Many of Minnesota's wetlands have been lost and the remainder degraded. Recent tiling and ditching have accelerated this situation. Through this program, shallow lakes and wetlands were designed, constructed, and intensively managed to benefit wetland wildlife and Minnesota residents. Habitat accomplishments from this proposal have enhanced 19,365 acres of wetlands and shallow lakes to benefit waterfowl and wetland wildlife. Work was accomplish through constructed infrastructure, cattail control, and a significant prescribed wetland burn.
This phase of WMA acquisition protected 1802.55 acres of prairie grassland, wetland, and other wildlife habitat as State Wildlife Management Areas open to public hunting. With these 16 acquisition we have exceeded our planned acres of 1362 by more than 400 acres. Breaking down acres by ecological section we acquired 282 acres in the metro and 1520 acres in the prairie. We have a balance of $52,798 of grant funds and $81,837.48 in program income that will be returned despite exceeding our acre goals.
The Anoka Sand Plain Partnership restored / enhanced 3,714 acres of priority prairie, savanna, forest, wetland, and shoreline habitat on public lands and waters within the Anoka Sand Plain EcoRegion within the Metropolitan Urbanizing, Forest-Prairie, and Northern Forest regions. Total R/E acreage achieved over the course of the appropriation is 126% of our stated acreage goals, and was accomplished through a robust partnership of four direct recipients improving a total of 16 priority sites including WMAs, state forest, national wildlife refuges, city and county lands.
Protect approximately 270 acres and restore approximately 50 acres near the Cannon River headwaters, including wetlands, prairies, Big Woods forest, and river & shallow lake shoreline to reverse habitat loss, improve watershed function and provide access.
A cooperative study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Health to assess groundwater and surface-water interactions in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), including White Bear Lake. An important product of the study was the creation of a groundwater-flow model focused on the northeast TCMA. The groundwater flow model is available for future use to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels as well as to describe other groundwater and surface-water interactions.
Mississippi River Regional Trail. MnDOT identified and supported Mississippi River Regional Trail connection from Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul to the Mississippi River Trail in Dakota County. Design, engineering and construction for a combine
Grass Vadnais Lakes Regional Park, design and construct trail on east side of Vadnais Lakes, new bituminous trail and parallel turf trail; site and restoration improvements; improve storm water management; and site amenities.
With this appropriation, the DNR enhanced and restored over 11,700 acres of public lands or permanently protected private lands under easement. Projects under this appropriation included prescribed fire, prescribed or conservation grazing, woody removal, and enhancing plant diversity. With this appropriation we were able to exceed our target acreage by 38 percent.
Our program will coordinate with partners emphasizing Prairie Conservation Plan implementation through fee title acquisition of priority lands for Wildlife Management Areas and Scientific & Natural Areas for public hunting, trapping and compatible uses consistent with the Outdoor Recreation Act.
DNR modified six dams to allow fish passage and enhanced in stream habitat on two rivers with this appropriation. Also, habitat enhancement project were completed on 28 Aquatic Management Areas and three metro parks, totaling 1,002 acres. Stream habitat work for this appropriation and LSOHC-funded projects from other appropriations was aided by funding for a stream restoration coordinator and interns. These positions aided in public outreach, survey work, design, permitting, contracting, and coordination with project partners on these complex projects.
Building on the exhibit development community engagement process carried out through four successive Legacy grants, the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota will use the 2014-15 direct appropriation to complete fabrication and installation of several exhibit components for its permanent facility. Local resources, volunteers, and community involvement will be combined with museum expertise to complete this process.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with S.E.H. consultants, evaluated water supply approaches to serve the northeastern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. A subregional study areas was selected based on the indication of potential problems with the long-term sustainability of current water supplies, as well as expressed interest by community stakeholders.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. Three projects are underway to identify the advantages and disadvantages of combining water supply systems, using new water supply sources such as treated water from Saint Paul Regional Water Services or raw water from the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers, and optimizing groundwater pumping to protect water levels in White Bear Lake and other lakes across the northeast metro.
