Watershed Network News Dec. 22, 2011

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MN Crow Watershed

Dec. 22, 2011

Middle Fork Crow named Watershed District of the Year

The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District received the 2011 watershed district of the year award, presented by the ecological and water resources division of the Dept. of Natural Resources. The award was presented Dec. 2 at the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts in Alexandria. DNR regional hydrologist Ethan Jenzen nominated the district for its effective outreach, monitoring, and work on a variety of projects. "They're very proactive," Ethan told the West Central Tribune. District staff include: Chad Anderson, administrator, and technicians Sara Jacobson and Vanessa Glieden Henjum. The district was established in 2005 to protect and preserve water quality in the 275-square-mile watershed. The office is located in Spicer. The Middle Fork Crow River river begins in Crow Lake near Belgrade in Stearns County and winds through north central Kandiyohi County including the cities of New London and Spicer, and then flows east into Meeker County where it enters the North Fork Crow River at Manannah, and eventually enters the Mississippi near Dayton.
MF Crow open house

Hawk Creek wraps up intensive monitoring grant

The Hawk Creek Watershed Project (HCWP) wrapped up a Surface Water Assessment Grant that covered 10-year intensive watershed monitoring in 2010 and 2011. The next step in the watershed approach will be the completion of a major watershed restoration and protection plan. HCWP will be heavily involved in that process from Jan 2012 - June 2014.

Bio-engineered streambank stabilization

The first bio-engineered streambank stabilization in the HCWP work area was completed in November. The project was on a small perennial stream that has a small watershed. HCWP is treating this as a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of stabilizing streambanks through the use of natural on-site materials, such as root wads and large boulders.

Eagle Lake management plan

HCWP is currently drafting a lake management plan for the Eagle Lake Association. The document will serve to provide the association with a set of priorities that will help to focus and guide their efforts into the future. Several partners are cooperating by way of providing the data that will be included in the plan. This effort is a classic exmple of partnership to accomplish a common goal, as no entity is receiving compensation for this process and we are all working together to forward our respective mission/purpose.

Annual meeting Feb. 8

The HCWP annual meeting will be held at the Kandiyohi Entertainment Center on Feb. 8, 2012.  Meeting registration is at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting set to kick-off at 9 a.m. Speakers include: Shawn Schottler, Heiko Schoenfuss (Topic: Pharmaceuticals in our Waters), Bruce Tiffany ("River-Friendly" Farmer - Redwood County), and Cory Netland (HCWP Coordinator - HCWP Update).

Lower Minnesota WD launches third 10-year plan

The Board of Water and Soil Resources has approved the third water management plan presented by the Lower Minnesota Watershed District. It covers the next 10 years of water resource management in the district. The plan includes management standards and procedures for addressing surface water, wetland, and groundwater issues; and issues related to navigation along the Minnesota River. The District was organized in 1960 by petition from Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Scott, and Carver counties. Over time the focus of the district has changed from assisting the Army Corps of Engineers in improving navigation of the Minnesota River channel, to one that includes the protection, preservation, and maintenance of surface, groundwater, and unique natural resources. This change reflects a shift in the value of resource protection and the expectations of watershed districts. The plan is available on the district's website.

Water quality conversations continue Feb. 2 at Owatonna

A second water quality dialogue has been scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Owatonna Holiday Inn, focusing on water quality in the Cannon and LeSueur River watersheds. It will be conducted similar to the Dec. 6 water quality event in Mankato, when more than 130 farmers, city dwellers, business owners, public servants, and educators shared information and ideas about water quality in the Mississippi, Minnesota, and Blue Earth river basins. The event was well-organized, with facilitators from InCommons leading small group discussion. The evening began with a meal, where a mix of individuals from the various communities could get acquainted. After the meal, lively conversation ensued in a series of concurrent small group discussions. While the discussion was great, a strong consensus emerged that more is needed in terms of communication and building relationships among the diverse groups. The background for the meeting was the water quality studies of the South Metro Mississippi River, Minnesota River, and Blue Earth River. The Mankato Free Press published this editorial: "Begin river solutions with discussion."  For more information, contact Patrick Moore, 320-269-2984.

River Board planning water resource assembly in March

The Minnesota River Board is organizing a steering committee to help plan a Water Resource Professionals Assembly in late March 2012, possibly in Redwood Falls. Possible topics for the assembly include:
  • Progress in the Minnesota River Basin from state policymakers’ viewpoint
  • Prioritization—how to accomplish more with less funding?
  • Open tile intakes—results from recent research
  • County strategies to encourage buffers
  • Effective communication strategies between technical professionals and local citizens
For more information contact Susie Carlin, 507-389-6279, susan.carlin@mnsu.edu.

