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M.L. 2019 Projects

M.L. 2019 Projects

On May 24, 2019, the legislature adopted 65 LCCMR recommendations as recommended, provided additional funds to two recommendations and modified one other. They also added 14 additional appropriations, primarily using funds freed up ($2.94 million FY19; $7.84 million FY20) following the repeal of M.L. 2018, Chapter 214, Article 6, Section 4 appropriation bonds. On May 31, 2019, 82 appropriations were signed into law by the Governor as M.L. 2019, First Special Session, Chapter 4, Article 2, for $64,476,000 total appropriations ($149,000 FY16, $2,940,000 FY19, and $61,387,000 FY20).

Minnesota Session Laws - 2019 , First Special Session, Chapter 4, Article 2 (beginning July 1, 2019)

M.L. 2019, First Special Session, Chapter 4.

Other Formats of the M.L. 2019 projects adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor:

Jump to Project

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.

MN Laws 2019 First Special Session, Chapter 4, Article 2, Section 2

Subd. 03Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information

Minnesota Biological Survey

Subd. 03a     $1,500,000 TF (FY2020)

Bruce Carlson
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5083
Email: bruce.carlson@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mbs/index.html

Appropriation Language
$1,500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the Minnesota biological survey to complete the statewide field surveys begun in 1987 to provide a foundation for conserving biological diversity by systematically collecting, interpreting, and delivering data on native and rare species, pollinators, and native plant communities throughout Minnesota. Any revenues generated through the publication of books or other resources created through this appropriation may be reinvested as described in the work plan approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources according to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Restoring Native Mussels in Streams and Lakes

Subd. 03b     $500,000 TF (FY2020)

Mike Davis
MN DNR
2109 North Lakeshore Drive
Lake City, MN 55041

Phone: (651) 314-6302
Email: mike.davis@state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to restore native freshwater mussel assemblages, and the ecosystem services they provide, in the Mississippi, Cedar, and Cannon Rivers and to inform the public on mussels and mussel conservation. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Reestablishing historical mussel assemblages through laboratory propagation began in 2016 at the MNDNR Center for Aquatic Mollusk Programs (CAMP). Since then, CAMP has released 9,541 sub-adult mussels from five species in three watersheds; restoring ecosystem services and enhancing Minnesota rivers with each mussel.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Minnesota’s native mussels are critically important to aquatic ecosystems but have been lost or diminished in many water bodies. Harvest for pearls and buttons, pollution, dams, and destabilized waterways have caused mussel populations to decline dramatically, 80% of Minnesota’s species are affected. Improvements from Clean Water Act implementation, stream restoration work, and protective laws are creating opportunities to reverse this trend. However, dams that limit fish movement are still hindering mussel recolonization, because mussels rely on fish as hosts to complete their life cycle. Thus, conservation methods such as laboratory propagation and reintroduction are needed to help mussel populations recover, and ultimately, restore ecosystem benefits. CAMP has implemented this work for three watersheds in Minnesota, which were chosen based on historical records, habitat, and fish communities. We constructed several propagation systems specifically designed for juvenile recovery and culture over time, improving our success along the way. Since 2016, CAMP has produced more than 1.5 million juvenile mussels. Due to the challenges of culture, survivorship varies between species and years. Juvenile survival after 90-days ranged from 0 – 84%. Newly metamorphosed juveniles were placed into various culture containers including a recirculating system, static system, or a flow-through system. Survival rates vary between systems, and within systems. Factors such as dissolved oxygen, ammonia, pH, and conductivity are monitored throughout growing period. Overall, survival is highest in the flow-through system, however, the system requires the most person-hours per juvenile. From July 2019 until June 2021, CAMP has released 7,038 sub-adult mussels from five species in three watersheds. Since our first ENRTF grant CAMP has released more than 9,500 sub-adult mussels. Mussels will enhance water clarity and improve habitat in the Cannon, Cedar, and Mississippi Rivers for years to come.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

CAMP’s efforts to restore native freshwater mussels were featured in several news articles, including an Episode 1 of Season 3 on MN DNR Prairie Podcast. The Star Tribune and Cedar Watershed District discussed our efforts to reclaim stretches of the river with mussel populations. Moreover, CAMPs newsletters reach more than 5,000 users. Lastly, with the upcoming launch of Clam Counter App for IOS and Android platforms, a digital field guide and general information regarding mussels will be available to all smartphone users.

