Three Minnesota watersheds qualify for targeted water cleanup funds
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 05/30/2012 1:28 PM
ST. PAUL — Landowners in the Chippewa, Elm Creek and Seven Mile Watersheds are eligible for targeted federal funds to improve water quality in the watersheds.
The National Water Quality Initiative that was announced May 8 targets 157 watersheds nationwide, including the three in Minnesota, for water quality enhancement.
The Chippewa Watershed is a tributary to the Chippewa River and is impaired due to nutrients. It is located in the western portion of Chippewa County.
The Elm Creek Watershed is located in the western portion of Faribault County and the northeastern portion of Martin County. It's a tributary to the Blue Earth River in the Minnesota River Basin.
Seven Mile Creek Watershed is located in Nicollet County. It's in the Minnesota River Basin.
All three watersheds are impaired due to sediment and turbidity and are about 20,000 acres in size. The primary land use in each is agriculture.
In Minnesota, $1 million, about $300,000 for each watershed, is allocated from the state's Environmental Quality Incentive Program for this initiative, said Myron Taylor, assistant state conservationist for programs.
The $1 million is about 5 percent of the state's EQIP allocation.
Signup for the program is ongoing, but there is a ranking period that ends May 18 and a second that ends June 15, Taylor said. Landowners in the Chippewa, Elm Creek and Seven Mile watersheds will compete only against others in the same watershed for the special initiative targeted dollars.
Practices targeted through the initiative include cover crops, filter strips and terraces.
The voluntary program is being driven by the NRCS, Taylor said, though other partners may be involved.
The three watersheds were selected by a committee of the state technical committee with input from the six area offices in Minnesota.