The Beltrami SWCD proposes to partner with citizen and non-profit groups to complete projects that will reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land. The majority of the projects will be in the Lake Bemidji lakeshed which has recently been identified in the WRAPs project as being on the verge of impaired for nutrients. With the City of Bemidji being a regional hub for Northwestern Minnesota and the First City on the Mississippi, there are ample opportunities for citizen involvement and ample opportunities for stormwater improvements.
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.
Itasca County is about to begin their water plan update process, which will be finished in 2017. This plan will be watershed protection oriented following a similar format to what Crow Wing County has done. We are currently in the process of have lake screening reports completed for 38 Itasca County lakes, and we would like to continue this program to add reports for an additional 34 lakes.
The goal of this project is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan (WRAPS) to be used at the local level. It will increase the number of citizens participating in education and outreach events; foster information and idea exchange around watershed issues through relationships and social networks; involve community members in crafting civic engagement activities/plans in which they feel ownership and desire to implement; and promote awareness, concern, and watershed stewardship to community organizations/institutions.
An effective regulatory program is key to the successful implementation of local land use and water management plans. Yet, county, watershed, and other state, tribal, and local agencies charged with enforcement and permit review often work in silos and infrequently coordinate with each other or share information. This leads to higher enforcement costs, conflicts between agencies, redundancy of inspections, property owner frustration, and reinforces negative stereotypes of regulatory agencies.
This project will extend, calibrate, and validate watershed models using the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Mississippi Headwaters, Leech Lake, Pine, and South Fork Crow Watersheds.