Watershed Network News - March 28, 2012

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March 28, 2012

Watershed network spring meeting April 25

The Watershed Network spring meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 at the Redwood Falls Pizza Ranch. The planning group met Tuesday to discuss ideas for meeting topics. The meetings for watershed organization staff combine presentations, informal discussion, and networking. Potential meeting topics include: Artificial drainage, civic engagement, total maximum daily load project updates and connections to local projects, and feedback on grant applications. More information and contacts are found on the watershed network webpage. After meeting details are confirmed, a notice will be sent via GovDelivery to this Watershed Network e-mail distribution list.
mn map watersheds

Pomme de Terre to offer citizen watershed academy

A Watershed Academy for the Pomme de Terre River is tentatively scheduled for Thursday evenings, April 19 to June 7 in Morris. Brett Arne of the Pomme de Terre River Association, and Joe Hauger of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, have teamed up to develop and teach a program aimed at getting citizens educated and involved with the Pomme de Terre River watershed.

The eight-week course will help watershed residents learn about their watershed, how it functions, and what plays a role in the processes of the watershed. Each class will address a new topic from the basics to more complex such as geomorphology (how rivers change shape through time), and how water quality assessments are made. There will be activities, guest speakers, and a Saturday field trip to show different land features, monitoring stations, and other physical watershed traits.
The academy is intended for landowners, citizens, outdoor sports enthusiasts, students, and/or anyone else interested in learning more about the water in the Pomme de Terre River Watershed. One goal is to develop a group of leaders who can help educate other watershed residents. There is no fee, but pre-registration is necessary, and opens April 5. Contact Brett Arne with the Pomme de Terre River Association at (320) 589-4886 ext. 109 or brett.arne@stevensswcd.org for more information or to register.
Pomme de Terre paddlers

'Map party' to launch LeSueur watershed project

An open house “Map Party” will be held on Tuesday April, 10, 4-8 p.m. at the Main Street Plaza and Community Center in Pemberton. The public is invited to this free event designed to share maps and information about the waterways and historic landscape of the Le Sueur River watershed. Participants may come and go as they please. Refreshments and hot beef sandwiches will be served. For more information call 1-877-269-2873.
The event is being sponsored by the newly forming Le Sueur River Watershed Project, hoping to find interested citizens who will form a steering committee to help guide the project as it gets off the ground in the coming year. The project will focus on working with local landowners to direct resources to voluntary efforts designed to improve the water quality of the Le Sueur River.
LeSueur kayakers

CROW, partners provide conservation incentives info

Conservation incentives and water quality were the focus of an information meeting March 22 in Buffalo.University of Minnesota Extension educator Brad Carlson talked about the federal Clean Water Act and related legislation affecting agriculture. The goal of the presentation is to provide a foundation of understanding on what is being done and why, and to encourage farmers to embrace technology and adapt it to their operations. In addition, they learned how the process works so they can get involved proactively with the MPCA’s watershed approach to ensure positive outcomes for their operations. Other speakers included: Scott Glup, U.S. Fish & Wildlife; Nicholas Snavely and Fred Bengtson, DNR; Kevin Bergquist, FSA; Julie Reberg, NRCS; Colleen Allen, Wright SWCD; and Dan Nadeau, CROW.

Bluebird Day April 7

The CROW is participating in Bluebird Day, Saturday, April 7, noon-3 p.m. at Gopher Campfire on Lake Byron, seven miles northeast of Hutchinson. Families are invited to bring a hammer and build a bluebird house. Lunch and other activities are being provided.

MPCA thanks advisers for work on Minnesota River report

The MPCA thanked the members of the stakeholder and technical advisory groups for the Minnesota River TMDL project for turbidity at a meeting March 21 in Redwood Falls. “This project is very important because it lays the foundation for implementation. This report sets a clear direction for moving forward,” said Bob Finley, MPCA regional manager.