Quantifying Exposure of Minnesota's Raptors to Mercury and PFAS

Research Project

Subd. 03c     $250,000 TF (FY2020)

Matthew Etterson
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
6770 Haugen Lane
Duluth, MN 55803

Phone: (218) 590-7029
Email: metterso@d.umn.edu
Web: https://www.hawkridge.org/

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory to quantify the exposure and health risk of two environmental neurotoxins to Minnesota raptors.

Minnesota Trumpeter Swan Migration Ecology and Conservation

Research Project

Subd. 03d     $300,000 TF (FY2020)

David E. Anderson
U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and University of Minnesota
200 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 626-1222
Email: dea@umn.edu
Web: http://mncoopunit.cfans.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$300,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to document the movement and habitat use of Minnesota trumpeter swans to provide foundational information necessary for trumpeter swan management and conservation. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Spruce Grouse as Indicators for Boreal Forest Connectivity

Research Project

Subd. 03e     $350,000 TF (FY2020)

Julia Ponder
U of MN - Raptor Center
1920 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-3431
Email: ponde003@umn.edu
Web: https://www.raptor.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for the Raptor Center to evaluate how to best harvest timber in the boreal forest to enable wildlife with small home ranges, such as spruce grouse, to thrive in a changing landscape. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Understanding Brainworm Transmission to Find Solutions for Minnesota Moose Decline

Research Project

Subd. 03f     $400,000 TF (FY2020)

Tiffany Wolf
U of MN
495 Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine, 1988 Fitch Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-0492
Email: wolfx305@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to identify key habitats and vectors of brainworm transmission between deer and moose that may be targeted by resource management to mitigate moose exposure to this deadly condition.

Mapping Habitat Use and Disease of Urban Carnivores

Research Project

Subd. 03g     $500,000 TF (FY2020)

Nicholas McCann
U of MN
B52 Skok Hall, 2003 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (763) 286-2215
Email: mccan062@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to map habitat use and diseases of urban foxes and coyotes, evaluate risks these animals may pose to people and pets, and generate information needed to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

This study provides information to residents and managers about coyotes and foxes. Our results reveal key insights, including about habitat requirements, the expansion of coyotes, and relationships between disease prevalence and free-roaming cats. They suggest outreach efforts to reduce free-roaming pets and management to increase natural vegetation in residential greenspaces.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
  1. Coyotes and foxes have not been studied in the Twin Cities Metro Area.
  2. We captured, collared, and collected biological samples from 17 coyotes, 16 red foxes, and two gray foxes across the TCMA to assess space-use, survival, diet, and disease.
  3. We found that coyote survival was greater than for red foxes, suggesting higher population growth. Canid attacks caused most fox mortalities, likely reflecting coyote population expansion and the presence of free-roaming dogs. Coyote and fox diets consisted of natural foods, with few individuals exhibiting diets associated with people. Toxoplasmosis gondii, a cat feces-transmitted a pathogen found in both coyotes and foxes, was especially frequent in red foxes, potentially due to fox selection of residential areas with more free-roaming cats. Higher heavy metal content in the hair of coyotes was likely a result of using industrial areas. Home range sizes suggest coyotes found resources more easily than red foxes. Den sites reflected the more general differences space-use; coyotes denned in non-residential areas while fox dens were in residential. We estimated 0.27 coyotes/km2 and 0.21 red foxes/km2; lower than in other cities.
  4. Overall, our results suggest coyotes expanded into areas once occupied by red foxes, but both species rarely became nuisances. Outreach promoting leashing pets and keeping cats inside is likely to improve the health of pets, coyotes, and foxes. Communicating the smaller-than-expected weight (males=14.3 kg [31.5 lbs.]; females=11.9 kg [26.2 lbs.]) and low risk of attack should reduce negative perceptions of coyotes. Improving natural habitat in residential greenspaces is likely to benefit red foxes.
  5. This study’s results provide much-needed information to residents and wildlife managers about two charismatic species that are relatively unstudied in Minnesota.
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

We delivered 17 presentations to colleges (e.g., Anoka Ramsey Community College and Macalester College), grade schools, and municipalities (e.g., Cities of Bloomington). We also provided 12 interviews to news outlets and podcasts (e.g., MPR, BBC, and Three Rivers Park District's "Wandering Naturalist" podcast), content for two Friends of the Mississippi River newsletters, and led over 60 volunteers into the field and coordinated with two UMN courses (60 students total). To further disseminate information, we created a University website, Facebook page, and iNaturalist page for the project, and we have drafted one scientific manuscript (set to be published this year).