Clean Water Partnership grant proposals due Dec. 30

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting proposals for Clean Water Partnership (CWP) grant and loan funding. The MPCA expects to grant about $1.2 million for grants and about $5 million for loans this year. Eligible applicants for CWP grants and loans include watershed districts, tribal authorities, cities and counties, joint powers organizations and watershed management organizations. Due to CWP statute changes in the last legislative session, soil and water conservation districts are now eligible to directly sponsor a CWP proposal. There is a $300,000 limit on each grant funding request. There is no limit for a loan request. The due date for proposals is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. Proposals and questions must be sent electronically to the CWP Proposal Mailbox: CWP.Grant.PCA@ state.mn.us. CWP Grants will be administered via a standard three-year grant agreement. Proposers who are awarded funds will be able to begin project work as early as the spring of 2012. For more information, see the CWP Resource Investigation and Implementation projects information on the MPCA website.

Meetings in January for new impaired waters list

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will hold a series of public meetings throughout the state in January to discuss the more than 500 impairments that are proposed to be added to the draft list of the state’s impaired lakes and stream segments.
The meetings schedule is as follows: 
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Detroit Lakes-MPCA Office 714 Lake Ave.
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. St. Paul – MPCA Office 520 Lafayette Road North
  • Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Brainerd-MPCA Office 7678 College Rd., Baxter
  • Thursday, Jan. 19, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Duluth-MPCA Office 525 Lake Ave.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Benson: McKinneys on Southside
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Blue Earth County Public Library, Mankato
The proposed 2012 Impaired Waters list and methodology for listing will be available on the MPCA website before the first public meeting. The list is formally on public notice from Jan. 23 through Feb. 27, 2012. Submit questions, comments or requests for additional information to Howard Markus at MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN, 55155, by phone at 651-757-2551 or email at howard.markus@state.mn.us.

Shaina Keseley new BALMM coordinator for MPCA

The MPCA has named Shaina Keseley, watershed project manager in the Rochester office, as the agency’s Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM) coordinator in the Lower Mississippi River Basin. A project manager with MPCA for four years, her watershed project work has been mainly in the Root River and Cannon River, and more recently in the Whitewater River. Before coming to the MPCA, Shaina worked for almost three years for Lake County in Illinois as a Water Quality Specialist examining the status of the 160-plus lakes in the county. Prior to that, Shaina graduated from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science, with thesis work focusing on ultraviolet radiation effects on algae in the mountain lakes of southwest Montana.Shaina is married with a 2-year old daughter and enjoys spending time outside, preferably next to the water, whether lake or stream. - BALMM  Currents newsletter.
Shaina Keseley

Sibley County seeks grants coordinator for High Island Creek, Rush River

Sibley County is seeking a coordinator for the High Island Creek and Rush River watershed projects. This position will be responsible for managing restoration and protection projects in the High Island Creek and Rush River watersheds. The position is funded primarily through state and federal grants including but not limited to Clean Water Partnership (CWP), Section 319, Clean Water Fund (CWF) and through the development of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports, TMDL implementation plans, restoration activities, environmental monitoring and watershed planning.  Deadline is Jan. 6, 2012 or open until successfully filled. For more information visit the Sibley County website. - Minnesota River Weekly Update

U of M to offer LiDAR training this spring

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center is coordinating development of six training modules on conservation applications of LiDAR (Light detection and ranging). Each module will be taught as a half- or full-day workshop at several locations around Minnesota. Workshop developers and instructors are experts from the University of Minnesota, Dept. of Natural Resources, Board of Water and Soil Resources, and Natural Resources. Sessions will be listed as they are scheduled. For a schedule of workshops, visit the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center website. The six modules will be presented multiple times at sites across the state from spring 2012 through spring 2013. A special two-day session sponsored by the Water Resources Conference will combine the Basic, Hydrology, and Terrain Analysis modules:
  • March 12-13, 2012, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
  • March 14-15, 2012, Central Lakes College, Brainerd.
For more information: Ann Lewandowski, alewand@umn.edu, 612-624-6765.

Conservation Stewardship Program applications

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is Jan. 13, 2012. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012. A CSP self-screening checklist is available on the CSP webpage

In the news

St. Paul Pioneer Press, 12/18/11
Mankato Free Press, 12/15/11
Mankato Free Press, 12/6/11
Star Tribune, 11/29/11


Jan. 4: Near Channel Sediment Forum, Best Western, North Mankato.
Jan. 11-25: Meetings for 2012 impaired waters (Total maximum daily load) list.
Jan. 17: Minnesota River Watershed Alliance, 6 p.m., Ridgewater College, Hutchinson.
Feb. 2: Water quality dialogue, 5-8 p.m., Owatonna Holiday Inn
Feb. 8: Hawk Creek Watershed Project annual meeting, Kandi Entertainment Center, Willmar.
Feb. 11, 2012: CURE annual meeting, Hollywood Theater, Montevideo.
March 8-9: Minnesota Erosion Control Association annual conference and trade show, Grand View Lodge, Nisswa.


Watershed Projects


Watershed Districts


Joint Powers Boards and Associations



Watershed Network News welcomes news from partners about funding opportunities, project updates and events. Email your news to forrest.peterson@state.mn.us.  Please note that the MPCA has switched to a new service, called GovDelivery. To ensure delivery of these messages, please add mpca@public.govdelivery.com to your address book or safe sender list. Please forward this to any other interested parties. Past issues are located on the MPCA Minnesota River Basin webpage
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