Watershed District Receives Grant Recommendation for Restoration Projects
Albert Lea, MN. On Tuesday, October 7th, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) voted unanimously to include the Shell Rock River Watershed District’s Project (Shell Rock River Watershed Habitat Restoration Program- Phase IV) in its recommendation to the State Legislature. The Shell Rock River Watershed Habitat Restoration Program received a partial funding recommendation of $2.41 million from the LSOHC.
“This is a remarkable step in achieving the District’s goals. This grant will open the door for water quality and habitat restoration within the Watershed,” said Brett Behnke, District Administrator. The next step is for the SRRWD to complete an accomplishment plan, which is a list of projects to be accomplished with the grant dollars, by the end of December to be sent to the Legislature for review. The Legislature will review and need to approve the LSOHC proposals during the 2015 Legislative Session. Once approved, the funds will be available July 1, 2015.
“We are pleased and thankful to the members of the Council for their investment in habitat efforts in southern Minnesota,” Behnke said.
Director of Field Operations, Andy Henschel added “This grant is essential in our efforts to complete many projects within the Watershed that will protect, enhance, and restore habitat for fish, waterfowl, and wildlife.”
The LSOHC was established by the Legislature to provide annual recommendations on how the funds from the Outdoor Heritage funds are utilized. In this round, the Council is recommending $100 million in conservations efforts to the 2015 State Legislature to protect, enhance, and restore habitat in Minnesota. The Outdoor Heritage Fund receives one-third of the money raised by the constitutional amendment creating sales tax dedicated funds. Information about the LSOHC can be found at http://www.lsohc.leg.mn/index.html.