Accelerated Aggregate Resource Mapping

Subd. 03h     $700,000 TF (FY2020)

Heather Arends
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5376
Email: heather.arends@dnr.state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/aggregate_maps/index.html

Appropriation Language
$700,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to map the aggregate resource potential for four counties and make this information available in print and electronic format to local units of government for use in planning and zoning.

Den Boxes for Fishers and Other Nesting Wildlife

Research Project

Subd. 03i     $190,000 TF (FY2020)

Michael Joyce
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone: (218) 788-2656
Email: joyc0073@d.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$190,000 the first 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 build, install, and evaluate den boxes as habitat enhancement for fishers and other cavity-nesting wildlife in managed forests where a lack of large trees may be threatening population survival. The final outcome for the project must include guidelines and best practices for use of den boxes for fisher habitat.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Fishers used some den boxes, but it appears fishers find natural cavities to raise young. Den cavity availability alone is likely not causing the fisher population decline. Den boxes were used by many other wildlife species. Installing den boxes could be locally beneficial and increases public involvement with wildlife.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The fisher population in Minnesota declined by 50% from 2000-2015. Large cavity trees are critical habitat resources that female fishers use to raise kits. Previous research on fishers in Minnesota suggested that lack of large cavity trees could be one factor limiting the fisher population. We evaluated whether den boxes could provide critical habitat for fishers where natural cavities are rare. Our objectives were to build, install, and monitor fisher den boxes to describe use of den boxes by fishers and other wildlife, determine what factors influence whether fishers use den boxes, and to develop guidelines and recommendations for using den boxes to improve habitat. We built and installed 99 den boxes during fall and winter 2019-2020 and captured over 3 million images of wildlife visiting and using den boxes. Fishers visited 41% of den boxes and used 11% of den boxes on 43 different occasions. Use by fishers was lower than in other studies. Low use rates by fishers could indicate cavity availability is not limiting fishers, but additional work is needed to more fully understand why fisher use of den boxes was low and to evaluate other potential causes of the fisher population decline. Habitat suitability at den box sites was not associated with use by fishers. Fisher presence at den boxes increased over time, and fishers should continue to find and use den boxes in the future. Martens, red squirrels, gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and weasels also used den boxes to rest, store food, avoid predators, and care for young. Frequent use of den boxes by other wildlife demonstrates the value of den boxes to wildlife despite low use by fishers. Den box plans and guidelines we developed have allowed many members of the public to build and install their own den boxes, increasing public involvement with wildlife.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

We created den box building instructions and guidelines for den box installation. Throughout the project, we shared these documents directly with 120 members of the public and resource managers who requested information on the project. Project results were disseminated to technical and non-technical audiences through presentations, print and broadcast media, social media posts, and a Minnesota fisher den box project website we developed. Results are also summarized in a master’s thesis. We are currently finalizing a technical report and three manuscripts using data from this project that will be submitted to scientific journals and shared with wildlife managers.

Red-Headed Woodpeckers as Indicators of Oak Savanna Health

Research Project

Subd. 03j     $171,000 TF (FY2020)

David E. Andersen
U of MN
1980 Folwell Avenue, 200 Hodson Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 626-1222
Email: dea@umn.edu
Web: http://mncoopunit.cfans.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$171,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to evaluate red-headed woodpecker survival and habitat needs and to use this data to develop and disseminate a long-term oak savanna management plan that supports red-headed woodpeckers and other oak savanna habitat-dependent species.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Our project results provide important information on the factors associated with red-headed woodpecker habitat use, survival, and productivity in savanna ecosystems, which can aid ongoing habitat management and conservation efforts intended to conserve and restore this species in Minnesota.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Red-headed Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) are charismatic cavity-nesters that breed in savannas and open forest systems across the eastern and Midwestern United States and south central and eastern Canada. Historically, they were common across the Midwest, but populations have experienced dramatic regional declines. Habitat restoration initiatives have been challenged by a general lack of information on the factors that make savannas desirable for this species. With collaborators from the University of Toledo in Ohio, we studied red-headed woodpecker demography, habitat associations, and migration ecology from 2017 – 2020 in Ohio and Minnesota to elucidate critical periods, locations, life stages, and habitat characteristics associated with population growth rates and to provide habitat restoration and management recommendations for land managers and the public (separate funding sources for research in Ohio). Our results indicate that red-headed woodpecker productivity is higher in landscapes with both open and closed-canopy forest and that even in large stands of oak savanna, productivity near the center of those stands is predicted to be lower than in savanna closer to other forest types. GPS tracking data show detailed information on the migratory and overwintering locations and behaviors of adult red-headed woodpeckers, which, to our knowledge is the first reported data of its kind for this species in Minnesota. Our results provide information on snag density around nest trees, the importance of nest tree wood hardness, and habitat use by adult and fledgling woodpeckers. We have also gained considerable information on the community of predators that may impact red-headed woodpecker nest survival through our trail camera project, now hosted on Zooniverse. We have engaged with thousands of volunteers from around the world to share more about our research through our cavity camera project. Our best management practices are based on current results and we intend to update our recommendations in consultation with collaborators and other experts.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

