For the FY 2018 and FY 2019 biennium (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019), approximately $50.8 million was available each year (total = $101,656,000) for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) selected 66 projects totaling $45,828,000 to recommend to the 2018 Minnesota Legislature for funding from the ENRTF. The recommendations were the result of the LCCMR's 2018 Request for Proposal (RFP) process, in which 217 proposals requesting a total of approximately $183 million were received and considered through a competitive, multi-stage evaluation process. The recommendations ranged from funding the full proposal and dollar amount requested to partial funding for specific proposal elements. On May 20, 2018 the legislature adopted 65 LCCMR recommendations, including three with reduced amounts, one with an increased amount, and two added appropriations. On May 30, 2018, 67 appropriations totaling $45,828,000 were signed into law by the Governor as M.L. 2018, Chapter 214, for appropriations in FY18 ($89,000) and FY19 ($45,739,000). On March 5, 2019 M.L. 2019, Chapter 2, Article 1 was signed into law by the Governor repealing M.L. 2018, Chapter 214, Article 6, Section 4.
When available, we have provided links to web sites related to the project. The sites linked to this page are not created, maintained, or endorsed by the LCCMR office or the Minnesota Legislature.
U of MN - MN Geological Survey
2609 Territorial Rd
St. Paul, MN 55114
$1,240,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Geological Survey, to continue producing county geologic atlases for the purpose of informed management of surface water and groundwater resources. This appropriation is to complete part A, which focuses on the properties and distribution of earth materials to define aquifer boundaries and the connection of aquifers to the land surface and surface water resources. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
We have completed 1 county, started 4 new counties, and continued work in 11 counties. Based on the time spent, this is equivalent to “completing” about 4 atlases with one year’s worth of funding. Atlas maps and data provide foundational information that supports water management activities to the benefit of drinking water and aquatic habitat.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
A Geologic Atlas provides the geologic framework of our state. It describes the materials and features at the land surface and extends all the way down to the bedrock surface. An atlas provides information useful for resource management and land-use planning. Each Atlas typically requires more than 7,000 person-hours of work. Some of that work is in the field: drilling test borings, examining, sampling, and describing outcrops. Much of the work follows after: interpreting field measurements, recognizing and formally naming geologic units described in well records, and making maps. The result is a detailed account of the distribution and properties of the rock and sediment that lie below the land surface. These materials, and their ability to store or transmit water, determine where we can find water, and how we can protect and make wise use of that water. This includes our lakes and rivers as well as groundwater.
As part of this 2018 award, we completed Kandiyohi County, started work in Cook, Yellow Medicine, Polk and Chippewa counties, and continued working in 11 other counties. We’ve described hundreds of outcrops, taken thousands of hand samples, and drilled nearly 30 continuous cores allowing us to sample rocks and sediment up to 325 ft deep.
We completed the equivalent of about 4 atlases with the ML 2018 funds, which were exhausted in one year of spending. This represents a higher number of atlases completed than our average of 5 atlases a year with all (CWF, DNR, and ENRTF) funds combined.
Continuing under the M.L 2019 award, atlases for Rock and Nobles counties will be complete within the next 3 months. Aitkin, St. Louis, Lake, and Steele counties should be finished within the next 12-18 months. The County Geologic Atlas program began in 1981 and continues with support of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as well as the Clean Water Fund, the Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Geological Survey. To date we have completed atlases for 43 counties, 23 are underway; and 21 have yet to be started. All of our mapping products and data are available in print or digital format.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Every atlas is produced in portable document format (PDF), as geographic information system files (GIS), and in printed form. The digital files are available as a DVD, and are also available from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, and via link from the MGS web page. Each project culminates with a meeting held in the project area to present the results to the county staff, and any other interested parties. At these meetings the products are described, access to the products is explained, and examples of applications of the products to common resource management situations are demonstrated. The products of subprojects in St. Louis and Lake counties are being released in digital form immediately following technical review. When all the subproject areas are complete county-wide compilations will be created and distributed digitally and in print. The printed copies are shared with the county, who in turn can distribute them to libraries, schools, townships, and other agencies. They are also distributed by the MGS map sales office. Products are also made available to earth science teachers and other educators for classroom exercises. Atlas products are also displayed and explained at educational events for SWCD staff and onsite sewage treatment system contractors.
Kandiyohi County Geologic Atlas is available online through the University of Minnesota Libraries Digital Conservancy. Interim products that will become the St. Louis and Lake County Atlases are also available online. Completed atlas products have been posted to the MGS website and linked to the University’s Digital Conservancy as noted above. PDF products as well as all of the related GIS data are available on these pages.
In addition, the MGS hosts an Open Data Portal on which many of our county geologic atlases are presented as “Story Maps” that allow for direct access of the data without any special software or interface.
U of MN
1985 Buford Ave, 173 McNeal Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
$250,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a semiautomated system to acquire, process, and deliver new satellite-derived water-quality data in near real time on water clarity, algae, and turbidity for Minnesota lakes. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
This project created an automated system, which is capable of delivering satellite derived near real-time data and maps of key water quality measures (chlorophyll, clarity, CDOM), and updated the Minnesota LakeBrowser with new data and capabilities to visualize the water quality of all Minnesota lakes to improve data-driven resource management.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Using satellite imagery, we have been assessing lake water quality in Minnesota for over 20 years. For early assessments, we used analyst directed image processing techniques using remote sensing software and empirically calibrated each satellite overpass with in situ water clarity data. These assessments were at around five year intervals due to the effort required and availability of clear satellite imagery. Recent advances in satellite technology (improved spectral, spatial, radiometric and temporal resolution) and atmospheric correction, along with cloud and supercomputing capabilities have enabled the use of satellite data for automated regional scale measurements of water resource characteristics. These new capabilities provide opportunities to improve lake and fisheries management by measuring more variables (chlorophyll, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and total suspended matter, the main determinants of water clarity) more often.
To utilize these capabilities this project developed field-validated methods and implemented them in an automated water quality monitoring system on University supercomputers. The system acquires satellite imagery, removes clouds, cloud shadows, haze, smoke, and land, and applies water quality models to deliver satellite-derived water quality products. Using this system we created statewide monthly open water (May through October) pixel level mosaics and lake level data for each clear image occurrence. The lake level (2017-2020) data included 603,678 lake measurements of chlorophyll, clarity and CDOM (1,811,034 total) that were compiled into a database that was used to calculate water quality variables for different timeframes (e.g. monthly, summer (June-Sept)) and linked to a lake polygon layer that was used for geospatial analysis and included in a web map interface. The Minnesota LakeBrowser was updated with monthly chlorophyll, clarity and CDOM data from 2017 to 2020 and new capabilities for citizens, resource managers and researcher to easily access the data for specific lakes and regions.
Communication of project results used a range of outlets. The primary mode of dissemination is the update and expanded Minnesota LakeBrowser. This website provides content for diverse users including citizen scientists, lake users, homeowners, classrooms, natural resource managers, researchers at agencies and academic institutions. The updates improved search and allow visualization of long term (1975-2020) and seasonal (May-October) trends for individual lakes in graphs, and for individual lakes or regions in pixel or lake level maps. Results were also disseminated through social media and in presentations made at conferences and state agencies and will be disseminated in peer reviewed literature.
U of MN - Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$350,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to expand the biodiversity atlas project by adding more than 800,000 records and images of Minnesota wildlife, plants, and fungi, including observations from state agencies and other museum collections, to enhance research, guide field surveys, and inform conservation planning. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N, 115 Green Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
$600,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to identify management actions to maximize benefits to wildlife, water quality, timber production, and native plant communities in peatland forests. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1479 Gortner Ave, 140 Gortner Labs
St. Paul, MN 55108
$213,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to survey, map, and analyze mosses and lichens across the state, including their moisture-retention capacity, effects on hydrology, and ability to filter airborne pollutants. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1365 Gortner Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
$280,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a statewide information-management system that uses wildlife-rehabilitation data to identify emerging threats to wildlife health in Minnesota
The project created a dashboard and database that aggregates data from The Raptor Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Data can be visualized, mapped, and analyzed in real-time, allowing stakeholders to interact with their data in new and informative ways and facilitating earlier detection of health threats or emerging environmental issues.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Identifying population health threats in wildlife over time and space is challenging, as data collection can be expensive and time-consuming. An alternative solution is to use existing primary care data from wildlife rehabilitation centers, which can act as sentinels. Establishing an information management and alert system to monitor wildlife health by merging databases of the two major wildlife rehabilitation centers of Minnesota. Use of the database to investigate environmental and land-use drivers of wildlife health.