More than 30 people, representing agriculture, conservation and research, attended the meeting. Participants engaged in informal small group discussion about the TMDL report, and strategies and technologies for reducing the amount of sediment.

Watershed staff attending the meeting included: Doug Goodrich, RCRCA; Stephanie Klamm, Hawk Creek; Brett Arne, Pomme de Terre;  and Megan Ulrich, Upper Sioux Agency; also, Scott Sparlin, CCMR.

A similar meeting is scheduled for March 29 at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing, with a focus on the South Metro Mississipp River TMDL.

Keep in the TMDL loop with River Connections

River Connections is a newsletter with updates on the South Metro Mississippi, Minnesota, and Blue Earth rivers TMDL projects for turbidity. Sign up to receive River Connections. 
March 21 tmdl meeting

Friendship Tour, Fulda Lakes among EI award nominees

2nd Fulda Lake
The Friendship Tour and Fulda Lakes are among finalists for the Environmental Initiative award. Fifteen finalists and six winners will be recognized at the awards dinner Thursday, May 24 at Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis.

Clean Up the River Environment and the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance, Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, in collaboration with several others, have worked together to create the Friendship Tour, a new approach to watershed-based civic engagement that brings together groups that may often disagree to create a shared vision to address water quality issues.

In the Fulda Lakes project, members of the Fulda community approached Heron Lake Watershed District staff regarding the condition of their lakes. The First and Second Fulda Lakes were in dire need of a drawdown and reclamation due to severe algae blooms, loss of rooted aquatic vegetation, loss of migratory waterfowl, rough fish impacts, reduced water clarity, and flooding. Concerned citizens asked for both financial and technical assistance in finding ways to make their lake healthy again. HLWD staff began to identify projects and seek funds for restoration efforts.

The annual awards, established in 1994, honor innovative projects that have achieved extraordinary environmental results by harnessing the power of partnership

Watershed staff news

The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District has completed interviews, and is close to naming a new staff person, who will be filling the vacancy from the departure of Sara Jacobson. Sara has a new job with the DNR as a hydrologist II, working from the department's Hutchinson office.

The Hawk Creek Watershed Project is seeking to fill the coordinator position, vacated when Cory Netland joined the DNR staff in New Ulm. This is a grant-based position, with funding currently available through June 2015. It is the coordinator’s responsibility to secure additional funding to continue the position and the overall mission of HCWP. The application deadline is April 6. To apply send resume with references and cover letter to Wally Strand, president, Prairie Country RC&D Council, 1005 High Avenue NE, Willmar, MN 56201; phone: 320-231-0008 ext. 131 or fax: 320-235-8751.

In the news

Redwood Falls Gazette, 3/26/12
Rochester Post-Bulletin, 3/22/12
The Farmer, 3/22/12
MPCA news release, 3/19/12
Reuters, 3/14/12


March 29: Water quality dialogue, 5 p.m., St. James Hotel, Red Wing.
March 29: South Metro Mississippi River TMDL information meeting, 10 a.m., St. James Hotel, Red Wing.
March 29: Chippewa River Watershed Project annual meeting, Starbuck community center.
March 29: Precision conservation conference, St. Anthony, Freshwater Society.
March 29: Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation Society annual meeting, St. Anthony.
April 2: Pomme de Terre River Association annual meeting, 6 p.m., Old No. 1, Morris.
April 4: Discovery Farms update, 9 a.m., MinnWest Technology campus, Willmar.
April 10: Minnesota River low dissolved oxygen TMDL update, 10 a.m., Mankato.
April 10: LeSueur River Watershed map party, 4-8 p.m., Pemberton Community Center.
April 21: Earth Day festival, Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, New London.
April 24: Minnesota River Watershed Alliance, 6 p.m., Ridgewater College, Hutchinson
April 28: CCMR annual banquet, Lola's Larkspur restaurant, New Ulm.
May 8-10: Art of hosting training, Prairie's Edge, Granite Falls, register at 877-269-2873, dixie@cureriver.org.


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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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