We presented our research at professional conferences (the Annual meeting of the Minnesota Ornithologist’s Union, the American Ornithological Society Annual Conference, and at the Toledo Museum of Natural History Forum on Local Natural History and Research). We also presented eight invited talks to public audiences through the University of Minnesota, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, multiple local Audubon Chapter organizations, and a Naturalist club in Brandon Manitoba in Canada. Our research project was featured in articles in the following newspapers and magazines: Terrain.org, University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences, and the Minneapolis Star and Tribune.

We are also currently in the process of preparing three manuscripts for publication in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature focused on red-headed woodpecker nest survival and nest site selection, landscape productivity, and mating system:

Implementing Conservation Plans for Avian

Subd. 03k     $124,000 TF (FY2020)

Nathaniel Miller
Audubon Minnesota
1 Water St. #200
St. Paul, MN 55107

Phone: (651) 739-9332
Email: nmiller@audubon.org
Web: http://mn.audubon.org/

Appropriation Language
$124,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the National Audubon Society, Minnesota office, to establish benchmark survey sites for implementing and tracking outcomes of collaborative restoration and enhancement activities within Important Bird Areas for three bird species of conservation concern.

Mapping Aquatic Habitats for Moose

Research Project

Subd. 03l     $199,000 TF (FY2020)

Joseph Bump
U of MN
FWCB 135 Skok Hall, Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-2255
Email: bump@umn.edu
Web: https://fwcb.cfans.umn.edu/personnel/joseph-bump

Appropriation Language
$199,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to determine key water habitats used by moose in northern forested regions of Minnesota, measure the effects of moose foraging on aquatic plant and fish diversity, and provide educational programming materials for the public.

Improving Statewide GIS Data by Restoring the Public Land Survey

Subd. 03m     $135,000 TF (FY2020)

Patrick Veraguth
Minnesota Association of County Surveyors
526 Willow Drive, PO Box 398
Alexandria, MN 56308

Phone: (320) 762-2964
Email: patv@co.douglas.mn.us
Web: http://macsinfo.org/

Appropriation Language
$135,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minnesota Association of County Surveyors to conduct a pilot project with Grant County to remonument and certify the public land survey corners in Lawrence Township. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The Grant County Pilot Project was created to aid in the recovery and remonumentation of Minnesota’s Public Land Survey System (PLSS) Section Corners. Minnesota has over 300,000 Section Corners and less than half of them have been remonumented. All Land Descriptions in Minnesota have been described from these corners; this makes them an invaluable resource that needs to be re-established and maintained for both current and future validations.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

PLSS Section corners were established by the federal government in the late1800’s in Minnesota. Minnesota Association of County Surveyors (MACS) did a rough count of all the Section Corners in the State of Minnesota and came up with over 300,000 corners. Less than half of those corners have been certified and recorded. MACS main goal is to remonument all Section Corners in Minnesota. This is a huge project and will take both time and money to complete.

MACS created this Pilot Project as an example for other counties to reference and then implement a similar plan for PLSS Remonumentation in their location. Grant County was chosen because it did not have a full time County Surveyor on staff and remonumentation has not been a focus for the county until recently. The Remonumentation Committee created a model Request For Proposal (RFP) for other counties to use to aid in hiring a Land Surveyor to remonument Section Corners. The RFP was sent out to all local Land Survey Firms for bids. An informational meeting was held to answer any questions about the RFP. Eight firms attended the meeting; five firms submitted RFPs. Kramer Leas Deleo PC (KLD) was hired to do this work out of the five interviewed firms. KLD measured into all Section, Quarter, and Meander Corner locations in Lawrence Township (Township 130 North, Range 44 West). All corners were excavated that were not in a cut section to expose all monuments set over time at each corner. KLD set monuments and a survey sign at each corner to aid in locating corner monument. KLD recorded Certificates of Location on all corners in Lawrence Township. KLD created Certificate of Survey showing all corners in Lawrence Township. 138 corners were re-established, and Grant County now has an entire Township remonumented. MACS discovered improvements that can be made in their model RFP. MACS looks to implement this model statewide to aid in a statewide remonumentation effort.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