The electronic databases of The Raptor Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center were merged into one database, which is set to be supported by the database server of the University of Minnesota. An online dashboard platform was created to facilitate visualization and descriptive analysis of the submissions. The dashboard is comprised of location maps and temporal graphs with the option to sort according to date range, species groups, location, clinical and diagnostic characteristics, resolution, and the circumstance that lead to the wildlife submissions, including entrapment and habitat destruction. Anomalies of submissions, i.e. more submissions from a specific area within a short span of time than expected, assessment was done using spatial scan statistics. This approach of anomaly detection may help clinicians to investigate, conduct surveillance, and be vigilant about emerging threats to wildlife health. While the anomaly detection is not featured in the online dashboard, the research provides a ‘baseline’ of expected seasonality and space-time patterns of submissions.
The project lead to increased collaboration between clinicians and researchers, and opportunity to use population statistics in their work. Understanding the species group-specific seasonality and space-time patterns of all species groups collectively provides a unique opportunity to monitor the population health trends, investigating drivers including environmental and land-use changes, and eventually informing Minnesotans to be in alert and take actions to improve wildlife health.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
The online dashboard has been shared with both the centers and a virtual meeting participating researchers of the University of Minnesota, developers of Epi Interactive of New Zealand (collaborator), and the clinicians from the two wildlife rehabilitation centers was held in May, 2020 to demonstrate the functionality of the dashboard.
Three scientific manuscripts are in being prepared in relation to this project and they are intended to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication: Dashboard development, Spatiotemporal patterns of wildlife health, and Monitoring West Nile virus in the metro area of Minnesota.
Dashboard development: The manuscript would describe the importance of using existing databases as a potential passive surveillance or sentinel system to recognize wildlife health threats. The details would include database merging process, geocoding options (recognizing the submission location based on the provided address or location description), and the steps in development of the dashboard.
Spatiotemporal patterns of wildlife health: The manuscript would describe time-series and spatiotemporal analytical methods that were used to determine seasonality of submissions and the ‘expected’ numbers of submissions. Moreover, the manuscript would describe a novel approach to detect space-time anomalies where multiple species groups were submitted from the same area within a short span of time compared to the expected ‘baseline’. This method of detecting ‘cluster submissions’ also supports determining the key drivers led to submissions such as habitat-destruction. The manuscript would describe the method using a subset of data from both the centers and relevant examples of temporal patterns and 'cluster submissions'.
Monitoring West Nile virus in the metro area of Minnesota: The manuscript and the data analysis intends to demonstrate spatiotemporal patterns of West Nile virus (WNV) detected in mosquito, bird, animal, and human populations focusing on the seven-county metro area of Minnesota. This disease specific research project extends the proposed utility of existing wildlife rehabilitation data and bring other parallel databases together for the analysis. The collaborators who contribute with relevant data are Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) providing human data, Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MNBOAH) providing animals detected with WNV such as horses, and Minnesota Mosquito Control District (MMCD) providing the data relevant to mosquito surveillance. The research project is currently at the analytical stage.
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811
$500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth to identify forest-management actions and guidelines to conserve birds in Minnesota's forests. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811
$200,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth to pilot the establishment of a network of automated radio-telemetry stations to monitor bird migration and local movements and to develop strategic plans for using the infrastructure long term to monitor animal movement for conservation. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered
U of MN
1980 Folwell Ave, 219 Hodson Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
$400,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to identify how winter groundwater flows, air temperature, and streambed conditions affect insect productivity in order to guide restoration and management efforts in southeastern Minnesota trout streams. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
National Park Service
111 E Kellogg Blvd, Ste 105
St. Paul, MN 55101
$200,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the National Park Service to create high-resolution sonar data maps to identify critical native mussel habitat for the designated Lower St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area including part of the Minnesota River.
Baseline information in the form of bathymetry and imagery were developed for the National Park Service for native mussel habitat suitability. These data have the analytic capabilities to be viewed and modeled in a digital environment to help understand mussel distribution, define preferred habitat parameters, and identify key habitat locations for restoring imperiled mussels.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected depth information and sidescan imagery for areas of the National Park Service (NPS) Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS) and the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN). For known locations of preferred mussel habitat, additional collection efforts of river flow velocities and underwater video of bed composition were collected. Prior to this project, MISS had no accessible bathymetry data above Pool 1, and SACN did not have any accessible bathymetry (other than a small area near Prescott, Wisconsin). The LCCMR ENRTF provided the opportunity to acquire bathymetry data where needed and make this information available to NPS resource management to help aid decision-making for the conservation of native mussels. Goals for this project were to collect high-resolution sonar data of three rivers where none previously existed. The data is delivered in digital format for modeling hydraulic variables related to native mussel habitat suitability. The USGS provided usable information in the form of bathymetry and topography (hillshades and sidescan imagery) for areas of full collection, and habitat measures of flow velocities and bed characterization for priority areas. Initially implemented as a two-year project, data collection was planned for each park in consecutive years. Due to the pandemic, some data collection was delayed a year. Bathymetric surveys for the lower SACN consisted of approximately 1,775 hectares (4,385 acres), and approximately 1,358 hectares (3,335 acres) were collected for MISS. Outcomes consisted of high-resolution bathymetry in the form of 0.5-meter digital elevation models, 3-D hillshade representations of the surface (using patterns of light and shadow), and sidescan images mosaics — which provide an underwater view of geomorphic features. Flow velocities and bed composition combined with bathymetry can be used to locate areas with similar features as the NPS priority areas. In order to provide complete coverage for MISS, the U.S. Corps of Engineers (USACE) main channel data were used for Pools 1, 2, and 3. The resulting merged bathymetry were generated at a lower resolution (5 meters) due to USACE collection parameters. This project is significant because it provides bathymetry where none previously existed for Minnesotans, and it provides valuable information to the NPS for imperiled mussel habitat modeling by locating other suitable areas for conservation efforts. Natural resource management and policy makers face an increasing number of environmental issues. These data combined with other river conditions can be used to help inform decision-making for aquatic invasive species, agricultural practices, riverfront development, erosion, sedimentation, and climate change.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Dissemination included a formal USGS review for data and metadata, prior to release on the USGS data repository. Datasets and metadata for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area can be found online. This project was posted as a resource for current USGS projects at Develop Sonar Data Mapping on Three Rivers to Assess Suitability for Native Mussel Habitat (usgs.gov).
The information resulting from this project is currently being incorporated into a Freshwater Mussel Database (NPS Focused Condition Assessment) for MISS and SACN, which will further be linked to a Freshwater Mussel Decision Support System (USGS Natural Resource Preservation Program) for resource management. Furthermore, the NPS and USGS partnership plan to pursue additional funding for MISS to map untapped information that can be derived from the sonar data; and to collect additional bathymetry and flow data where none still exists on SACN.
Minnesota Zoological Garden
13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN 55124
$300,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Minnesota Zoological Garden to improve the long-term viability of Minnesota's imperiled turtle populations by researching threats, identifying mitigation strategies, implementing mechanisms to reduce threats and mortality, and creating related outreach and educational materials. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Rd N
St. Paul, MN 55155
$89,000 the first year and $611,000 the second year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, in partnership with the Minnesota Rural Water Association and the University of Minnesota's Technical Assistance Program, to implement a pilot program to optimize existing local mechanical and pond wastewater-treatment systems to increase nutrient removal and improve efficiency without requiring costly upgrades.
Wastewater treatment systems are critical infrastructure to manage waste effluent within hundreds of communities throughout Minnesota. Optimization means getting better results through existing infrastructure. This project determined that both mechanical and pond wastewater treatment systems can be optimized, and new effluent limits met, without adding substantial new infrastructure.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Achieving better nutrient treatment in wastewater treatment facilities serves to reduce the likelihood of algal blooms in Minnesota’s water bodies resulting in cleaner lakes and rivers.
This project found that Minnesota’s mechanical wastewater treatment plants can achieve better biological nutrient removal (BNR) through low-cost operational changes. These improvements were modeled using the Activated Sludge SIMulation Model (ASIM) in order to determine the specific plant operational parameters required to achieve BNR. On average, mechanical plants in this pilot were modeled to have average nitrogen reduction of 14.14 mg/L, average phosphorus reduction of 1.84 mg/L (most sites already treat phosphorus chemically to 1 mg/L) and chemical reductions of 886 lb chemical/Million Gallons (MGal) flow.
Wastewater ponds can achieve much better nutrient treatment by utilizing the ‘Steady-State Primary’ strategy developed during this project. This strategy involves holding the first pond at six feet, or the maximum depth permitted) with a slide gate. Raw influent continues flowing into pond 1, while treated effluent from pond 1 is used to fill pond 2. Meanwhile, pond 3 is also held full. This strategy maximizes treatment time and drastically improves nutrient treatment quality. The two developed case studies showcase a 69% reduction in phosphorus and 43% reduction in nitrogen when compared to the prior year’s effluent. Secondary recommendations to wastewater ponds is to reduce inflow and infiltration, reduce fecal loading from waterfowl, and to encourage the growth of aquatic plants, with a specific emphasis on the growth of coontail.
