BWSR Board to tour northeastern Minnesota on annual tour

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For release: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 Contact: Jennifer Maleitzke, 651-215-9008 (office); 651-315-5082 (cell)

BWSR Board to tour northeastern Minnesota on annual tour

Two Harbors, Minn.— Storm water projects, flood relief and wetland restoration sites are just a few of the stops along the way for a public tour in northeastern Minnesota on Wednesday.

Members of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will embark on its annual tour in Lake County, which will highlight the installation of conservation practices through dynamic partnerships between private landowners and federal, state and local governments. The Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is the local host.

Dan Schutte, Lake SWCD Outreach Coordinator, said he's excited to host this year's tour and is looking forward to showcasing the important work underway in Lake County. "We are working hard with landowners in our area to implement conservation practices to protect our soil and water resources," Schutte said. "This tour is an opportunity to show off this good work to policy makers and to let them know we are dedicated to protecting and improving the environment in northeastern Minnesota."

The Board will begin its tour at 8:00 a.m. on Wed., Aug. 28, at Superior Shores, 1521 Superior Shores Drive in Two Harbors. Some stops along the way include:

• Cemetery detention basin: On July 4, 1999, the "BWCA Blowdown" was a near 100-year storm that blew 100-mile per hour straight-line winds and dropped approximately five inches of rain. This storm event prompted the City of Two Harbors to develop a systematic process to address stormwater issues.

• Skunk Creek stream bank stabilization: Caused partly by the flashiness of the stream and the orientation of the culvert, the 170-foot site contributed approximately 108 tons of sediment into the creek per year. In 2006, the Lake SWCD partnered with the City of Two Harbors, CN Railroad, Lake County Hwy. Dept., and Extension to correct this stream bank erosion problem.

• Knife River stream bank stabilization: The Knife River is a trout stream and listed as an impaired water body for turbidity. In 2011, The Lake County SWCD used natural channel design to stabilize a section of eroding stream bank on private property. Less than one year after installation, the project was tested during the 2012 flood and successfully protected the streambank with no slumping or major erosion.

• Dan Ziemet wetland bank: This wetland bank site was a gravel pit that had the majority of usable granular material removed from within its boundaries. Site improvement activities included excavation in areas down to native clay soils that encourage ponding, installation of a riprap channel and emergency spillway and shaping of berms to prevent erosion and to create stable sideslopes for the mitigation area.

• Jamie and Penny Juenemann bridge flood relief: After bailing out water from his basement and watching a waterfall form in his backyard, Jamie Juenemann thought he'd seen the worst of the 2012 June storms. That was until he and his family attempted to drive into Two Harbors, only to find out that half-way down their one mile driveway, their bridge over the Little Stewart River was in disrepair and virtually impassable. This project involved replacing the privately-owned bridge to protect water quality over the Little Stewart River, a trout stream tributary to Lake Superior.

• Ron and Louise Thureen lakeshore stabilization: During the June 2012 flood, a large slump opened up along the forested shoreline of Lake Superior, dumping an estimated 7,000 cubic yards of rock and sediment into the lake, and taking the Thureen's septic drainfield with it. In 2012, Lake SWCD provided financial assistance for critical area stabilization of the slump using hydraulic seeding/mulching and for replacement of the drainfield away from the slump. The new drainfield was installed within two months of the flood and incorporated peat filter technology, better suited to poor soils and limited space.

Following the tour, an issues form will be held at Superior Shores to discuss "natural resource challenges in Lake County." Moderated by Ron Shelito, BWSR Regional Manager, speakers will discuss challenges, barriers and success stories around conservation management in northeastern Minnesota. Panelists include Rich Sve (Lake County Commissioner), Jo Kovach (White Iron Chain of Lakes Association), Tom Gelineau (Retired Lake SWCD Supervisor) and Leo Babeu (Advocates for the Knife River Watershed).

For a full itinerary of the BWSR Board tour and the regularly-scheduled BWSR Board meeting on Thurs., Aug. 29, visit the BWSR website at:

The BWSR Board consists of 20 members, state agencies, and citizens, including local government representatives that deliver BWSR programs. The board sets a policy agenda designed to enhance service delivery through the use of local government. Board members, including the board chair, are appointed by the governor to four-year terms.