BWSR Awards Nearly $8.2 Million in Targeted Watershed Program Grants

For release: May 25, 2016   Contact: Celi Haga, 651-215-9008 (o); 651-315-5082 (c)

BWSR awards nearly $8.2 million in Targeted Watershed Program grants

St. Paul, Minn. – Water quality has been making a lot of headlines recently, both in Minnesota and around the country.  Today the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced a third round of Clean Water Fund grants that will help six local governments from around the state accelerate their conservation work while taking a targeted approach to addressing water quality issues. $8.17 million in grants was approved by the Board as part of its Targeted Watershed Program, funded through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.  The program addresses water pollution by focusing funding on watersheds where actions needed for water quality improvement are known and can be achieved in a four-year window of time.  

This year’s recipients are Buffalo Red Watershed District (WD) for the Wolverton Creek watershed, Capitol Region WD for its Urban Lake Renewal program, East Polk Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the Sand Hill River watershed, Fillmore and Root River SWCDs for the Root River watershed, Pelican River WD for Detroit Lake watershed, and Shell Rock River WD for the Shell Rock River Chain of Lakes watershed. In addition to these projects, there are seven projects already underway that were awarded funding in previous grant cycles.

John Jaschke, BWSR’s Executive Director, said, “These districts know where the problems are, and the Targeted Watershed Program allows them to focus specific projects in those areas to make considerable headway toward local water quality goals. This is a holistic approach that doesn’t just benefit one particular lake or stream – it benefits the entire watershed.”

Project Overviews:

  • Wolverton Creek watershed, Buffalo Red WD, $2.8 million award The WD’s sediment reduction project uses a three-pronged attack: install sediment best management practices, expand buffers significantly beyond requirements, and improve channel stability to reduce sediment that enters the water.  The project estimates a 50% reduction in sediment as a result of these practices.
  • Urban Lake Renewal Project, Capitol Region WD, $1.76 million award The Capitol Region WD will target Como Lake and Lake McCarrons through a variety of best management practices and a Clean Streets Initiative. This work is estimated to achieve a 25% reduction toward Como Lake’s phosphorus target.
  •  Sand Hill River watershed, East Polk SWCD, $790,240 award The Sand Hill River watershed needs a 16% reduction in sediment to meet its water quality goals. Through best management practices like water and sediment control basins and streambank stabilization supported through this grant, the SWCD estimates it can meet that goal.
  • Root River watershed, Fillmore and Root River SWCDs, $1.5 million award This project will install prioritized and targeted conservation practices in three subwatersheds along the Root River, reducing sediment by 40% and phosphorus by 20% to meet water quality goals.
  • Detroit Lake watershed, Pelican River WD, $1.5 million award This wetland restoration project will reduce phosphorus loading to the watershed by 50%, achieving that water quality goal and helping protect water quality in Detroit Lake.
  • Shell Rock River Chain of Lakes watershed, Shell Rock River WD, $825,610 award This project will focus on grassed waterways, streambank and wetland restorations to meet the final 10% in phosphorus reduction that will allow Pickerel Lake to be delisted from the state Impaired Waters list.
For more information about the Targeted Watershed Program, and BWSR’s other Clean Water Fund programs, please visit www.bwsr.state.mn.us.
© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007