By quantifying the role that optimization has in effective wastewater treatment, Minnesota’s lakes and streams can meet standards in a more cost effective means.
The project and its results have been presented in 17 different events and conferences by members of this team, including Minnesota Rural Water Association’s annual conference, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s annual conference, the Conference on the Environment, and many others. However, only one mechanical treatment plant has elected to move ahead with a pilot study, and one additional has expressed interest in doing so in the near future. The team has heard from staff and consultants of participating facilities that without a nitrogen standard as a driver, they feel little urgency to adopt optimization recommendations. Other facilities are meeting phosphorous limits under current flow, but would face difficulty at increased flow. Additionally, BNR design and operation is not a common treatment system in our Minnesota climate, and there may be some trepidation to moving toward that form of treatment until other facilities lead the way.
We have seen eight pond systems adopt the steady-state-primary flow regime in their operations, with more hoping to do so in the near future. Those that have done so already have reported roughly 50 percent reduction in nutrient discharge. The flow regime still needs additional validation. But, more discharge events will add more confidence with additional datasets from daily monitoring reports. Better flow management through infrastructure maintenance – making sure the control structures function as designed – is going to continue to be an area of importance in order to prevent short circuiting of the treatment in isolated pond cells.
The final report, the final work product of operator field guides for mechanical and pond treatment facilities, case studies of participating facilities, and additional findings, can all be found here, at the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program’s wastewater webpages.
U of MN
110 Union St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$300,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess, track, and develop methods to remove microscopic plastic particles that are dispersed and accumulating as pollution in Minnesota water bodies. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
2 Third Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
$400,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to investigate road-salt alternatives and pavement innovations to reduce lake, stream, and groundwater degradation caused by road-salt chlorides. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Ave S WSB-273
St. Cloud, MN 56301
$325,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system for St. Cloud State University to evaluate the effectiveness of best management practices in removing contaminants from storm water to safeguard aquatic habitats. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
111 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$425,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a small and inexpensive purification-technology system for community drinking-water facilities to remove toxic contaminants, make water safe to drink, and improve drinking-water quality. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
500 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$325,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to evaluate emerging pathogens including Legionella and mycobacteria to ensure that surface water used for drinking water and tap water is safe to drink. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Minnesota Department of Health
625 Robert St N
St. Paul, MN 55164
$1,000,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of health to establish monitoring networks of public water-system wells and surface-water intakes to determine if contaminants persist after standard public water treatment. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1971 Commonwealth Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
$750,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to quantify and map antibiotic and antibiotic-resistance gene contamination in Minnesota waters and soils to identify locations in need of mitigation to protect environmental, animal, and human health. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1991 Upper Buford Cir, 411 Borlaug Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
$500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop a farmer-led, market-based working-lands approach to increase water protection in agricultural areas by targeted expansion of alfalfa production and development of methods to convert alfalfa to high-value bioproducts. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert St N
St. Paul, MN 55155
$250,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of agriculture to establish demonstration plots of Kernza, a new intermediate perennial grain crop, to evaluate the potential to profitably reduce nitrate contamination of groundwater in vulnerable wellhead protection regions of Minnesota. Any income generated as part of this appropriation may be used to expand the project.
This study established demonstration fields of Intermediate wheatgrass (Kernza®) within wellhead protection areas in central and southeast Minnesota and research results showed the nitrate reduction potential of targeted placement of perennials in areas with vulnerable groundwater.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Nitrate-nitrogen is one of the most common pollutants in Minnesota’s groundwater. In some areas of the state, public and private wells have elevated nitrate levels. Groundwater is most vulnerable to nitrate contamination in central and southeast Minnesota. Areas in central are vulnerable because of widespread sandy soil and in southeast because of shallow bedrock, sinkholes and other geologic features. Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) is a perennial grass that produces a novel grain, Kernza® and has the potential to reduce nitrate leaching compared to common annual row crop production. This study 1) established demonstration fields of IWG within wellhead protection areas in central and southeast Minnesota and 2) conducted an experiment that compared grain yields, biomass yields, soil nitrate, soil water content, and root biomass under IWG and a corn-soybean rotation for three years on a sandy soil in Central Minnesota. We also 3) conducted grain testing to determine optimum processing of Kernza for various end-use products (crackers, bread, beer, etc). Outcomes included targeted planting of 68 acres of IWG in wellhead protection areas near Chatfield and Verdi. A field day was held at both sites, engaging over 60 people. Results from Activity 2 found that the mean soil nitrate was 77 to 96% lower under IWG than an annual rotation of corn and soybean. Total soil water content did not differ among cropping treatments. Root biomass was 82% lower under soybean than under IWG. Results from Activity 3 include the development of multiple Kernza cleaning and dehulling process workflows that include equipment needs, costs, and Kernza grain quality outcomes. The results from this project show that IWG effectively reduces the risk of nitrate leaching when grown on wellhead protection areas, and that the farming and food community is eager to continue exploring IWG as a new crop for water protection.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Field days at two locations with ~60 participants on site. Events highlighted in newspaper articles. Case study/ project summaries written by Green Lands Blue Waters. Master’s student research is in process of being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Deliverable for Activity 3 includes a technical report on cleaning intermediate wheatgrass (Kernza) as well as resources for food processors to integrate it into their business operations.
The research supported by this grant is part of a larger network of research and implementation efforts around Kernza. Resources are compiled on a Kernza website, including resources for the cleaning and dehulling process.
Shell Rock River Watershed District
214 West Main St
Albert Lea, MN 56007
$300,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Shell Rock River Watershed District to develop and implement a pilot water-quality credit-trading program for storm water that provides voluntary and cost-effective options to reduce pollution on a watershed scale.
This pilot project developed a water management framework plan along with associated appendices to submit an overlay permit for water quality credit trading to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This work may provide water quality solutions to MS4 permittees bound by funding constraints.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This project was a collaborative effort between the SRRWD, the City of Albert Lea and utilized a technical advisory committee that consisted of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Board of Water and Soil Resources, and Department of Agriculture staff.
Stormwater credit trading begins when an upstream landowner, or discharger, reduces pollution or nutrients below levels that are required by law. Those nutrient reductions are then verified, and measured by third party scientists and translated into “credits” that are sold to a credit bank. Downstream towns or cities could then purchase those credits instead of spending multi-million dollars in stormwater system retrofits.
The outcome of this project is the Fountain Lake Phosphorus Stormwater Water Quality Trading Management Plan. This document includes the regulatory requirements, policies, trade ratio, credit transaction value, and program administration behind stormwater credit trading. Attached to this plan are the appendices that support the management plans reasoning and forms that could be used to establish a credit trading program. The end result is a set of documents that are ready for an MS4 entity to submit to MPCA for possible approval of stormwater credit trading to take place. Please note the MPCA would have the authority to approve, modify or deny a stormwater credit trading program in the State of Minnesota. A working credit trading program such as this can provide water quality benefits at a reduced cost, contributing to the fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters initiative.
Documents that are available for dissemination include the Fountain Lake Phosphorus Stormwater Water Quality Trading Management Plan and the cost effectiveness for water quality trading report. These documents will be sent to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Board of Water and Soil Resources, and Department of Agriculture. Both documents can also be found on the Shell Rock River Watersheds District website and submitted to LCCMR staff.
Scott Gilbertson and Joe Bischoff (Wenck Associates, Inc. on behalf of ALASD)
Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District (ALASD)
$600,000 the second year is to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for a grant to the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District for lake management activities, including, but not limited to, alum treatment in Lake Agnes, carp removal in Lake Winona, and related management and reassessment measures that are intended to achieve and maintain compliance with water quality standards for phosphorus and the total maximum daily load for Lake Winona.
Pioneer Public Television
120 W Schileman
Appleton, MN 56265
$300,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Pioneer Public Television to provide outreach on outdoor recreation, conservation, and natural resource issues, including water quality, wildlife habitat, and invasive species, through a series of interrelated educational and training videos and statewide broadcast television programs.
Prairie Sportsman inspires Minnesotans to connect with the outdoors, explores advances in environmental science, and shows ways we all can protect natural resources. This project has produced 26 Prairie Sportsman episodes and 78 individual video segments that have aired on all Minnesota PBS stations and are distributed online.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Prairie Sportsman celebrates our love of the outdoors. As Minnesotans spend more time with digital media, this Pioneer PBS production uses screen time to promote connecting to our natural world through outdoor sports, recreation and environmental stewardship. It provides engaging environmental science education and ways for individuals, communities and organizations to restore and protect natural resources. Prairie Sportsman's reach is statewide, airing on all Minnesota PBS stations.