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.
Minnesota’s use of groundwater has increased over the last two decades. An increasing reliance on groundwater may not be a sustainable path for continued economic growth and development. The DNR is establishing three pilot groundwater management areas (GWMA) to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future groundwater needs associated with economic development.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), are exploring opportunities for water conservation by businesses in the eleven county metropolitan area. This program began by defining opportunities for water conservation for three businesses through the dedicated resources of three MnTAP interns. The interns analyzed water conservation opportunities through full time work on site over the summers of 2014 and 2015.
The University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) identified opportunities for industrial water users in the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area (N&E Metro GWMA) to reduce their water consumption as part of the Department of Natural Resources strategies under the GWMA plan. The source of water in this delineated region is almost exclusively groundwater. Several approaches were used for this effort in order to reach, inform, and interact with a broad range of industrial users.
This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.
In Phase 5, Friends of the Mississippi River and Great River Greening enhanced 277 acres at six sites, exceeding their goals by 48 acres (21%). The Minnesota Valley Trust acquired fee title to 32.4 acres for two high-priority additions to the Rapids Lake Unit, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The Minnesota Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land were unable to finalize their easement and fee title acquisitions when landowners changed their minds. OHF grant funds spent were leveraged more than 110% with $1,343,128 in other funds.
The DNR has been charged by the legislature to develop rules that protect and manage the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) for natural resource, economic development, transportation, historic preservation, and other values. This project engages stakeholder groups in a public process to balance regulatory protections with local flexibility and control.
This appropriation allowed the permanent protection of 887 acres in western Minnesota. These properties included 664 acres of remnant native prairie, 76 acres of associated wetlands complexes, and 8,500' of streamfront. For this phase we originally planned to protect 740 acres with a minimum of 375 native prairie. Both targets were exceeded - 120% of total acres and 177% of native prairie acres.
This project restored and enhanced 165 acres of prairie & woodland habitat along the Mississippi and Rum Rivers. Outcomes include increased plant diversity and habitat for game and non-game species and is beneficial to migratory waterfowl on the Mississippi River flyway as well as to pollinators and resident wildlife.
Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.
As the Metropolitan Council updated the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan, stakeholders asked the Council to consider the sustainable limits of the region’s water sources. The Council’s most important analytical tool is a regional groundwater flow model (Metro Model 3), which can be used to quantify the long-term regional impacts caused by hundreds of independent groundwater appropriations.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with HDR Engineering, Inc. consultants, will evaluate a variety of approaches to develop sustainable water supplies across the metro area. Subregional study areas are being selected where multiple communities face potential problems with the long-term sustainability of current water supplies, and where community stakeholders have expressed interest in learning more about sustainable water supply options.
This project restored and enhanced rare and unique plant and animal communities identified by the DNR's County Biological Survey. Over 293 acres of prairie, forest, wetland were restored and enhanced. Ultimately, the county was able to approach or exceed the goal of 20% increase in diversity across all three habitats based on plant surveys conducted.
Lilydale-Harriet Island Regional Park. Continued phased implementation of approved Lilydale Regional Park Master Plan elements that may include such amenities as construction of approx. 3,000 lineal feet of roadway, trail, and related facilities. Lilydale
This Legacy grant will focus on the too-often neglected local school districts that have generally not participated in the CDM SSP at the same level as distant schools in surrounding counties. A new CDM interactive exhibit is badly needed to draw back visitors who have been looking for something new at the Museum for children.
The St. Croix River is one of the most pristine, large river ecosystems remaining in the upper Mississippi River System. Washington County, in partnership with the City of Stillwater, is using this appropriation to acquire 15 acres containing 3,500 feet of St. Croix River shoreline just north of downtown Stillwater and parallel to the Brown’s Creek State Trail. The land will be turned into a local nature park for trail users, river users, tourists, and area residents with passive recreation including fishing, boat launching, walking, and picnicking.