This project will accelerate production of County Geologic Atlases (part A). An atlas is a set of geologic maps and associated databases for a county that facilitate informed management of natural resources, especially water and minerals.
“Acquiring Land and Creating Opportunities - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘create new and expanded park and trail opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones’.The purpose of this program is to call attention to the pillar, but also to centralize and streamline reporting on other related programs within the pillar.
Strategic planning efforts guide the expenditure of Legacy funds towards desired outcomes which are derived from public and stakeholder input, research, analysis and input from a variety of experts and leadership. Parks and Trails planners conduct these efforts. Staffing levels were adjusted to complete this legacy work. Legacy funds have also substantially increased the numbers of projects completed each year. Design and project management levels of work have increased correspondingly. Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Parks and Trails staff conduct these efforts.
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 complete a Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan for the watersheds of Big Sandy and Minnewawa Lakes. This restoration plan will provide pollution reduction and watershed management strategies that are developed with input from stakeholders in the watersheds.
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.The DNR's role in Minnesota's new buffer law is to produce a statewide map of public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers. The DNR is scheduled to produce these maps by July 2016.
The goal of this project is to develop and complete the Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) process and report, while also enlarging and sustaining a public participation process that encourages local ownership of water quality problems and solutions (civic engagement).
“Connecting People to the Outdoors- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.’The purpose of this program is to call attention to the pillar, but also to centralize and streamline reporting on other related programs within the pillar.
The Division of Parks and Trails (as directed by Chapter 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(c)) utilizes Conservation Corps of Minnesota services for restoration, maintenance, and other activities that supplement the ability to reach Legacy Fund goals. Budget associated with this program area capture an accounting of dollars that support CCM Summer Youth, Individual Placements, and special projects for park and trail renewal and development. Other dollars not accounted for in this program area are part of other PAT program areas and included as part of those budgets.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to develop County Geologic Atlases to convey geologic and hydrogeologic (groundwater) information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, as well as private organizations and citizens. The MGS focuses on geology (Part A reports) and DNR focuses on groundwater (Part B reports).These studies provide information about the region’s geology and groundwater’s presence, direction of flow, natural quality, age, and pollution sensitivity.
This project will provide fiscal resources for South St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District (SSLCSWCD) to participate and lead efforts to attain geomorphic data sets, dissolved oxygen assessments, culvert inventory, and civic engagement activities in three major watersheds, Nemadji River, South Lake Superior and St. Louis River. This work is currently being worked on as a part of the MPCA’s Watershed Restoration and Protection Planning efforts.
This project will construct, calibrate, a set of HSPF watershed models covering the entire area of the Lake of the Woods drainage, including the Rainy River watershed. The consultant will produce HSPF models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will clearly demonstrate that these models generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will complete a TMDL equation and report and an implementation plan for Deer Creek. The TMDL report will describe turbidity impacts to aquatic life uses of Deer Creek, correlate turbidity to other pollutants (sediment, suspended solids, etc.), describe and quantify unique turbidity/sediment stressors which include groundwater influences, legacy impacts of the watershed and stream channel, significant in-stream and near stream sources (slumps, bank erosion, etc.) and upland contributions.
Ballast water - water carried in tanks on ships to help provide stability and aid steering - is likely the single greatest source for introduction of non-native and invasive aquatic species. Ballast water is collected in one body of water and discharged into another body of water, usually large distances apart. At least one new invasive species is found in the Great Lakes every year, with Lake Superior being particularly at risk. Scientists from the U.S.
This project will support Minnesota's condition monitoring strategy through the collection of water quality data on streams and rivers in the Nemadji River watershed. The Nemadji River watershed is located in southeastern Carlton County and northeastern Pine County. Water quality samples will be collected primarily during weather-related events that affect stream flow such as snowmelt and rainfalls.
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.
The goal of this project is to supplement and refine the Deer Creek Watershed TMDL Report and Implementation Plan project with detailed determinations of critical source areas and prioritization of the associated management practices, facilitated by additional meetings with local resource managers and validated with a field survey. Completed work will more fully inform the TMDL report and TMDL implementation plan on critical source areas of sediment and quantify those sources.
The goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate three HSPF watershed models. The project will result in HSPF models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The models are expected to generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
The goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate five Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models. The outcome will be HSPF models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. These models will generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project involves the water quality monitoring of, and data analysis for four major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) in the Rainy River Basin. This monitoring will assist in providing the water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads for the Major Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (MWPLMN) and provide short term data sets of select parameters to other Agency programs.
Project between Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and United States Army Corp of Engineers at Knowlton Creek Watershed to address a large amount of sediment deposited into the St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC).
The Koochiching County SWCD staff will collect water chemistry and field parameters at specific times to determine amount of contaminant load into each stream. These sites will coincide with locations where stream flow data is also being collected. This project will focus on watershed load monitoring in both the Big Fork and Little Fork River watersheds.
The Lake Superior Beach Monitoring and Notification Program exists to test recreational beach water and notify the public if bacteria levels become unsafe. This project will expand the Beach Program to include additional outreach efforts, sanitary surveys and testing of new technologies to improve the Beach Program. Monitoring results will be used to inform the public, find the sources of bacterial contamination and address polluted runoff from improper waste disposal.
This project will create a high accuracy elevation dataset - critical for effectively planning and implementing water quality projects - for the state of Minnesota using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and geospatial mapping technologies. Although some areas of the state have been mapped previously, many counties remain unmapped or have insufficient or inadequate data. This multi-year project, to be completed in 2012, is a collaborative effort of Minnesota's Digital Elevation Committee and partners with county surveyors to ensure accuracy with ground-truthing.
The Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) is an ongoing effort begun in 1987 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that is systematically surveying, county-by-county, the state's natural habitats. The effort identifies significant natural areas and collects and interprets data on the status, distribution, and ecology of plants, animals, and native plant communities throughout the state. Through 2009 surveys have been completed in 74 of Minnesota's 87 counties and have added nearly 17,000 new records of rare features to the DNR's information systems.
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.
This project will define the major factors causing harm to fish and other river and stream life within the Nemadji watershed. Stressor identification is a formal and rigorous process to identify these factors, explain the linkages between the results of biological monitoring and water quality assessments, and organize this information into a structure of scientific evidence that supports the conclusions of the process. Stressor identification is a component of the Watershed Restoration and protection (WRAP) approach.
Minnesota Clean Water Funds will be used to complete a paleolimological study of the St. Louis River Estuary for the purpose of providing information critical to removing Beneficial Use Impairments in the St. Louis River Area of Concern. This project will reconstruct the biological (algal load and composition), geochemical (organic and inorganic), sediment, and mercury chronology to identify historical temporal and spatial variations in the St. Louis River Estuary in order to better understand the natural and anthropogenic drivers related to beneficial use impairments for the St.
Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and minerals and is commonly found in groundwater throughout much of Minnesota. The occurrence and distribution of arsenic in groundwater is difficult to predict. Research is steadily increasing our understanding of the mechanisms and geologic conditions that determine arsenic occurrence in groundwater. The arsenic concentration in a new well, measured at the time of construction, is sometimes higher or lower, compared to subsequent sampling results.
This project will augment data collection efforts for the Lake Superior South, Cloquet, St. Louis River, and Duluth Urban Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) projects. Activities include: attaining datasets for watershed stressors and geomorphic conditions, water quality gap monitoring, and civic engagement. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been collaborating with the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to complete WRAPS related technical and civic engagement work in the Lake Superior basin for the past five years.
The St. Louis River Area of Concern (SLRAOC) conservation partners are focused on removing Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) in the estuary and eventually delisting the SLRAOC. Cooperative efforts between multiple resource agencies and regional stakeholders have identified a host of restoration objectives, developed project support activities, and partially secured funding that includes a state commitment through the Minnesota Clean Water Fund.