The 26 episodes produced by this project include 26 environmental, 26 outdoor lifestyle and 26 citizen action segments. Conservation topics include habitat restoration for pollinators, prairie chickens, ruffed grouse and native mussels and restoration of endangered species such as peregrine falcons, trumpeter swans, river otters and Dakota Skipper butterflies. Prairie Sportsman highlighted Dave Mech’s wolf research, Carrol Henderson’s long career as the first DNR Nongame Wildlife Research Supervisor and the Naamijig Dance Troupe tribute to long-time grouse researcher John Toepfer. Other topics include the perennial wheatgrass kernza, removal of Minnesota River and Red River basin dams to improve fish habitat, chronic wasting disease in deer, removing silt to restore shallow lakes, grazing bison to restore oak savanna, sturgeon tagging, employing sled dogs in U.S. Forest Service work and testing lake oxygen. Prairie Sportsman brought viewers to places like the International Wolf Center, Touch the Sky Prairie, Lost 40 SNA, Gopher Campfire Wildlife Sanctuary and the wild and scenic St. Croix River. A full episode was dedicated to southeast Minnesota’s Driftless Area, featuring trout streams, restored blufflands, timber rattlesnakes and Mystery Cave. The environmental segment “Pollinator Friendly Solar” was awarded an Upper Midwest Emmy and segments on the National Eagle Center’s golden eagle studies and TUNE youth outdoor camp received nominations.
Pioneer PBS has invested ENRTF funds in content that inspires Minnesotans to connect with the outdoors and protect precious natural resources.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Prairie Sportsman has statewide appeal and is aired on all Minnesota PBS stations, including Pioneer PBS (Granite Falls), Lakeland PBS (Bemidji and Brainerd), WDSE (Duluth), tpt (Twin Cities PBS) and KSMQ (Austin).
In addition, each episode’s three video features are segmented and individually branded to stand alone. Full episodes and individual segments continue to be viewed online at prairiesportsman.org, Facebook and YouTube. The evergreen episodes are produced to have long-term educational value for schools, environmental learning centers, natural resource agencies, outdoor sports and recreation groups, civic organizations and individuals. After each season, complimentary DVDs are offered to all who participated in or helped with video features and, this year, Pioneer PBS received requests for almost 250 videos. The attached spreadsheets show all the episodes and segments produced in 2019 and 2020 and the people and organizations across Minnesota involved in creating these features.
The program’s aggressive social media campaign brings awareness to each episode and individual segments that will draw people to view them online. Facebook has been the most successful social media platform for marketing Prairie Sportsman, with more than 4,000 dedicated followers. Instagram and Snapchat have also helped expand Prairie Sportsman’s audience.
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
12718 10th Street NE
Spicer, MN 56288
$213,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center to expand the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) model to improve local waterways by training and mobilizing over 20 youth-led teams in Minnesota communities to complete 30 or more projects related to water quality including monitoring and reporting.
Our project, YES! Students Take on Water Quality Challenge, brought water quality and conservation knowledge and expertise to over 800 students from 126 communities across Minnesota. In 3 years, 81 hands-on water quality and prairie/habitat restoration projects were completed, and 20 waterbodies were improved while engaging with 30 resource experts.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Our project goal was to engage Minnesota’s youth in taking on the challenge to improve our state’s water ways. We accomplished this goal by:
Our aim was to help students to better understand the interconnectedness of their daily actions and water quality. We accomplished this through leveraging the expertise of 30 water quality experts who educated and trained our students about local water quality challenges, techniques to improve and conserve water quality and then assisted them in doing related student-driven projects.
YES! student-driven projects benefited Minnesota communities by improving waterways, cleaning up shorelines, restoring native prairies and establishing new native plantings and habitats. Other projects included Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitoring, assessing drinking water, installing hydration stations, storm drain stenciling (Adopt-a-Drain), water usage tracking and water-related events and peer education.
As one YES! student from Minnewaska said, “I enjoy YES! because of the positive interactions-people taking time out of their day to teach you things. It’s something for yourself and it’s something to do for your community.” Another student from Carlton stated, “It feels really rewarding to know that we are actually making a difference!” Resource expert Phil Votruba commented, "You guys serve as an inspiration for youth across the state and across the country!"
A Sleepy Eye Student remarked “As a part of YES! team I got to participate in River Watch which consists of monitoring Minnesota’s rivers and helping to keep them safe. I was able to learn more about what makes the rivers healthy or unhealthy and was able to help in the monitoring process.”
During this project (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2021) YES! staff have tabled or presented at 20 events. YES! was featured in 22 outside articles, radio broadcasts and videos. They are listed on our website and can be accessed here at YES! in the News. In addition, staff posted 86 blog posts to our YES! website which were shared on our social media pages including Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Project Get Outdoors Inc
PO Box 244
Wabasha, MN 55981
$30,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Project Get Outdoors to train and equip youth leaders at out-of-school youth organizations across Minnesota with knowledge, skills, and resources to incorporate outdoor nature activities into after-school programs for at least 6,000 children, including those from underserved populations.
This project funded 8 training workshops across Minnesota. Participants included after school providers from child care centers, latch key programs, community centers, libraries, recreation centers, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other organizations that work with children during the out of school hours.
The 174 participants learned why children need to experience nature. They learned the basics of child psychology and child development and how to use these concepts when planning and leading outdoor programs for children. The training workshops also introduced participants to concepts of equity in the outdoors and provided resources for them to expand their understanding of the barriers that often prevent children of color and low income children from experiencing the natural world in safe, high quality outdoor settings. Participants learned about the green spaces in our communities and explored a variety of games, activities and opportunities for children within the small green spaces found on school grounds, city parks and neighborhoods. Participants had the opportunity to develop and lead a nature activity and they learned tips for safety and behavior management during outdoor explorations.
Project GO Equipment Kits were provided to the NE and NW regions, as they already existed for the SW, SE and Metro areas. The kits are housed with partner organizations in each region and available for youth-serving organizations to check out for free.
This project also allowed us to develop an on-line training segment to complement the 8-hour in-person workshop. With in-kind support from the MN Chapter for the International Society for Performance Improvement (MN ISPI), we organized a photo shoot at the MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge with youth models of various cultural backgrounds. These photos are being used to develop the inter-active on-line training that will introduce participants to concepts of program planning for equity and basics of youth development and behavior management so training participants will come to the classroom session prepared to engage in the conversation.
Through evaluation we found that participants were overwhelmingly appreciative of the opportunity to learn more about connecting children to nature. We especially found those in rural Minnesota were extremely grateful for the information and resources as they do not have access to as many training opportunities on this subject.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Results of this project include:
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
PO Box 845
Chanhassen, MN 55317
$400,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Minnesota Trout Unlimited to engage students in classroom and outdoor hands-on learning focused on water quality, groundwater, aquatic life, and watershed stewardship and providing youth and their families with fishing experiences. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Friends of the Minnesota Valley
6601 Auto Club Road
Bloomington, MN 55438
$100,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Friends of the Minnesota Valley to expand a River Watch program on the Minnesota River to recruit at least 15 additional teams of high school students in monthly monitoring and reporting of water quality.
With funding from the ENRTF, we were able to expand River Watch from four high school teams to 14 teams and recruited at least two additional teams to participate in future years. Through the program, approximately 250 students learned how to conduct water quality monitoring, the pollutants that affect water quality, how to operate monitoring equipment, and to report the data. Students learned sources of pollution and actions that can be taken to reduce future water pollution.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The River Watch program engaged high school students from18 high schools in lessons about surface water quality, students learned how to operate sophisticated electronic equipment to test water quality. Data collected was submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through the Citizen Water Quality Monitoring program.
Although data collection is an important purpose of the River Watch program, providing students with a meaningful experiential learning opportunity that teaches them the importance of water quality is the primary purpose. River Watch participants learn more than just facts, they develop understanding about water quality they will carry with them for their entire lives. Based on student feedback, River Watch achieved this goal of a meaningful educational experience.
Another goal Friends of the Minnesota Valley hoped to accomplish with ENRTF funding was to grow our River Watch program from a trial program working with four teams to a program working with 15-20 teams. Through the use of ENRTF funding, Friends was able to develop high quality informational brochures, a website, and other supporting materials to promote the River Watch program. We succeeded by working with 18 different high schools and will begin the 2021-2022 school year with 16 teams participating in River Watch and other teams considering joining. Covid limitations significantly reduced our ability to take students directly to rivers for sampling during the 2021 school year, but desired program growth did occur.
A third objective was to raise public awareness of the River Watch program and public awareness of the water quality problems facing the Minnesota River. On several occasions, local news media covered student monitoring events. Public awareness of River Watch is well established and the program is set to continue in future years due to the foundation built during the three years that the program was funded by LCCMR.
