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.
Twin Cities Metro projects include work to reduce runoff and pollutants from entering Forest Lake, Colby Lake in Woodbury, Northwood Lake in New Hope, and Keller Lake in Burnsville; phosphorus (or nutrient) reduction to the St. Croix River; and installation of other conservation practices throughout the Metro lakes, rivers, and streams to improve water quality.
Some specific project examples are:
· Chisago and Washington County: Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District, $429,284
This project will rehabilitate three wetlands within the Moody Lake watershed, bringing the district to 80% of the phosphorus reductions it needs to meet its water quality goal for the watershed.
· Dakota County: Lower Mississippi River Water Management Organization, $576,000
This project will treat stormwater runoff before it enters Thompson Lake. The WMO estimates that after practices are installed, phosphorus loading to the lake will be reduced by 39%, achieving the goal set by the Total Maximum Daily Load study. The eastern shoreline is within Thompson County Park in West St Paul.
· Ramsey County: Valley Branch Watershed District, $199,000
This project will reduce phosphorus in Silver Lake through a variety of stormwater practices, structural water quality improvements, and more. The District estimates these practices will keep 15 pounds of phosphorus from entering the lake, which is 40% of the current load. This lake borders North St Paul, Maplewood, and Oakdale and hosts Joy Park and Silver Lake Park along its shores which are heavily used for water skiing, swimming, and fishing.
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.