“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 continue to develop, and calibrate/validate the hydrology of an Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Buffalo River watershed. The consultant will add representation of point source discharges to the model. The consultant will compile flow data for the purposes of calibration and validation. An initial hydrologic calibration will be performed and submitted for approval.
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.
“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.
The Buffalo River Watershed Pilot Project is one of two pilots in Minnesota designed to develop a watershed approach for managing Minnesota’s surface waters. The goal of this project is to develop a plan that will guide surface water quality management throughout the watershed.
This project will set water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet Minnesota state standards and are listed as impaired, and recommend management strategies for those Minnesota waters meeting state standards. This project also recognizes that as monitoring continues in the watershed, additional impairments may be identified.
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.
This project will maximize the utility and usefulness of three HSPF models that have been constructed and calibrated for hydrology. The contractor will identify and reduce parameterization errors in the following three HSPF models: 1) Buffalo River Watershed, 2 ) Thief River Watershed, 3) Bois de Sioux-Mustinka Watersheds. This will result, not only in a better hydrology calibration, but will also improve each of the models’ ability to more accurately estimate sediment and pollutant loads and concentrations.
This project will complete the development of two watershed HSPF models for the Mustinka River and Bois de Sioux River watersheds. These calibrated and validated executable models will simulate hydrology at the 12-digit HUC subbasin scale.
This project will finalize the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model construction and complete the calibration/validation process. The consultant will produce an HSPF watershed model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will clearly demonstrate that this model generates predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will determine the condition of the water bodies in the Otter Tail River watershed, initiate public participation in the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) development process, begin identification of potential stressors and priority management areas within the watershed, and begin development of initial drafts of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and WRAPS report.
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 collect real-time parameter data for specific conductance, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and stream flow at the United States geological Survey (USGS) gaging stations located at Fargo, ND and Grand Forks, ND on the Red River of the North; and publish the data both on the USGS NWIS website and in the USGS Annual Report.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.
MN Legislative Clean Water Fund funding to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data all for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
This project will provide MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication/outreach efforts that will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality. The WHAF website strives to make complex issues easier to visualize. An interactive map delivers 27 health scores organized by the five components.
This project delineates and maps watersheds (drainage areas) of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands for the state of Minnesota and provides watershed maps in digital form for use in geographic information systems. These maps become the basis for clean water planning and implementation efforts.
The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.
The DNR provides technical support to watershed managers and landowners regarding drainage issues. Drainage experts are using a state of the art computer model to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practice. This work is with multiple partners and at multiple scales.