The Minnesota River is widely seen as one of the most polluted rivers in Minnesota. Teaching today’s high school students(tomorrows adult citizens and leaders) the seriousness of this problem, giving them the knowledge and understanding of the problem, and inculcating a desire to solve the problem will benefit the State of Minnesota as these young people move into positions in which their personal actions and the public decisions they make or influence lead to river water quality protections. As the River Watch program grows, an ever-growing number of young people will be motivated and equipped to “clean up” the Minnesota River.
The data collected to date and in the future will enable policy makers at the local and state level to make better informed decisions that will improve and protect water quality in the Minnesota River basin and downstream in the Mississippi River.
Each time a River Watch Team conducted a water quality monitoring event, local news media including radio, newspapers, and television was informed and invited to provide coverage. Several local newspaper articles covering such events were published and at least one television story was broadcast.
The very process of recruiting River Watch teams involved communication with every secondary school administrator in the Minnesota River basin. These communications were often shared with local school boards as part of the participation approval process. Students and staff in River Watch have been invited to speak at local service group meetings. Each communication included reference to LCCMR/ENRTF funding.
U of MN
1980 Folwell Ave, 219 Hodson Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
$250,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to increase knowledge of pollinators in gardens and yards and improve pollinator habitat by expanding outreach, training, and tools for Minnesota communities as part of the Pollinator Ambassadors program. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - Morris
WC Research and Outreach Ctr
Morris, MN 56267
$550,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris to restore 17 acres of native prairie for pollinators and to construct wayside shelters and kiosks along an existing trail to provide information to visitors on the importance of pollinators and native prairie ecosystems. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
3800 Bryant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
$500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to develop new interactive exhibits at North Mississippi Regional Park to encourage the approximately 326,000 annual visitors to better understand and explore the river and surrounding natural area.
The new Nature in the City exhibit at North Mississippi Regional Park features compelling design with interactive components that spark curiosity about Nature, increase knowledge about Nature, entice visitors to explore the outdoors, and become better stewards of the environment.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Nestled between I-94 and the Mississippi River in north Minneapolis, North Mississippi Regional Park serves more than 300,000 annual visitors. Located within the park is the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center which featured an outdated and worn educational exhibit focused on human relationships to the Mississippi River as drinking water, transportation corridor, and job source. However, park staff discovered that what visitors really wanted was to learn more about the natural resources found in the park - the land, the water, animals, birds and insects - and connect with Nature in a hands-on, immersive way.
The overarching objective of the project is to educate and inspire park visitors so they can make better decisions to positively impact the natural world. Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board staff worked with Split Rock Studios (SRS) to imagine and develop content and components for a new educational exhibit titled Nature in the City. SRS then designed, fabricated, sculpted, and installed the landforms, interactives, super graphics, taxidermy, technology, signs and more. The exhibit features current research, compelling interpretation and visuals, and interactive components to spark wonder and curiosity about the Mississippi River, stormwater runoff, native plants and pollinators, wildlife and their adaptations to city living, plus migration, the Mississippi flyway, and more. Designed to foster repeat visitation, parts of the exhibit can change out seasonally, while others provide space to add stories and information in response to park visitor interests. The exhibits, along with programs led by staff, promote ways people can take action to benefit land and water. Park visitors are also encouraged to apply their new knowledge while exploring the park and contribute to citizen science field work.
Due to the pandemic, the Kroening Interpretive Center remains closed to the public. When restrictions are lifted, staff look forward to welcoming the estimated 326,000 annual visitors to North Mississippi Regional Park to explore the new Nature in the City exhibit.
International Wolf Center
7100 Northland Circle N, Ste 205
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
|Phone:||(763) 560-7374 x222|
$1,000,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the International Wolf Center to design, construct, and install new interactive educational exhibits to help Minnesotans understand coexistence with the state's wolf populations and ongoing wolf- management efforts.
The success of wolf recovery over the past three decades in Minnesota led us to a major overhaul of the exhibit. This updated exhibit will now celebrate Minnesota’s historic success in recovering this endangered species, as well as to educate Minnesotan’s about the need for their management.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Since 1993, over one million people have learned about wolves at the International Wolf Center’s interpretive center in Ely. The Center’s old exhibit was created in the early 1980’s, its purpose was to promote species survival. Although beautifully and professionally created, the success of wolf recovery over the past three decades in Minnesota has resulted in it becoming outdated. Display materials were made with a high-quality printing process on permanent materials, making it cost-prohibitive to update exhibit displays.
The New Exhibit has three main components: 1) History of Wolves 2) Science of Wolves: Their Biology and Role in Nature as an Apex Predator and 3) Co-Existence with Wolves: The Need for Wolf Management. The exhibit is equipped with interactive state of the art technology to optimize the learning experience. A “Howling Room” sound chamber simulates an outdoor experience where visitors will learn how to communicate with packs. Through immersive experiences, visitors will learn about the complicated issues in Minnesota surrounding human interactions with wolves.
The exhibit, known as Discover Wolves! informally opened to the public beginning on Friday, May 10th. The official, large public grand opening celebration occurred on Friday, June 28th. The finished Discover Wolves! exhibit will teach tens of thousands of Minnesotans and people around the world who visit the interpretive center the facts about wolf biology, management and recovery.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Updates about the progress of the new exhibit were shared each month on the International Wolf Center’s social media platforms and through electronic mailings. In April, Executive Director Rob Schultz appeared before the Ely City Council and gave an update on the progress of the new exhibit. Updates of the progress of the exhibit preparations were shared with news media throughout the spring months, and the Center received publicity in regard to the new exhibit upon completion of its installation in May.
An article giving updates about the new exhibit was published in International Wolf Magazine in mid-May. Additional items planned include news releases being prepared that highlight the grand opening celebration, as well as a final article about the completion of the new exhibit that will appear in International Wolf Magazine in mid-August.
2446 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55114
$275,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with ReUSE Minnesota to provide outreach and technical assistance to communities and small businesses to create and expand opportunities for reusing, renting, and repairing consumer goods as an alternative to using new materials so solid-waste disposal and its impacts are measurably reduced and more local reuse jobs are created. Net income generated as part of this appropriation may be reinvested in the project if a plan for reinvestment is approved in the work plan.
ReUSE MN connected businesses and consumers to organizations providing reuse, repair, and rental services through two conferences and 24 educational events. Research conducted revealed the Minnesota reuse sector makes up 1/3 of the retail economy. By avoiding new products, reuse saves 67 billion gallons of freshwater from being used each year.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Current practices of throwing away usable items and unnecessarily producing new goods depletes finite natural resources and pollutes our environment at an unsustainable pace. Reuse helps slow this process and keeps materials and products in use longer. The goal for this project was to promote the benefits of reuse, repair, and rental, including the organizations providing these services. Encouraging consumers to reuse results in more sustainable consumption patterns and supports the local economy.
LCCMR funding allowed ReUSE MN, a small, volunteer-run non-profit, to hire a management company to streamline organizational processes, update our website, and improve our membership structure.
Over the past two years, we hosted two conferences that highlighted reuse innovations, programs, policies, and research. The 2019 conference was the state’s first reuse-focused conference, and welcomed 118 attendees. The 2020 virtual national conference saw 212 attendees representing 23 states and 3 Canadian provinces. ReUSE MN also hosted 20 webinars and educational sessions, and staffed booths/presented about reuse at 17 partner-hosted events.
The organization grew its reuse network of nonprofits, businesses, policymakers, educators, and consumers with paid memberships increasing to 205 – a nearly 7-fold increase over the grant period.
Using survey responses and purchased business data, ReUSE MN created a report summarizing the environmental, economic, and social impacts of reuse. Minnesota’s reuse sectors:
Reuse organizations play an important role in communities, keeping money and services local, offering spaces for learning and skills-building, and bringing like-minded individuals together around shared goals. Data and stories gathered throughout this grant will help advocate for Minnesota reuse organizations and show the importance of extending the life of our belongings and protecting the state’s resources.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
ReUSE Minnesota provides regular updates and resources through monthly e-newsletters and social media. We reached more than 2,100 people through 36 educational sessions, member meetings, and two conferences. The ReUSE MN website acts as a directory for rental, repair, and reuse businesses as well as a resource for events and news about the reuse economy.
The final measurement and methodology report is housed on the ReUSE MN website. The new Reuse Impact map provides an interactive look at how reuse benefits the economy and environment across the state and by county. Nearly 100 listeners heard about the impact study results on a webinar. Results have already helped start conversations in counties that want to boost their reuse business sector to reduce waste.
The Network for Better Futures (D/B/A) Better Futures Minnesota
PO Box 6596
Minneapolis, MN 55406
$665,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Better Futures Minnesota, in cooperation with the Northwest Indian Community Development Corporation, and $135,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth to expand building deconstruction and material-reuse practices and jobs in partnership with counties, tribes, and municipalities statewide and to document the environmental, health, and economic benefits of these practices. Net income generated by Better Futures as part of this or a previous related appropriation from the environment and natural resources trust fund may be reinvested in the project if a plan for reinvestment is approved in the work plan.