This Pilot Project has made Surveying in Lawrence Township straight-forward, determinable, and cost-effective now that all the corners are set. 138 corners have been re-established. This model RFP can be used by other counties. This Pilot Project is a model for other counties to incorporate in their Section Corner Remonumentation in Minnesota. An ArcView Story Map is in the works and will eventually be used to educate other counties as well as the general public on Land Surveying and Section Corner Remonumentation. (not part of original project)

County Geologic Atlases - Part A, Mapping

Subd. 03n     $2,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Barbara Lusardi
U of MN - MN Geological Survey
2609 Territorial Road
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone: (612) 626-5119
Email: lusar001@umn.edu
Web: https://www.mngs.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$2,000,000 the first 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 to inform 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.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

County Geologic Atlases were completed in two counties and work continued in 17 counties. Based on the time spent, this is equivalent to “completing” about five atlases. 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 afterward: 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 2019 award, Rock and Nobles counties were completed. Over 8,000 well construction records, primarily located by County staff, were compiled into the database to support mapping, document water use in specific aquifers, and to help resolve well problems. Progress continued on mapping the bedrock and surficial geology, subsurface Quaternary stratigraphy, bedrock topography and glacial sediment thickness in 17 other counties. We’ve described hundreds of outcrops, taken thousands of hand samples, and drilled 13 continuous cores allowing us to sample rocks and sediment up to 300 feet deep.

Continuing under the M.L 2020 award, atlases for St. Louis, Aitkin, and Steele counties should be complete within the next three months. Lake, Ottertail and Lac Qui Parle counties should be finished within the next 12-18 months. Work on the remaining counties, Lincoln, Pipestone, Pennington, Cook, Yellow Medicine, Polk and Chippewa, will continue. 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 46 counties, 29 are underway; and 16 have yet to be started. All of our mapping products and data are available in print or digital formats.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

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.

County Geologic Atlases - Part B, Mapping Aquifer Hydrology

Subd. 03o     $2,400,000 TF (FY2020)

Paul Putzier
MN DNR
Box 25, 500 Lafayette Rd N.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5692
Email: paul.putzier@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/groundwater_section/mapping

Appropriation Language
$2,400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue producing county geologic atlases to inform management of surface water and groundwater resources for drinking water and other purposes. This appropriation is for Part B, which uses the geologic formations mapped in Part A of the county geologic atlases to characterize the potential water yields of aquifers and the aquifers' sensitivity to contamination.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The Groundwater Atlas provides foundational, science-based, information for use and management of Minnesota groundwaters. The atlas is valuable to government, industry, and for research. The grant supported work on nineteen atlases and publication of county groundwater atlases (County Atlas Part B) for Brown, Hennepin, Kanabec, Meeker, Morrison, Redwood, and Winona counties.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The Groundwater Atlas provides foundational, science-based, information for use and management of Minnesota groundwaters. The atlas is valuable to government, industry, and research. During the period of the grant, county groundwater atlases (County Atlas Part B) were published for Brown, Hennepin, Kanabec, Meeker, Morrison, Redwood, and Winona counties. Mapping activities also continued through the end of the grant in Aitkin, Becker, Cass, Dodge, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Kandiyohi, Nobles, Olmsted, Rock, and Wadena, with publication of completed groundwater atlases for Becker, Cass, Dodge, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, and Wadena expected in 2023.

The following related reports were also published:

  • The Karst Landscape Unit Map for Winona and Houston counties.
  • Minnesota Groundwater Provinces 2021. This document is one of the most widely used reference documents from the Atlas Program.
  • Groundwater Atlas Users Guide.

Groundwater sampling is a key element in the completion of an atlas. Sampling efforts necessarily slowed during the pandemic. However, groundwater sampling was completed in Dodge, Kandiyohi, Nobles, Olmstead, Rock, and Steele counties. Letter reports with all sampling results were provided to well owners for all wells sampled as part of this grant.

DNR Groundwater Atlas staff completed field work for the geophysical investigation of Pennington County as part of the atlas process. DNR Groundwater Atlas staff also completed planning for the geophysical investigations in fall 2022 of Douglas, Grant, Polk, and Red Lake counties.

