This project will identify and prioritize opportunities to implement a multipurpose drainage management plan that will provide adequate drainage capacity, reduce peak flows and flooding and reduce erosion and sediment loading, improving water quality to the West Branch Rum River.
This grant will fund the creation of a new Coordinator position with a primary focus on the Mille Lacs Lake subwatershed. Although not currently impaired, the Lake faces increasing development and land use pressure. Implementation of protection strategies is essential to the Lake's long-term health but current staffing does not allow sufficient time to be spent on project development and outreach to identify interested landowners.
Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.
Golden Lake does not meet state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. The proposed iron enhanced sand filter basin was identified in the Golden Lake Subwatershed Stormwater Retrofit Analysis to be one of the most cost effective remaining practices for reducing external phosphorus loads to Golden Lake. This project, paired with two previously installed upstream Best Management Practices, will achieve on average, 84% of the phosphorus reduction goal for the watershed.
The Project and Outreach Coordinator will facilitate efforts within the watershed to provide landowner support and assistance in identifying areas in need of conservation plans and best management practices. The coordinator would use the Watershed Protection and Restoration Strategy Report and county water plans to target and prioritize outreach and education to maximize water quality benefits. This will greatly multiply the number of educated landowners in the watershed and increase the number of projects implemented.
The Mississippi River is currently listed as impaired for turbidity. Eroding riverbanks are one of the causes of this impairment. An inventory was completed in 2016 of riverbank condition along 5.8-miles of the Mississippi River that is within the City of Ramsey. In this inventory, ten severe to very severe eroding stretches spanning 27 private properties and 6,550 linear feet were identified. Cumulatively, these sites contribute 5,148 tons of sediment per year to the river.