This project funded: the deconstruction of 29 properties; 10.5 FTE jobs; transitional employment of 200 people; a reuse project at a county landfill; and the promotion of deconstruction and material reuse throughout the State. The project generated close to net zero emissions by diverting 80% of 8,000,000 pounds of material from landfills.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This project supported the growth of building material stewardship, an essential and viable alternative to burying 70% of the State’s building waste in landfills. Practical alternatives to dumping are needed to avert the serious health, financial, and environmental costs of landfill use.
Three activities were completed. First, by providing advice and assistance to counties, a deconstruction incentive grant program for homeowners in Hennepin County was implemented and a diversion/reuse program at the Becker County landfill was established.
Second, through presentations and outreach the partners made significant progress in making the reuse and recycling of building materials a preferred practice statewide. One result is the Sustainable Building Materials stakeholder group with staff support from the MPCA. This work group is focused on informing rule changes for landfills, expanding deconstruction work in the State, and expanding the marketplace for the reuse of materials.
This outreach was combined with deconstructing 29 properties in 22 communities, launching a diversion and reuse program at a county landfill, and training and offering transitional employment for 200 people. The results of this effort - types and value of materials harvested and reused; jobs created; and the benefits for our air, water, and land - demonstrated to many audiences the value of this project.
The third activity focused on documenting that 80% (3,117 tons or 6,234,000 pounds) of the 4,000 tons collected was diverted from landfills. The most beneficial environmental outcome is that 346 tons or 9% of the material was reused.
Overall, the benefits of the deconstruction and reuse, as an alternative to demolition, are broad and generous. Project data shows deconstruction generates 70% less emissions than demolition. This project also approached net zero emissions per ton of material collected: .63 metric tons of CO2 for deconstruction compared to 2.23 metric tons of CO2 for demolition.
This project can inform economic development and healthy environmental practices Statewide. The formula is practical: take apart and reuse buildings rather than dumping them in landfills and begin diverting reusable materials at landfills. These new methods create more jobs, provide quality materials for consumers, and dramatically reduces harmful pollutants.
The highlights of the partners’ many and varied dissemination efforts included: an opportunity to introduce building material stewardship and deconstruction practices to more than 150 government, tribal, and business owners during statewide MPCA stakeholder meetings; an opportunity to describe this projects’ value and impact to an international audience during a “virtual” conference sponsored by the Ellen McArthur Foundation in London, England; and, a presentation at the 2021 Environmental Initiative awards ceremony (Better Futures and Becker County received the 2021 Rural Innovation Award).
The partner’s deconstruction pilot with St Louis County generated opportunities to promote the benefits and impact of deconstruction and material reuse.
Articles on this project were included in the Duluth Monitor, WDIO Radio, Duluth News Tribune, FOX21, and KBJR6.
Becker County staff created a significant number of followers (over 2500) on Facebook Marketplace. This site along with Craig’s List are effective venues for promoting the reuse pilot and promoting sales events. Staff also promote reuse on a local weekly radio show.
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155
$550,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources in cooperation with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa to provide a college-to-work pathway for students of diversity to pursue natural resources careers through internships and mentorships with state agencies. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - MITTPC
1992 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
$3,500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for high-priority research at the Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center to protect Minnesota's natural and agricultural resources from terrestrial invasive plants, pathogens, and pests as identified through the center's strategic prioritization process. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert St N
St. Paul, MN 55155
$431,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of agriculture to continue to monitor, ground survey, and control Palmer amaranth primarily in conservation plantings and to develop and implement aerial-survey methods to prevent infestation and protect prairies, other natural areas, and agricultural crops.
Voyageurs National Park
360 Hwy 11 E
International Falls, MN 56649
$131,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Voyageurs National Park to evaluate the effectiveness of mechanical harvesting and managing muskrat populations to remove exotic hybrid cattails and restore fish and wildlife habitat in Minnesota wetlands. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U.S. Geological Survey
2630 Fanta Reed Rd
La Crosse, WI 54603
$500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the United States Geological Survey to develop a genetic control tool that exploits the natural process of RNA silencing to specifically target and effectively control zebra mussels without affecting other species or causing other nontarget effects. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - AIS Center
1980 Folwell Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
$998,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota in cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to install, evaluate, and optimize a system in Mississippi River locks and dams to deter passage of invasive carp without negatively impacting native fish and to evaluate the ability of predator fish in the pools above the locks and dams to consume young carp. The project must conduct a cost comparison of equipment purchase versus lease options and choose the most effective option. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
This project discovered that even when equipped with a sound-light deterrent, Lock and Dam 8 has little promise to stop invasive carp but that Lock and Dam 5 could stop over 99% of all carp if equipped with a sound-light deterrent that includes a bubble curtain.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The purpose of our project was to determine how to stop invasive carp. Because all carp must pass through locks-and-dams we focused on these structures, focusing on Lock and Dam 8 (LD8) near the Iowa border. We specifically examined whether and how carp could be stopped at LD8 by adjusting its spillway gates, installing a sound-light deterrent in its lock, and managing native fish predators in its vicinity. While we found that this combination has little promise at LD8, nearly all carp could be stopped upstream at LD5 using a variant of it, sparing Lake Pepin and most of the state. Insight came from several aspects of our research. First, by releasing acoustically-tagged common carp at biweekly intervals and tracking their movements upstream through LD8, we discovered that carp passage through spillway gates only occurs at high discharges as predicted by a fish passage model -- proving that LD8 is a poor location to stop carp because its gates open infrequently, but that LD5 is an excellent location because its gates do. Second, we found that carp passage through locks is predictably low, meaning that the lock at LD5 is an excellent location to install a deterrent because of this LD’s low spillway passage rates. Third, while we found that a sound-light deterrent was ineffective at blocking carp, a sound-light-bubbling system (BAFF) is. An engineering analysis supported using a BAFF at LD5. Fourth, when we examined whether native predatory fishes might control invasive carp, we discovered no support: no common predator feeds on fish (carp) eggs and floodplain predators do not favor their young. Finally, we created a numeric model which showed that a BAFF at LD5, coupled with spillway optimization, and carp removal at that site would stop 99.6% of all carp in Minnesota – a solution has been identified.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Our findings on carp deterrents are being used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to test a bioacoustic fish fence. Our findings have been widely disseminated. A recent summary of the project was presented at a carp forum: Carp Forum. In addition, we presented our findings at several public (ex. 2019 Stop Carp Forum), scientific (ex. Midwest Fish and Wildlife meetings) and agency level meetings (ex. annual Mississippi River ANS Task Force Meetings). We have published 3 scientific peer-reviewed articles and have 2 in review. The StarTribune covered our project twice in front page articles as did Minnesota Outdoors.
Science Museum of Minnesota - St. Croix Research Station
16910 152nd Street N
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
$200,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Science Museum of Minnesota for the St. Croix Watershed Research Station to determine the historical distribution, abundance, and toxicity of the invasive blue-green alga, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, in about 20 lakes across Minnesota and inform managers and the public about the alga's spread and health risks. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
111 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$350,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop, evaluate, and optimize thin film silicon-based luminescent solar window concentrators in order to produce inexpensive, clean energy and reduce air pollution. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - I on E
1954 Buford Ave, 229 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$550,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to install, demonstrate, and evaluate three community-scale storage systems for renewable energy and develop a guidebook on storing renewable energy for statewide use. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
111 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
$300,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop inexpensive, high-efficiency solar energy with simple roll-to-roll advanced manufacturing technology, using new materials such as perovskite to make solar cells. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155
$220,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to accelerate the nongame wildlife program including rare wildlife data collection, habitat management, collaborative land protection, conservation education, and a new emphasis on promoting nature tourism to benefit wildlife, visitors, and rural communities.
Funds from this grant helped us prioritize collaborative efforts in our Conservation Focus Areas. We successfully conducted 10 habitat improvement projects on over 200 acres for multiple Species in Greatest Conservation Need including: bottomland forest songbirds, prairie pollinators, Blanding’s turtles, and oak savanna dependent species.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Results of this project can be broken down into three separate categories: habitat work, monitoring efforts and research. We surpassed our goals for the habitat restoration piece of this grant mainly due to the partnership aspect of Conservation Focus Areas. We were able to provide partial funding that leveraged broader participation in conservation actions. In total, this project enabled us to:
All activities took place in at least one of the four activated CFAs (see map: Conservation Focus Areas (CFA) Status 2015-205 MN Wildlife Action Plan).
An important component of conducting habitat improvement work is monitoring the species response to management. These efforts were focused primarily on prairie habitat restoration activities in the southwest and southeast potion of the state. Both flora and fauna response has been measured prior to the restoration activity, during the establishment of the restoration and post management. These data will provide managers with information on ways to potentially adapt their management practices to better accommodate the species the habitat restoration is meant to benefit.
