A number of Minnesota agencies are working to reduce nutrient levels in lakes and streams, ensuring healthier waters for current residents, people downstream, and future generations. Nine agencies (Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture, Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Dept. of Health) have pooled their resources to strengthen and coordinate their existing efforts. Together, these agencies will seek input from stakeholders, identify successful efforts, and develop a statewide strategy to reduce nutrients in Minnesota waters. Each month, these agencies highlight a project that shows how Minnesotans are working to reduce nutrients in their waters. Example Project: Conservation drainage benefits farmers, water quality. Through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), a pilot project in Kandiyohi County is demonstrating how conservation drainage can help farming and help water quality. Traditional systems drain farm fields in the spring and fall to facilitate planting and harvest. However, this subsurface drainage can also take away water during the growing season when crops need the moisture. Subsurface drainage can also impact water quality by carrying nitrate and soluble phosphorus into water bodies. This pilot project will provide producers in the Middle Fork Crow River watershed and around the region with an opportunity to learn about the benefits of drainage water management by seeing the system in action. Conservation drainage allows farmers to manage drainage, letting water go during wet periods and holding it back during dry periods. They can also coordinate drainage with fertilizer applications to minimize the impact to water quality. Funding sources included a Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment). For more information, visit the BWSR website (http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/projects/index.html).
Through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and our partners work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability in the Mississippi River Basin. Known as “America’s River,” the Mississippi River is North America’s largest river, flowing over 2,300 miles through America’s heartland to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the centerpiece of the 2nd largest watershed in the world. The watershed not only provides drinking water, food, industry, and recreation for millions of people, it also hosts a globally significant migratory flyway and home for over 325 bird species. NRCS has identified the Mississippi River Basin as a top priority due to water quality concerns, primarily related to the effects of nutrient loading on the health of local water bodies and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico. The 13-state Initiative builds on the cooperative work of NRCS and its conservation partners in the basin, and offers agricultural producers in priority watersheds the opportunity for voluntary technical and financial assistance. The participating States are Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Initiative will build on the past efforts of producers, NRCS, partners, and other State and Federal agencies in the 13-State Initiative area by addressing nutrient loading in priority small watersheds within the Mississippi River Basin.
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient (Hypoxia) Task Force consists of 5 federal agencies, 12 states and the tribes within the Mississippi/ Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB). The Task Force was established in 1997 to reduce and control hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the Task Force has undertaken a variety of efforts to achieve these goals. The 2008 Action Plan and 2009 Annual Operating Plan were released on June 16, 2008 as a national strategy and a roadmap to reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico and improve water quality in the MARB. Member agencies of the Task Force have made progress toward reducing nutrients in the MARB and will continue to do so, implementing actions in the 2008 Action Plan and the Annual Operating Plans. Annual Reports are designed to track interim progress on the actions taken to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya Basin (MARB). These reports document federal and state program nutrient reduction activities and the results of these activities. This consistent documentation should help the Task Force to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and management efforts and their combined effects on reducing the hypoxic zone and the in-basin effects of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. The first Annual Report was released in 2009. The Annual Operating Plans are a compilation of actions that state and federal members of the Task Force have planned to undertake during the listed years to implement the Action Plan. Each item in the Operating Plans specifically implements one of the eleven action items set forth in the Action Plan. The Operating Plan includes, if known, funding levels and specific milestones for the current fiscal year. The items listed in the Operating Plans highlight the cumulative efforts of the individual Task Force agencies in implementing the Action Plan.
The Master Farmer Award program is created for all Missourians involved in agriculture – crop farmers, livestock producers, vegetable and fruit growers, tree farmers and vineyard owners. Judging committees look for the best managers with innovative ideas, sound business skills, financial recordkeeping, soil and water conservation practices, agricultural leadership and community service.
A website dedicated to landscape laws and storm water management for the LDEQ Nonpoint Pollution Program.
Established in LAC 33:IX.1109.I – outlines sample collection and analytical procedures for samples to be used to determine whether the standards have been attained, including quality assurance (QA) procedures that follow agency’s QA Plan for water monitoring and analysis.
The report tracks interim progress on the actions accomplished in Fiscal Year 2010 by Task Force member states and federal agencies and their partners to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Masin (MARB) and, ultimately, to reduce the size and severity of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone.
The report tracks interim progress on the actions accomplished in Fiscal Year 2011 by Task Force member states and federal agencies and their partners to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Masin (MARB) and, ultimately, to reduce the size and severity of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone.