Watershed Network News July 2011

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MN Crow Watershed

July 26, 2011

BWSR to announce Clean Water Fund application info

The Board of Water and Soil Resource’s Fiscal Year 2012 Clean Water Fund request for proposals and application process is scheduled to open in early August 2011.  For updated information on the on upcoming outreach sessions to discuss the new application please check the BWSR website, where information will be posted later this week:  http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/training

BWSR summarizes changes in budget for 2012-13

A summary of budget and policy changes for the Board of Water and Soil Resources and partner agencies is located on the BWSR website. Total general fund appropriations for all BWSR programs in the 2012-2013 biennium will be $25,124,000, which is a 10 percent decrease from the current biennium. The Minnesota River Joint Powers Board appropriation was cut by 50 percent, to $42,000 annually. Cost-share grant funds were reduced by 31.5 percent, to $3,120,000 over the next biennium. BWSR's total Clean Water Fund appropriation is just over $55 million for the biennium.

'River partners' featured at Watershed Alliance

The July 19 quarterly meeting of the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance featured presentations from 19 "river partners," a variety of organizations involved in river basin activities. The event at Gilfillan Estates, southeast of Redwood Falls, included a steak fry, and was co-sponsored by the Redwood Area Beef Producers, Revier Cattle Company, Jackpot Junction event’s coordinator, Redwood Area Chamber, Loran Kaardal, the Gilfillan Estate board and the Tatanka Bluffs Corridor board. The fall meeting of the Watershed Alliance normally scheduled for Oct. 18 may be rescheduled to avoid conflict with the U of M water resources conference Oct. 18-19 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The date and location will be announced later.

Chippewa tour shows northern projects

Traveling from the Brandon area, west of Alexandria, to the Twin Cities via I-94 takes less than two hours. Via the Chippewa and Minnesota Rivers, the journey would take a lot longer. The Chippewa River  begins in northern Douglas County among the rolling, often wooded landscape, dotted with lakes and wetlands, far different than the row-cropped prairie of the lower part of the watershed.  A June 16 bus tour with the Chippewa River Watershed Project made 10 stops, showing practices such as rock tile intakes, sediment basins, terraces, manure storage area closures, and shoreline restoration. Midway, a picnic lunch was served at the spectacular Inspiration Peak, just across the line into Otter Tail County. 
CRWP tour

Weather, geography, hydrology in focus at sediment seminar

More than 200 people, about half farmers, attended the sediment seminar June 24 in Mankato.The event, hosted by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition, served as a forum for experts in sediment science, agricultural drainage and resource protection. Presentations addressed climate, streambank erosion, and hydrology. Presentations have been placed on YouTube, with links on the MAWRC website. News articles are listed below.

Nonpoint Source outreach toolbox upgrade released

EPA has released a significant upgrade to its Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox. This new version is available online at www.epa.gov/nps/toolbox/.
 This version includes two important new features, along with other improvements:
   1) A robust new search feature to help you find the most applicable TV, radio or print materials in the Toolbox's product catalog to meet your specific nonpoint source/stormwater outreach needs (available directly at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/index.cfm)
   2) Significant new content of outreach material—TV, radio and print ads on various nonpoint source and stormwater topics of concern The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff. The Toolbox contains a variety of resources to help develop an effective and targeted outreach campaign.

Bourbon barrels recycled for rain barrels

American white oak barrels that stored some of the country’s finest bourbon made in Kentucky will now be collecting rain water in northern Kandiyohi County. On June 25, 100 bourbon whiskey barrels that were modified with a filter at the top and a spigot at the bottom were distributed to lakeshore residents from Norway Lake, Games Lake and Lake Andrew as part of the Shakopee Creek Headwaters project to reduce rainwater runoff and improve lake water quality.
Capturing some of the rooftop rain can help keep lakes healthier, said Jennifer Hoffman, watershed specialist with the Chippewa River Watershed Project who coordinated the rain barrel program for residents who live in the Shakopee Creek headwaters area, which flows into the Chippewa River. The barrels were purchased by the Chippewa River Watershed Project at a wholesale cost of $99. A Clean Water Partnership grant that was obtained in connection with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency helped pay 75 percent of the cost. - West Central Tribune, Willmar, June 27, 2011.
rain barrels

EPA website offers info on nitrogen, phosphorus

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new website about nitrogen and phosphorus pollution to provide the public with information about this type of pollution-- where it comes from, its impacts on human health and aquatic ecosystems, and actions that people can take to help reduce it. The website also includes updated information on states’ progress in developing numeric water quality criteria for nutrients as part of their water quality standards regulations. The website is available at: http://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/

Sustainable communities, healthy watershed report out

“Sustainable Communities, Healthy Watersheds” 2010 Annual Report Available Online The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) has released its 2010 Annual Report titled “Sustainable Communities, Healthy Watersheds.” Sustainable Communities and Healthy Watersheds are two major themes for EPA's national water program.
The report contains information about EPA's work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the development of new draft guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act (also known as the Waters of the U.S. Draft Guidance), progress in better protection of water quality in Appalachia from the harmful effects of surface coal mining operations, and advancement in the work of the National Ocean Council.  The report also includes information about OWOW's response to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill through data monitoring evaluation, design monitoring plans and other efforts. Information about efforts to address nitrogen and phosphorus pollution through the development of a recommended Framework for states  as well as a new guidance that addresses polluted runoff from federal land management activity in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are also included in this publication
The report can be viewed at: http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owow/upload/owowannualreport2010.pdf. For information about the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds: http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owow/