Research and monitoring are a top priority for the Nongame Wildlife Program, which uses status and trend data to determine the protection status of many nongame species. This grant helped us to conduct a pilot study for a new research project to better understand the recent declines of American kestrels. The pilot efforts resulted in a full scale project proposal for a federal grant which was awarded in spring of 2021.
Conservation Focus Areas are one of the main implementation tools in our State Wildlife Action Plan and we celebrate the work being done throughout the CFA network in many of our communications. Our Nongame Wildlife Program Facebook page has featured some of the CFA habitat projects as well as the kestrel research. We have also created a 34 page, Wildlife Action Plan 5-year Report, featuring highlights on how the plan is funded and the work we do. This report will be available to the public as well as our supporters to provide a fun “behind the scenes” look at how our program operates.
U of MN - Lamberton
23669 130th Street
Lamberton, MN 56152
$310,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop and test the performance of biodegradable biomulch to increase yield, conserve water, suppress weeds and pests, add nutrients to the soil, and replace large amounts of nonrecyclable and nondegradable plastic used in vegetable and fruit production. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Science Museum of Minnesota
16910 152nd St N
Marine on St Croix, MN 55047
$150,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Science Museum of Minnesota for the St. Croix Watershed Research Station to design and evaluate at least six market-based scenarios for perennial cropping systems in Minnesota, including technological and economic feasibility, and estimate their potential to improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - Morris
46352 State Hwy 329
Morris, MN 56267
$750,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris to design, integrate, and field-test new technology mowers to control weeds, reduce herbicide use, reduce energy costs, and improve native vegetation and forage quality on agricultural lands. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 39
St. Paul, MN 55155
$250,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to restore at least 255 acres of high-quality forests in state parks such as Itasca, Jay Cooke, and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks and Greenleaf Lake State Recreation Area. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55108
$200,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop strategies and practical tools to minimize soil compaction and other impacts across a range of conditions during timber harvest to maintain timber availability, improve regeneration of diverse forests, and benefit wildlife habitat. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
102 23rd Street NE
Bemidji, MN 56601
$400,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to assess invertebrate amphipods in wetlands and explore stocking them as a valuable food source for ducks and other wildlife in the Prairie Pothole Region of the state. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
U of MN - Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Dr
Chaska, MN 55318
$259,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to expand collection and preservation efforts to enable long-term conservation of at least 25 of the 48 native orchid species in Minnesota and to continue propagation and cultivation research. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Native orchid populations across the state have been stored in a long-term seedbank at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, preserving these native jewels. This project also preserved many of the fungal partners that orchids need to survive and establish in the wild.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This project worked to bank the seed of more of Minnesota’s native orchid species, a complex and difficult plant family to conserve because of their complex biology. As part of this seed banking effort, there is a wealth of research that must be done with each species, to determine how best to store seed and propagate them and what the soil fungal partners are and how those fungi can be used to establish these notoriously difficult species, either in display beds for visitors to enjoy or in the wild to establish, augment or protect their presence in or landscapes. There are about 46 native orchid species in Minnesota and understanding how to propagate them and store their seed had not previously been well-established for nearly all of them. This project sought to develop that information for as many of those species as possible. Overwhelmingly successful, multiple populations of these plants were banked for nearly all species and research on nearly all 46 species has been successful and continues. A fungal bank of nearly 500 specimens was also established to grow and work with the fungal partners that orchids need.
This work will not only benefit visitors to the Arboretum, it is already being used by groups across the state, region and country for a variety of projects that would have previously been unthinkable or unsuccessful, including outplantings of native orchids in restored or protected landscapes and transplants and rescues of plants under immediate threat from development or construction. The resulting information we have produced, and continue to produce, is invaluable for any groups wanting to work with these species.
Orchids brought into the seedbank and propagated at UMLA have been displayed in existing and new display beds with a series of educational brochures. Displaying orchids at UMLA allows visitors to see many species that they would likely never see in person otherwise. We give talks, in person or virtually, and have been able to reach out in a variety of media formats, including a website. Finally, we have been able to use the techniques, infrastructure and expertise developed during this project to assist a variety of groups in a variety of conservation-aimed projects related to native orchids.
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155
$2,000,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to solicit, rank, and fund competitive matching grants for local parks, trail connections, and natural and scenic areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 85.019. The appropriation is for local nature-based recreation and connections to regional and state natural areas and recreation facilities and does not include athletic facilities such as sport fields, courts, and playgrounds. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority
111 Station Rd
Eveleth, MN 55734
$600,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority for environmental assessment, permitting, right-of-way easements or other acquisition as needed, engineering, and construction of an approximately three-mile-long bituminous surface section of the Mesabi Trail between Ely and the intersection of Highway 169 and County Road 88. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2022, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
City of Harmony
225 3rd Ave SW, PO Box 488
Harmony, MN 55939
$235,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Harmony to acquire fee title of about 16 parcels to allow for the approximate six-mile extension of the legislatively authorized state trail from Harmony south to the Iowa state border with a spur to Niagara Cave. The land must be transferred to the state after it has been purchased.
This project provided funding to purchase fee title interest in 20 parcels to create a corridor for the extension of the Harmony-Preston state trail from the City of Harmony to the Iowa border, with a spur to Niagara Cave.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Originally conceived as a part of the Governor’s Design Team project in 1989, the extension south to the Iowa border and Niagara Cave was the next segment to be constructed of the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail. Since the completion of the existing segment in the mid-90s, local volunteers worked with landowners to extend the trail south from Harmony to the major tourist attraction, Niagara Cave, and the Iowa border where the trail system from northeast Iowa will connect to create an interstate trail system.
Local volunteers secured option contracts on 16 parcels to secure the land corridor necessary for the approximately 6-mile trail. The options were set to expire on December 31, 2019. LCCMR funding was secured in 2018 to provide a funding source to exercise the options and purchase fee title what ended up being portions of 20 parcels. This acquired land will be donated to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources per the authorizing legislation.
This funding provided in this project will allow for the construction of the state trail extension, which is to be completed in 2021. Once completed, this project will provide a recreational opportunity to regional residents and visitors from both in and outside of Minnesota; promoting outdoor recreation, health, and enjoyment of southeastern Minnesota natural resources.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
No materials were created to promote or disseminate information about this project as it was purely related to land acquisition.
This project was mentioned in local media reports including newspapers and television news. All reports mentioned that funding was made possible through a grant from LCCMR and the Harmony Area Community Foundation. “Funding provided by” signage utilizing the trust fund logo will be placed on the bike trial route.
City of Red Wing
315 Fourth St W
Red Wing, MN 55066
$550,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Red Wing to be used with other funds to construct an approximate three-quarter-mile-long hard-surfaced segment of the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail along Red Wing's Mississippi River riverfront from Barn Bluff Regional Park to Colvill Park. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
38694 Tanger Dr
North Branch, MN 55056
$2,254,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Chisago County Environmental Services to construct an approximate one-half-mile regional county trail segment within Interstate State Park from the end point of the existing trail at the park boundary to city hall including a trail bridge over the ravine and parking and trailhead improvements and to conduct a natural and cultural review to determine the feasibility and route of a future section of the trail through the park. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
The Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail within Interstate Park was designed and constructed to protect the natural resources within the State Park Land while preserving rare plants, native tree species and wetlands. The Interstate State Park trail enhances Minnesota’s air, water, and wildlife by avoidance and mitigation of many natural resources that were present. Resulting trail is a 10 ft. wide bituminous surface with a 160 ft. long bridge crossing a ravine.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
The Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail project was constructed within Interstate Park State Park and into the City of Taylors Falls. This segment of trail has a ten-foot-wide bituminous trail surface and is approximately .60 miles in length that was designed as an ADA compliant multi-use and non-motorized trail. The main goal of this project was to expand the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail further east to allow a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclist to travel. The project will benefit many local communities and Minnesotans alike by connecting multiple cities along this trail corridor. The trail will likely attract new visitors each year to enjoy the majestic views of Interstate State Park while also providing health and wellness benefits.
The overall project was implemented years prior to construction through the vision and involvement of many organizations, stakeholders, cities and residents to construct a County Regional Trail within a State Park and along a historic rail corridor to Taylors Falls. During the construction phase many accomplishments were achieved by excellent planning and cooperation, some of these included a beautiful 160 ft. bridge over a ravine and a trailhead that incorporated many great landscaping features that are prevalent in the region. Throughout the entire construction project one of the main challenges was to find the perfect trail alignment that meet all necessary trail compliances while also minimized impacts to many of the Interstate State Park environmental, natural, and cultural resources.
The Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) acknowledgement has be very prevalent throughout the entire project. The use of the trust fund logo and attributed language have been printed in newspaper publications and Environmental Services Newsletters, social media platforms and signage along the Swedish Immigrant Regional Trail corridor. Throughout the project we have created several documents and other online resources to help communicate and receive public outreach. Some of these include the use of electronic public surveys and mailing for community input and involvement.
Superior Hiking Trail Association
731 Seventh Ave, PO Box 4
Two Harbors, MN 55616
$100,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Superior Hiking Trail Association to evaluate improvements to the 310-mile-long Superior Hiking Trail including routing, safety, water management, maintenance, and other environmental, recreational, and design issues and to develop an interactive trail-management system to capture efficiencies and best management practices.
The Superior Hiking Trail is well placed to lessen the environmental impact of trail users and the Association is better equipped to build and maintain a more sustainable hiking trail.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This LCCMR grant allowed SHTA to conduct assessments by professional trail builders and ecologists, focusing on the most worn-out sections of the Trail. The grant also allowed us to build a trail database – a repository for all relevant documents of the SHT and a place to catalog work projects.
All users of the SHT will benefit from a better built and more resilient Superior Hiking Trail. Their experience should be more pleasant and safer. The SHT is a Minnesota recreational icon; everyone is rooting for its continued existence and good health.
Our database is in use almost daily; it was not intended for dissemination or use outside the SHTA. The trail assessments were heavily scrutinized internally and shared with the affected resource professionals. The educational videos are online for the public. The volunteer manual, once finalized, will serve hundreds of SHTA volunteers and set a new standard for trail maintenance.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
We generally don’t make the assessment reports public, but we do provide them to people who ask for them. We certainly supply the state park officials with these assessments.
The videos we produced are on the internet for the world to see. The volunteer trail maintenance manual will be distributed to the hundreds of volunteers who put in time on the SHT. The videos and the manual contain/will contain the requisite language explaining the support of the ENRTF grant.
City of Baxter
13190 Memorywood Dr
Baxter, MN 56425
$700,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Baxter, in cooperation with Brainerd Public Schools and the Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Program, to acquire about 200 acres of forested land on the upper Mississippi River adjacent to Mississippi River Overlook Park for multiple public benefits, including being an outdoor classroom for local schools. To be eligible for reimbursement, costs for real estate transactions must be specific to this acquisition and documented as required in subdivision 15, paragraph (k).
Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District
322 Laurel St, Ste 13
Brainerd, MN 56401
$750,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District to increase watershed protection to maintain and improve water quality in lakes and rivers in Aitkin and Crow Wing Counties with about ten permanent RIM conservation easements and 12 forest stewardship plans and by implementing six best management practices. Of this amount, up to $59,000 may be contributed to an easement stewardship account established under Minnesota Statutes, section 103B.103, as approved in the work plan.
1241 Bridge St E
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
$2,000,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to provide technical stewardship assistance to private landowners, restore and enhance about 270 acres of native prairie protected by easements in the native prairie bank, and acquire easements for the native prairie bank in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 84.96, on about 275 acres, including preparing initial baseline property assessments. Up to $120,000 of this appropriation may be deposited in the natural resources conservation easement stewardship account, created in Minnesota Statutes, section 84.69, proportional to the number of easement acres acquired. A list of proposed easement acquisitions and restoration sites for the native prairie bank are required in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
1241 Bridge St E
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
$2,500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to expand high-priority recreational opportunities on Minnesota's state trails by developing new trail segments and rehabilitating, improving, and enhancing existing state trails. High-priority trail segments to develop and enhance include but are not limited to the Gateway, Gitchi Gami, Paul Bunyan, and Heartland State Trails. A proposed list of trail projects on legislatively authorized state trails is required in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155
$2,500,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire about 163 acres of high-priority in holdings from willing sellers within the legislatively authorized boundaries of state parks and trails in order to protect Minnesota's natural heritage, enhance outdoor recreational opportunities, and improve the efficiency of public land management. Priorities include but are not limited to Tettegouche, Sibley, and Minneopa State Parks and the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail. A list of proposed acquisitions is required in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155
$3,250,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the scientific and natural areas program. Of this amount, $1,500,000 is for habitat restoration activities, $500,000 is for scientific and natural areas public engagement and outreach, and $1,250,000 is to acquire strategic high-quality lands that meet criteria for scientific and natural areas under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, from willing sellers. A list of proposed acquisitions and restorations is required in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Rm 65
St. Paul, MN 55155
$439,000 the second year is from the trust fund to an emerging issues account authorized in Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.08, subdivision 4, paragraph (d).
Sub-Projects M.L. 2018, Subd. 10:
U of M
500 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
There were concerns that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could contaminate drinking water supplies. In this study, we investigated 30 drinking water samples from homes around the State of Minnesota supplied by either a private well or a public water system, testing for SARS-CoV-2. To date, we have not been able to detect SARS-CoV-2 in any Minnesota drinking water samples.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was observed that the SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in the feces of infected individuals and thus was likely to be present in raw sewage. With this knowledge, researchers developed techniques to monitor the extent of COVID-19 spread in communities by quantifying the virus in untreated municipal wastewater. Given the presence of this virus in raw sewage, concerns were expressed that it could contaminate our public and private drinking water supplies, either from leaky sewer pipes, municipal wastewater effluent, or septic systems. Although well-functioning public water and wastewater facilities are typically very good at preventing the spread of disease via the fecal-to-oral route, this project was undertaken to confirm that SARS-CoV-2 was not contaminating our drinking water. Because SARS-CoV-2 is a pathogen that infects the lungs, the risk of exposure from water supplies is via inhalation of water droplets while showering or other uses. We therefore used filters to collect the microorganisms from 30 high-volume drinking water samples (sample volume: 500-1000 liters) from various locations within the State of Minnesota. These samples were obtained from homes supplied by private wells that do not employ any treatment as well as from homes supplied by public water systems that treat the water, including but not necessarily limited to, disinfection with chlorine. We were unable to detect SARS-CoV-2 in any of these samples; positive-control sewage samples collected from a municipal wastewater treatment plant, however, confirmed that our assays were working and could detect SARS-CoV-2 in water samples. Our results, therefore, provided evidence to suggest that, at the time of our study in the spring and summer of 2020, SARS-CoV-2 was not present in our public and private water supplies and that drinking water was not a likely route of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
We have shared our results with LCCMR staff and with Kirsti Marohn from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and Greg Stanley from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. We also presented our research results at the annual meeting of the Minnesota section of the American Water Works Association (September 24, 2020) and during an online seminar hosted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (December 9, 2020).
Public Facilities Authority (PFA)
Until June 30, 2021, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources must consider recommending up to $10,000,000 of the available money from the trust fund to match appropriations from the bond proceeds fund for wastewater infrastructure funding that exceed $10,000,000 per year for expenditure by the Public Facilities Authority for wastewater treatment grants to home rule charter and statutory cities and towns with a population under 5,000. The grants must be issued under Minnesota Statutes, sections 446A.072 and 446A.073. The recommendations may include a technical assistance program for recipients eligible under this subdivision. The commission must work with the Public Facilities Authority in developing its recommendations. Any deadlines established by the commission for submission of proposals for the commission's fiscal year 2020 recommendations are waived until July 1, 2018, for proposals authorized under this subdivision.
Public Facilities Authority (PFA)
The commission must consider recommending up to five percent of the corpus of the trust fund for loans to the Public Facilities Authority to issue loans under Minnesota Statutes, section 446A.07, to home rule charter and statutory cities and towns with a population under 5,000.
500 Lafayette Rd, Box 10
St. Paul, MN 55155
$135,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources, at the direction of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, for expenses incurred for preparing and administering contracts for the agreements specified in this section. The commissioner must provide documentation to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources on the expenditure of these funds.
This appropriation was used to support the ENRTF contract management program, which ensured that ENRTF grantees expended grant funds in compliance with state law, session law, approved work plans, and Office of Grants Management grants policies.OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
This appropriation was used to support the ENRTF contract management program, which ensured that ENRTF grantees expended grant funds in compliance with state law, session law, approved work plans, and Office of Grants Management grants policies.
The DNR Grants Unit managed 71 grants active in FY 2019. In FY 2020, the Grants Unit managed 72 active grants.
Between 1/1/2019 when billing began and 06/30/2020 when it ended, the DNR Grants Unit:
Project personnel were in frequent contact with appropriation recipients and LCCMR staff. Information was disseminated through manuals, training sessions, orientations, meetings, memos, letters, emails, newsletter, and phone.
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)
Up to $2,940,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2019 and up to $7,840,000 is appropriated each fiscal year beginning in fiscal year 2020 and through fiscal year 2039, from the environment and natural resources trust fund to the commissioner of management and budget to pay principal and interest on appropriation bonds issued under this section, as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.969, subdivision 7.