This project will identify and compile existing nitrate data from groundwaters and surface waters in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMB) generally and focus on the Root River Watershed. The purpose is to investigate the quantity and quality of existing nitrate data, and to organize it for use in comprehensive watershed strategy development (including assessment, TMDL computation and identification and study of nitrate sources and delivery mechanisms).
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.
The North St. Louis Soil & Water Conservation District will work with lake and resort associations, chambers of commerce, and various community groups to identify 3-6 projects with maximum public benefit. Potential projects include community rain gardens, native vegetative buffers and shoreline restorations that improve water quality by reducing stormwater runoff, cleaning stormwater before it is released to the lakes and retaining water on the land longer.
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.
St. Louis County's Comprehensive Water Management Plan Update 2010-2020 identifies providing financial assistance to qualifying homeowners to upgrade or replace failing septic systems as a Priority 2 action. Funds from the FY-16 Clean Water Fund Projects and Practices Grant will be used to provide funding to low-income homeowners to repair or replace SSTS identified as Imminent Threat to Public Health (ITPH) within the following watersheds: Lake Superior South, St.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.
Myrtle Lake experiences frequent nuisance algae blooms and does not meet Minnesota state standards for total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a. This has led to questions whether the productivity and condition of the lake has changed over time, what the natural or historical condition of the lake was, what the current trajectory of the lake is, and how to set effective management goals.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will coordinate the collection of high-resolution elevation data for northeastern portion of Minnesota using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems. The geographic area of the work includes Minnesota counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties and that portion of Koochiching County that comprises Voyageurs National Park.
Regionally, nitrate nitrogen concentrations are continuing to increase in both surface water and ground water based on monitoring data. The increasing trends are thought to be attributable to over application of manure and commercial nutrients on row-cropped fields. In order for nitrate concentrations to decrease, nutrient management is needed throughout the basin. Two nutrient management specialists will assist landowners in the eleven-county Southeast Minnesota Area with writing nutrient management plans and implementing conservation practices for manure and fertilizer use.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
The goal of this project is to complete the construction, calibration, and validation of an Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Minnesota portions of three watersheds: Root River, Upper Iowa, and Mississippi River-Reno.
The lack of sewage treatment in some small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes discharging raw sewage directly into the environment;surfacing sewage or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The goal of this project is to investigate nitrate transport and the sources of nitrate in karst for more effective implementation of best management practices that will reduce nitrate concentrations in ground and surface water.
Five locations will be monitored in support of the combined Vermilion Community College and Rainy River Community College 2014 – 2015 MPCA Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Sampling Grant. Water samples, field measurements, field images / pictures, and other measurements and observations will be obtained at each location during each sampling event.
The VRWJPO is pursuing a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project in cooperation with the MPCA in order to better identify the sources of stress and impairment to the river, tributaries, and lakes and evaluate the feasibility of reaching water quality goals, and properly allocating pollution reduction goals to those areas identified as likely pollution sources. Successful restoration and protection outcomes are dependent on successful community building and ownership of both the problems and solutions identified in the WRAPS.
Vermilion Community College will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development objectives of collecting data and completing watershed assessments for the Rainy River Headwaters, Vermilion River, and Little Fork River watersheds. Services will include providing support for field water monitoring, other field sampling and measurements and related field data management, analysis, and assessments in these watersheds.