets for eight agency-prioritized lakes and three streams in NE Minnesota to incorporate into the overall state database for MPCA assessment purposes as well as research purposes.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, is evaluating outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metro region - a subject which has come under the spotlight recently due to concerns related to water quality and quantity issues. In the Twin Cities, 20% of all treated drinking water is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes. The goal of this proposal is to reduce water use in the home landscape by conducting assessments, research, and demonstration around the smart use of irrigation.
Cognizant to the needs of the stormwater community, a group that has engaged in stormwater research at the University of Minnesota (UMN) has developed a research program for the biennium that addresses pressing needs: a stormwater research roadmap and framework for priority needs, research required to improve stormwater pond maintenance, and information transfer related to these needs.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
The MPCA is undertaking a study to investigate the potential effects of elevated sulfate on the growth of wild rice. One high-priority hypothesis is that the conversion of sulfate to sulfide in anoxic subsurface sediment may harm the roots of wild rice, either directly, or indirectly. The goal of this project is To observe and develop an understanding of exposure of wild rice roots to changes in concentration of sulfide and related chemicals over time and space (depth of sediment and distance from roots).
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.
Project outcomes include data that will ultimately allow the MPCA to quantitatively compare the environmental conditions (surface water and sedimentary geochemistry) at sites that successfully support wild rice growth to sites that do not support wild rice. These data, in particular the analysis of the porewater samples obtained under this project, will be compared to the results from a separate project that will assess the growth of wild rice using hydroponic methods.