These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in in the 67 counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
This project targets nutrient reductions within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The Benton Soil and Water Conservation District will work with farmers in implementing a variety of conservation practices including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects, riparian pasture management, and nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. These strategies were identified through Total Daily Maximum Load Studies.
Little Rock Lake experiences severe algae blooms due to excess phosphorus and these blooms are the worst known regionally. The goal of this project is to reduce algae blooms, improve water clarity, and avoid risk of drinking water contamination. The project will result in installing one farmer nutrient management project , four cover crops, two lakeshore buffer strips, six septic systems that also demonstrated an imminent threat to public health, six erosion control projects , one wetland restored, and one feedlot runoff control system.
A completed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study has identified mid to late summer phosphorus loading as a significant stressor to lakes and streams within the Big Elk Lake watershed. While this comprehensive study serves its role as the unifying document that identifies pollutants and sources, further work is required in order to develop site-specific Best Management Practices, design these practices, and oversee their implementation in order to reach clean water goals.
The Benton County Water Plan advisory committee has the goal of protecting groundwater resources in Benton County. One of the methods identified is to seal unused wells. In 2013, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District completed an aggressive campaign to identify unused wells. We used several sources to locate potential wells, completed site visits for many wells and collected site information to assisting in prioritizing limited cost share resources.
These funds are being used to systematically collect data and produce statistically valid estimates of the rate of soil erosion and tracking the adoption of high residue cropping systems in counties with greater than 30% land in agricultural row crop production. Designed to establish a long term program in Minnesota to collect data and produce county, watershed, and state wide estimates of soil erosion caused by water and wind along with tracking adoption of conservation measures to address erosion.
This project continues water plan activities from a 2007 Clean Water Legacy grant and initiates a multi-county project to restore hydrology and water quality in an impaired trout stream.The first goal of this project is to reduce the impacts of animal manure and fertilizer on surface and groundwater by installing low cost feedlot improvements and targeted manure management planning.
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 provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites.
Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek.
Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek,Riley Creek, and Valley Creek tributary to the St. Croix River
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.
This project addresses the northeast St. Cloud drainage basin, the highest priority in the St. Cloud Stormwater Management Plan. St. Cloud has observed and documented ongoing sediment loading to the Mississippi River from the 367 acre watershed. The project is also a companion to the Green Roofs Blue Waters program in which several sediment reduction BMPs are being identified and installed along the Mississippi River.
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 project will include lake monitoring on three (3) lakes found in the Rum River watershed in southeastern Crow Wing County (CWC). The project will be conducted in an effort to gain sufficient data on these data-deficient lake sites. All of the proposed monitoring sites are target sites for 2013-2014. One of the goals of the CWC Local Comprehensive Water Plan (CWP) is to establish a countywide Comprehensive Monitoring Plan (CMP).
This project will complete a pollutant source identification and subwatershed information report and support the development of a Draft Restoration and Protection Plan (RAPP). It will also support the devlopment of a Implementation Plan that will identify target areas for BMP implementation for bacteria reductions.
This project will determine the magnitude and sources of pollutants in Little Rock Creek and will estimate the reductions in loadings that are needed in order for the stream reaches to support cold water fish assemblages and attain water quality standards.
This is a legislatively mandated project. In order to receive $1,075,000 in water recreation account appropriations for enhancing public water access facilities in FY 2014 and FY 2015 respectively, the commissioner must develop design standards and best management practices specifically for improving water quality by avoiding shoreline erosion and runoff for water accesses.
The Elk River Watershed Association (ERWSA) was formed to enable Sherburne and Benton Counties to work together to implement Local Water Management Plans. Since its formation in 1994, the ERWSA has primarily focused on working with land owners to reduce non-point sources of pollution within the watershed. Sherburne and Benton SWCD staff have extensive experience installing conservation practices. The ERWSA draws support from Sherburne County, Benton County, and local lake associations.
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 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 Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
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.
Monitoring the health of Minnesota rivers is vital in determining, maintaining, and improving the health of the rivers for the environment and public use. The scope of this project is to collect surface water chemistry samples at designated sampling locations during appropriate time periods and at appropriate frequencies during these time periods for 1 year beginning in February 2015. The data collected and submitted to MPCA will provide information necessary to determine stream characteristics and calculate water quality pollutant loads.
The goal of this project is to refine the segmentation, extend the simulation period, and recalibrate an existing Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Rum River Watershed.
Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on how the type and abundance of certain species in a biological community vary from expected conditions. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) to help determine whether streams and rivers are impacted by water pollution.
Little Rock Lake,in Benton County, is negatively impacted for nutrients. Little Rock Lake is a significant regional recreational lake. Toxins released by blue green algae blooms have been the highest ever measured by the Minnesota Department of Health. Given the importance of this resource and the severity of the water quality problems, obtaining tangible water quality improvements is a high priority in the Benton and Morrison County local water management plans.
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops.
The Little Rock Lake Total Maximum Daily Load study has identified areas in the watershed where phosphorus reduction is needed and what best management practices need to be applied. This is a coordinated implementation effort with Benton and Morrison Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Little Rock Lake Association, the livestock industry and other partners to install best management practices at numerous sites to continue cleaning up Little Rock Lake.
The water quality and recretional value of Little Rock is negatively impacted by phosphorus. One important strategy involves reducing the quantity of phosphorus imported to the watershed through animal feeding operations. Farm management strategis coupled with traditional conservation practices will reduce surface runoff and phosphorus transport from feedlots and fields. This project will assist corporate poultry industry and local farmers to put into practice animal feed management strategies that reduce the amount of phosphorus contained in chicken feed rations.
The Benton County Local Water Management Plan's first priority concern is feedlot and nutrient management. Our objective is to reduce or minimize the negative impact of animal manure and fertilizer on surface and ground water by increasing the adoption of feedlot, manure, fertilizer and pasture best management practices.
The Benton SWCD is applying to use Clean Water funds to work with livestock producers in implementing a variety of BMPs including, but not limited to cropland erosion control projects (water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures), extending buffers where appropriate to exceed state buffer laws, riparian pasture management and conversion to other uses, nutrient management and feedlot pollution control systems. Our goal is to reduce runoff from these sites and improve water quality within the Mayhew Lake and Big Elk Lake watersheds.
This project will provide condition monitoring and problem investigation monitoring at the following sites. Mississippi River: Tributaries include Bassett Creek, Cannon River, Crow River, and Minnehaha Creek. Minnesota River: Tributaries include Eagle Creek, Riley Creek, and Willow Creek. St. Croix River: Tributary includes Valley Creek.
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.
This project will develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report as well as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies where needed. The TMDLs will provide the quantitative pollutant load reduction estimates and a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the impairments within the watershed. Strategies for protecting the unimpaired waters within the watershed will also be included.
Phase 1 of this project is primarily geared towards project planning and coordination among project partners, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan, holding a watershed kick-off meeting, and gathering and summarizing available water quality data.