Contact: Celi Haga
St. Paul, Minn.— Restored shorelines, blooming raingardens, clearer lakes – throughout Minnesota these projects speak to the work being done to improve and protect our state’s natural resources thanks to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced another wave of Clean Water Fund grants, more than $11 million to help local governments put more projects in the ground that benefit Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.
BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said these projects are helping the state make progress toward its water quality goals. “Using sound science and the expertise of local government conservation staff, these projects are prioritized and targeted to make the most effective use of Clean Water Fund dollars. This work, and the state, local and private landowner partnerships that supports it, will continue to move Minnesota forward.”
The Clean Water Legacy funds are used to both protect at-risk waters and target polluted waters throughout the state. Gully stabilizations, basins that slow down water, stormwater control, and raingardens are just some of the practices used in this year’s projects. This round includes six Multipurpose Drainage Management grants, new to the program this year, which focus on water quality improvements in public drainage systems.
BWSR funded 64 applications totaling $11.7 million dollars this round, but interest in this program continues to outpace available funding. 133 applications were received, totaling $31.4 million in requests.
Southern Minnesota projects include work to reduce runoff and pollutants from entering Lake Wakanda and the Cedar River; sediment reduction to the Zumbro River, and installation of other conservation practices throughout the region’s lakes, rivers, and streams to improve water quality.
Some specific project examples are:
Blue Earth County: Blue Earth Soil and Water Conservation District, 374,500
This project proposes to reduce phosphorus and sediment entering Crystal Lake, which is impaired for nutrients, through best management practices like nutrient management, cover crops, conservation tillage, and more. The suite of practices for this project will reduce sedimentation by 1,600 tons per year.
Dodge County: Dodge Soil and Water Conservation District, $50,625
This project will install nine saturated buffers in priority areas along the Mississippi River basin. Nitrogen is a serious problem in the area, and these practices will reduce levels by an estimated 1.35 tons a year.
Fillmore and Houston Counties: Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District, $804,385
This project will install conservation practices like grassed waterways, feedlot runoff control, and more to reduce nutrients and sediment from entering the Root River. It is estimated that this project will achieve a 20% reduction in sediment and phosphorus through the efforts of this project in the Willow Creek sub-watershed.
See how the Legacy funds are affecting the land and waters important to you. For detailed project information and maps visit www.bwsr.state.mn.us.