This project will fully fund three Nonpoint Engineering Assistance (NPEA) Joint Powers Board positions in cooperation with the NPEA Base Funding anticipated at $130,000 per year. This will allow a 2nd Professional Engineer to be retained in addition to a Lead Engineer and Technician. This 'accelerated' engineering previously was funded with BWSR Challenge Grants, and an EPA319 grant with corresponding BWSR CWF Matching Grant to handle the high workload associated with the large number of BWSR feedlot cost-share projects approved in South East Minnesota.
This project will extend two Feedlot Technical positions initially created and funded by a FY2011 CWF Feedlot Water Quality Grant that assess and help fix animal waste runoff from small feedlots. The technicians will work with and under the Technical Authority and priorities of the South East Soil and Water Conservation District Tech Support JPB lead Engineer. This project will enable more projects to be constructed resulting in a reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in South East Minnesota and the Mississippi River.
The Cannon River Watershed is a diverse watershed from the standpoint of topography, land use, and land cover, but a central issue of concern is increased sedimentation and turbidity within the river. One of the best ways to keep sediment from entering the Cannon River is to install vegetative buffers on the smaller tributaries in the upper reaches of the watershed. This project is important as it aims to help identify strategic locations where buffers are needed and to assist landowners to install buffers that will directly help reduce sedimentation within the watershed.
This project will provide cost-share funds to landowners in vulnerable groundwater areas for the incorporation of cover crops in their crop rotation and to provide education related to nitrogen BMPs through field trials and Nutrient Management Plans. An anticipated 100 producers in highly vulnerable areas, will plant 3,000 acres of cover crops resulting in preventing potentially 19,800 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
The Lower Mississippi River Feedlot Management in MN project will be leveraging State funding from BWSR to provide match for a United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) Regional Conservations Partners Program (RCPP). BWSR will provide technical and financial assistance to plan and design projects to mitigate feedlot runoff from smaller (less than 300 animal units or AUs*), open lot feedlots in southeastern Minnesota.
This project will assist farmers across Southeast Minnesota by providing guidance on management of nutrient sources including livestock manure, commercial fertilizers, and legumes. This project is important because excess nutrients and bacteria are causing negative impacts to the quality of waters. Two Nutrient Management Specialists will work one-on-one with farmers to develop 70 plans each year. Over time, it is anticipated that the number of new nutrient management plans will decrease as acres with plans increase.
Within an 11-county area in southeastern Minnesota, two Nutrient Management Specialists will work directly with producers to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform runoff into surface and ground water in the region and the Mississippi River. The specialists will help producers create or revise nutrient management plans, implement Best Management Practices for manure and fertilizer use, and set up on-farm demonstration projects to support farmer-to-farmer learning.
The Straight River runs through Owatonna and is considered a priority water resource for the city. Untreated stormwater from city roofs, streets and parking lots are jeopardizing the water quality of river. Through this project, the city will install four rain gardens in city parks that will capture and rapidly absorb stormwater runoff from streets and driveways. The implentation of these rain gardens throughout the city will reduce the volume of stormwater entering the Straight River.
The purpose of this project is to provide a new shared position in southeast Minnesota which will accelerate the adoption of soil health practices by leveraging the existing efforts of the National Resources Conservation Service and other organizations.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Ten of these small communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
Successful long-term treatment of sewage depends on a system capable of providing adequate treatment and effective on-going operation and maintenance. Clean Water Fund Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) Program Enhancement funds are used by counties to strengthen programs dedicated to SSTS ordinance management and enforcement. These funds are used for a variety of tasks required to successfully implement a local SSTS program including inventories, enforcement, and databases to insure SSTS maintenance reporting programs.
The project will develop, adopt, and implement an agricultural erosion control ordinance for Steele County. Project funds will be used to hire a consultant to assist in this endeavor to gather input from citizens, organize meetings and develop a draft ordinance. County staff will assist with organizing meetings, holding hearings, and the formal process of adopting the developed ordinance.
To be able to manage resources in the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Watersheds into the future and have a positive effect on water quality, resource managers need high quality accurate data to support decision making of best management practice (BMP) implementation. Digital elevation data is a valuable resource for modeling water flow, however in its current state it cannot represent water conveyance through features such as roadways. These flow barriers limit the accurate use of data for recently developed targeting tools identifying BMP suitability and effectiveness down to the field scale.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.