Through the Mustinka River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy high priority locations have been identified as critical areas to reduce sediment from agricultural fields. The goal of this project is to target one of the areas that is of high concern, the watershed of Traverse County Ditch 37. This effort intends to begin a program to install side inlets and erosion control berms along the ditch with the goal of reducing the sediment load by 340 tons of sediment per year.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure, and is not duplicated by any other source of funding. The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses. Funds are used for proven practices that prevent non-point source water pollution or solve existing water quality problems.
The goal of this project is to address public comments on the public noticed draft Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) study and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report for the watershed, and to produce a final draft WRAPS study and TMDL report ready for final approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a Joint Powers Agreement with Wadena County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Wadena County SWCD is partnering with 13 counties that make up the "Central Sands" region.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
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.
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 goal of this project is to develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan (WRAPS) to be used at the local level. It will increase the number of citizens participating in education and outreach events; foster information and idea exchange around watershed issues through relationships and social networks; involve community members in crafting civic engagement activities/plans in which they feel ownership and desire to implement; and promote awareness, concern, and watershed stewardship to community organizations/institutions.
This project will address United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) comments on the Preliminary Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) comments on the pre-public notice draft Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and produce Public Notice Draft TMDL study and Public Notice Draft WRAPS report ready for public review and comment.
The Nitrogen Rate Study on Coarse-Textured Soil (N Rate Study) was done in 2015-2018 by the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Central Lakes College (CLC) at CLC’s farm in Staples, MN. The study examined nitrogen fertilizer rates for corn on sandy soil—with and without irrigation. The study specifically considered potential nitrogen loss from dryland corn versus irrigated corn and was established after the U of M released new nitrogen rate guidelines in early 2015.
The Otter Tail River is located in west-central Minnesota. Its Lower Otter Tail River (LOTR) reach is impaired for sediment. The LOTR begins at the dam of Orwell Reservoir near Fergus Falls and ends 48 river miles downstream at the confluence with the Bois de Sioux River at Breckenridge. No point sources contribute directly to the LOTR. Consequently, the turbidity impairment must be addressed through non-point measures. Current stream instability and bank erosion is largely a result of an 18-mile channel straightening completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s.
This restoration and protection project will reduce the loading of sediment to the Otter Tail River by 440 tons/year. This is about 6.5% of the total reduction needed to meet the goals of the Lower Otter Tail TMDL Implementation Plan. The Otter Tail River downstream of Orwell Dam is impaired due to sediment, with stream bank erosion being the primary contributor. This stream bank restoration will include the installation of woody toe debris benches and the installation of a vegetated slope along a 1,400 foot reach of the river.
The Otter Tail River is impaired for turbidity. This project involves the installation of 45 side-inlet structures into Wilkin County Ditch 3-2 and 7-1 and 22 acres of buffer strips along the entire systems. Eleven miles of continuous berm will also be constructed along the ditch. When installed these water quality practices will become a permanent part of the ditch system and will be maintained by the ditch authority. These ditches outlet to the Otter Tail River just upstream from Breckenridge, MN. Together these water quality BMPs will reduce sediment loading by 1,375 tons/year.
The goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate a Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Otter Tail watershed. The contractor will produce a HSPF watershed model application(s) that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). The contractor will clearly demonstrate that this model generates predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen that are consistent with available sets of observed data.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
PROJECT GOAL: Improve agricultural production and reduce flooding losses while minimizing the unwanted environmental impacts of subsurface drainage.
PROJECT OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate controlled tile drainage as a flood mitigation practice as well as the water quality and quantity benefits. The project is intended to set an example to increase the adoption of drainage water management practices in the Red River Valley.
Controlled drainage and a saturated buffer are both being evaluated as part of this project.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during the contract period. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
This project is for Minnesota Legislative Clean Water Fund funding to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, to work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and to organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data all for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working with partners at the Rosholt Research Farm in Westport, Minnesota to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices and the associated water quality impacts on irrigated, sandy soils.
Seal wells on private property; Educate businesses about proper tank management; Provide DWSMA map to MPCA tank units; Above ground storage tanks - updated rules and regulations; educate businesses; Provide DWSMA map to road authorities; WHP education and
The Bois de Sioux Watershed District intends to begin a program to repair the legal ditches it owns and maintains for the purpose of improving water quality within the watershed and downstream receiving waters. The intent of this effort is to complete a pilot project to a legal ditch system that is in disrepair and use it as an example to educate landowners along other legal ditches on the importance of water quality. This pilot project consists of the construction of berms and side inlet culverts for sediment control along Traverse County Ditch #17 (TCD 17) and its single branch (B1) .
This project will extend the simulation period for the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Crow Wing, Redeye, Long Prairie, Sartell, Sauk, St. Cloud, and Crow watersheds, and review and comment on the calibration.
This project will extend, calibrate, and validate watershed models using the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Mississippi Headwaters, Leech Lake, Pine, and South Fork Crow Watersheds.
The Whiskey Creek Watershed is the largest subwatershed in the Upper Red River of the North drainage, encompassing 165.63 square miles in Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties. This watershed contains the headwaters of the Red River of the North, which begins in far west central Wilkin County, an area of mixed residential and agricultural land use. The cities of Breckenridge, Minnesota and Wahpeton, North Dakota, as well as the small town of Kent are within the watershed.