As part of the City Center redevelopment, the City of Forest Lake partnered with Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) to develop a plan for capturing and treating polluted rainwater on site before it reaches nearby Clear Lake. The City was awarded a Clean Water Fund Grant, from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, in the amount of $382,000 for the project with an additional $95,000 in local matching funds provided by the City and RCWD.
Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District received an $829,000 Clean Water Fund Targeted Watershed grant from BWSR in 2015 to reduce sediment to the Poplar River and ultimately Lake Superior. The Targeted Watershed Program focuses on watersheds where the amount of change necessary to improve water quality is known, the actions needed to achieve results are identified, and a majority of those actions can be implemented within a four-year time period.
At a March 16 press conference at the State Capitol, Governor Mark Dayton announced that the majority of Minnesota’s counties are already 60–100 percent compliant with the state’s bipartisan water quality buffer initiative. The preliminary analysis from the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) came as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the state’s water quality buffer protection map is now complete.