In addition to Watershed Districts, a number of projects have been formed to work on water quality issues in a specific watershed. Most of these projects got started by conducting a diagnostic or assessment of the watershed to identify water quality issues and come up with a plan on how to address them. All of these projects are working on implementing Best Management Practices, providing educational and information activities, and conducting water quality monitoring. A citizen can help out by assisting with public information campaigns, taking transparency tube or Secchi disk readings, and talking to their neighbors about water and pollution issues.
Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects, Inc.
In 1978, the nine counties of Brown, Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood and Yellow Medicine formed a joint powers organization to provide cost-share and technical assistance for the implementation of flood retarding and retention projects. Area II Minnesota River Basin Project, Inc. encompasses the south side of the Minnesota River from Ortonville to Mankato. To accomplish its mission, Area II incorporates the “watershed-based approach” or using all the resources and funding sources available to reduce the flooding risk in this area of the Minnesota River Basin.
Contact: 507-537-6368 - http://www.area2.org/
Chippewa River Watershed Project
An association of nonprofit organizations and government agencies came together in 1998 to address water quality and flooding related problems in the Chippewa River Watershed under the leadership of the Land Stewardship Project. The overall goal of the Chippewa River Watershed Project calls for seeking to improve water quality and flooding problems within the Chippewa River Watershed while promoting a healthy agricultural, industrial, and recreation-based economy for the region. The Chippewa River Watershed Project concentrates on engaging citizens, promoting conservation practices and conducting water quality monitoring.
Contact: 320-269-2139 - http://www.chippewariver.com/default.aspx
Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance
County Commissioners and Soil and Watershed Conservation District Supervisors from nine counties (Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Faribault, Freeborn, Jackson, Le Sueur, Marin, Waseca and Watonwan) within the Greater Blue Earth River Basin work together to “lead in the implementation and promotion of economically viable watershed activities.” The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance or GBERBA focuses on restoring and revitalizing local water resources to improve the quality of life, local communities and its citizens. This is accomplished by securing funding for a number of focus areas including storm water and nutrient management.
Contact: 507-831-1153 ext. 3 - http://www.gberba.org/index.html
Hawk Creek Watershed Project
Established in 1999, Hawk Creek Watershed Project (HCWP) focuses on implementing Best Management Practices to correct and prevent land use challenges that negatively affect water quality and quantity. After conducting a three-year diagnostic study to identify water-related issues, HCWP has been working with partners across the basin to improve and protect the water resources of Hawk Creek Watershed. The goal is to provide financial incentives to landowners to correct and prevent pollution problems through cost-share programs to make these projects cost-effective and reasonable.
Contact: 320-523-3666 - http://www.hawkcreekwatershed.org/
High Island Creek – Rush River Watersheds Project
Both of these watersheds are located in the Lower Minnesota River Watershed and operate under two joint-powers-agreements involving the four counties of Sibley, Renville, McLeod and Nicollet. A diagnostic study identifying water quality problems has been completed for the High Island Creek and the Rush River watersheds and currently provides the rationale for promoting conservation practices, conducting water quality monitoring and reaching out to the public through educational and information initiatives. The High Island Creek – Rush River Watershed Project works with two local groups focusing on efforts to improve the water quality of Lake Titloe and High Island Lake.
Contact: 507-237-4050 - http://mrbdc.wrc.mnsu.edu/major/lowminn/subshed/hi/index.html
Lac qui Parle – Yellow Bank Clean Water Partnership
Residents in these two upper Minnesota River watersheds can take advantage of a number of conservation and outreach programs sponsored by the Lac qui Parle – Yellow Bank Clean Water Partnership (CWP). Low interest loans are available to upgrade out-of-compliance septic systems. Local citizens can become a volunteer monitor recording water quality data. The Lac qui Parle – Yellow Bank CWP sponsors canoe trips, bus tours and other educational programs to engage citizens of all ages and help protect and improve water quality in the two watersheds.
Contact: 320-598-3319 - http://www.lqpybwatershed.org/Clean_Water_Partnership.html
Pomme de Terre River Watershed Association
Formed as a joint powers board, the Pomme de Terre River Association has strived to improve water quality in the watershed since 1981. This group is dedicated to engaging local people to become informed and active in cleaning up the Pomme de Terre River, along with being committed to making this river a great resource for all to enjoy. County commissioners and SWCD supervisors from each of the counties – Otter Trail, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, and Big Stone – make up the joint powers board.
Contact: 320-589-4886 ext. 109 - http://www.pdtriver.org/index.php
Redwood Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA)
One of the first watershed projects formed in the Minnesota River Basin, the Redwood Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) functions as a joint-powers organization to improve water quality in both watersheds. The original intent of this local organization was to develop and implement a plan to restore Lake Redwood. RCRCA partners with local, state and federal agencies and organizations to put conservation practices on the ground and educate residents about water related issues. Each year, RCRCA sponsors public events like the paddles on the Redwood and Cottonwood rivers to help connect people to the resources.
Contact: 507-637-2142 ext. 4 - http://www.rcrca.com/