The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will partner with citizen groups and nonprofit groups to complete projects to reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land in Crow Wing County's (CWC) 125 minor watersheds. The SWCD will implement a mini grant program and provide competitive grant funds to an anticipated 12 groups. This project will also address CWC Water Plan priorities one, two, and six, which involve stormwater management and sediment control, shoreline buffers, and agriculture best management practices.
Crow Wing County, in cooperation with the municipalities within the County, plans to continue its successful well sealing program that pays 50% of the cost to seal unused/abandoned wells up to a maximum of $1000 per well. The amount of funding requested is $31,000 which is estimated to allow for the sealing of 80-100 wells. From 2012 to 2015, Crow Wing County sealed 65 wells as part of an earlier MDH well sealing grant from the Clean Water Fund. Priority will be given to wells located in or near existing wellhead protection areas.
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
This project will develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report as well as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies where needed. The TMDLs will provide the quantitative pollutant load reduction estimates and a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the impairments within the watershed. Strategies for protecting the unimpaired waters within the watershed will also be included.
Phase 1 of this project is primarily geared towards project planning and coordination among project partners, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan, holding a watershed kick-off meeting, and gathering and summarizing available water quality data.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.
The goal of this project is to conduct water quality monitoring at the ten lakes within the Todd County portions of the Mississippi River Brainerd and the one lake within the Todd County portion of the Mississippi River Sartell. Sampling will be done once per month between May 2016 and September 2016 and then again once per month May 2017 through September 2017.
The Two Rivers Watershed is listed as a high priority in the Stearns County Comprehensive Water Management Plan. This project will inventory the existing public drainage systems and develop a targeting program to measure, prioritize and target the factors causing the water quality problems of Two Rivers Lake (impaired for nutrients) in Stearns County. With public access and a county park on the lake, it is a destination for fisherman in the area.
The primary goal of this project is to examine the calibration and validation of recently extended Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models for the Mississippi River-Headwaters, Mississippi River-Grand Rapids, Mississippi River-Brainerd, Mississippi River-Sartell, Mississippi River-St. Cloud, Leech Lake, Pine River, Crow Wing River, Long Prairie River, and Redeye River watersheds and revise the calibration.
Crow Wing County is pursuing this grant to continue this proven community and landowner outreach campaign by developing new water planning tools and using print and social media strategies to effect a positive change in our watersheds. The County believes that landowners want to do the right thing and has the data to show that when doing the right thing can be presented in customer-focused, fact-driven, easy-to-understand format, they get engaged and conservation gets done!
The West Central Technical Service Area (WCTSA) serves 12 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in west central Minnesota and has been experiencing increased workload due to greater requests from member SWCDs. This funding will sustain a limited-term technician and purchase related support equipment to assist landowners in implementing targeted, high priority practices that result in the greatest water quality outcomes.
Trained staff will help assure the water chemistry data that is collected is of good quality. After the 1 day training events participants will be able to calibrate sonde water quality monitoring sensors in a lab or field setting, deploy the calibrated sonde to collect water chemistry, store sondes properly during non-field season and perform preventative maintenance or simple troubleshooting actions with the help of tech support. This will be satisfied by two different training events held in 2017.