The Rock County Soil and Water Conservation District/Land Management will build upon terrain analysis products developed by a Rock River Watershed 2013 BWSR grant and extend the data products to include additional water quality, Best Management Practices (BMP) suitability, BMP effectiveness, and BMP value datasets. This project will also extend this analysis to the remainder of Rock County, specifically Mud Creek, Beaver Creek and Split Rock Creek which are all listed for turbidity impairments.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 13 local governments with funds to complete 143 projects. More information is available in the detail reports below.
Numerous studies have shown that stream bank erosion can be a significant contributor to the decline of water quality in the Rock River. The Clean Water dollars provided for this project assisted in three stream bank projects that address the turbidity (muddiness) impairment of the Rock River and bring the river closer to the level of water quality required for the EPA Clean Water Act.The $25,000.00 of Clean Water dollars were successful in leveraging $30,000 of US Fish and Wildlife funding as well as $20,000 of landowner and SWCD investment.
The Rock River is classified as impaired for bacteria and turbidity by the EPA. Local citizens and farmers assisted in writing an Implementation plan that lists stream bank stabilization and city storm water management as priority implementation strategies to address these impairments of the Rock River.The Clean Water Fund grant provides $46,598 for these projects but also leverage over $19,000 of US Fish and Wildlife dollars along with over $13,000 of local match from the landowners.
The Rock River Watershed encompasses runoff from the four counties of Rock, Pipestone, Murray and Nobles. The Rock River Watershed, along with the adjacent Elm Creek are listed as impaired by turbidity and fecal coliform. With limited funds available for restoration projects, targeting tools to pinpoint locations where projects stand to have the highest effectiveness are increasingly important.
This project is a partnership with farmers, livestock, commodity and conservation organizations and agencies to install, demonstrate and expand water drainage conservation within the Rock River Watershed. Up to four sites will be chosen based upon local selection criteria, installed and demonstrated to the public in 2013 and 2014.
The Southwest Prairie Technical Service Area 5 (SWPTSA), located in the southwest corner of Minnesota, encompasses 11 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs): Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, and Yellow Medicine. This project will protect natural resources within the three major river basins of Minnesota, Missouri and Des Moines Rivers. The SWPTSA will assist member SWCDs in locating and identifying priority subwatersheds that have soil erosion and water quality issues using terrain analysis.
This program is a part of a comprehensive clean water strategy to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; protect groundwater and wetlands. Specifically the Wellhead Protection Conservation Easement program is targeted to protect drinking water through the Reinvest in Minnesota Program (RIM).