As part of the atlas development process, DNR staff conduct reviews of draft County Geologic Atlases (Part A) prepared by the MGS. During the grant this included DNR reviews for Aitkin, Becker, Cass, Dakota, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Otter Tail, Steele and St. Louis.

Dissemination and outreach activities continued throughout the grant period including presentations, news releases, GovDelivery list serve (6,000 recipients) notifications, and virtual meetings with county staff and county boards, seminars, and presentations.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Dissemination activities focused on notification of sampling activities and publication of atlases through news releases and GovDelivery (6,000 recipient list serve), participation in seminars, presentations, and educational/technical field trips to a diverse set of stakeholders and resources managers including county SWCDs, county boards, the Clean Water Council, BWRS, MPCA, the Legislative Conference of Minnesota Counties, LCCMR events, and others. Dissemination also included workshops with counties, publication of summary articles, updated website and many personal contacts with users of the atlas. Atlas staff also worked closely with university staff to incorporate atlas materials in the classroom and to collaborate on projects.

Unlocking Science of Minnesota's Moose Decline

Subd. 03p     $199,000 TF (FY2020)

Nicole Mattson
Minnesota Zoological Garden
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Phone: (952) 431-9540
Email: nicole.mattson@state.mn.us
Web: http://mnzoo.org/

Appropriation Language
$199,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Minnesota Zoological Garden to develop educational displays, interactive exhibits, and engaging online programs that summarize and share scientific findings about moose decline in Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The Minnesota Zoo gathered moose researchers to share their key scientific research findings about Minnesota’s moose decline. The research findings were used to develop interactive interpretive features for the Zoo’s moose habitat, an educational website, and an engaging online game that highlights the survival challenges influencing Minnesota’s moose population.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The moose is an iconic Northwoods animal that has had an important presence in Minnesota and at the Minnesota Zoo. However, moose in Minnesota have experienced periods of dramatic population decline over the last 30 years. They have nearly disappeared from northwestern Minnesota. Since 2004, moose numbers have decreased by roughly 50% in the northeastern part of our state. Significant public resources have been invested in scientific research to understand Minnesota’s moose decline. Many Minnesotans are keenly aware of the moose decline and want to know more about its causes and what can be done to help.

With ENRTF support, the Minnesota Zoo collaborated with researchers from across the state to identify key scientific research findings about Minnesota’s moose decline and population dynamics. This project used those key research findings to develop interactive interpretive displays at the Minnesota Zoo’s moose habitat. A new, accessible, educational website was created to make the research findings available for broad virtual access. The website features basic moose natural history, information about moose research in Minnesota, and a custom, interactive game. The game encourages a user to experiment with habitat features to create a simulated environment where moose thrive. While the player attempts to manage for a healthy moose population over the course of a year, random, unexpected events occur. Players learn about some of the challenges wildlife managers (and moose) face in Minnesota.

The physical interpretive elements and online resources created from this project focus on complicated research findings in an engaging, accessible, and easily understandable fashion. These deliverables will be maintained by the Minnesota Zoo and will benefit learners of all ages for years to come.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Through meetings, presentations and seminars, hundreds of Minnesota Zoo staff and volunteers have learned about Minnesota’s moose decline and this ENRTF project. Thousands of guests have interacted with the interpretive elements created for the Zoo’s moose exhibit. Thousands of people have also engaged with the virtual components resulting from this project.

Virtual components of this project include:

These online resources have been featured in professional newsletters, publications, listservs, websites and on social media platforms. The Dakota County Tribune also wrote an article about the Mission Moose website and game.

Forest and Bioeconomy Research

Subd. 03q     $2,200,000 TF (FY2020)

Rolf Weberg
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
1049 University Dr.
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone: (218) 788-2697
Email: rtweberg@d.umn.edu
Web: https://www.d.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$2,200,000 the first year is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for academic and applied research through MnDRIVE at the Natural Resources Research Institute to develop and demonstrate technologies that enhance the long-term health of Minnesota's forests, extend the viability of current forest-based industries, and accelerate emerging industry opportunities. Of this amount, $500,000 is to support development of a forest optimization tool for Minnesota forest resources, $800,000 is for maintenance and expansion of the Natural Resource Atlas to statewide coverage, $400,000 is to the Minnesota Forest Resource Council for continued advancement of biochar development and application to forest health, and $500,000 is to advance emerging Minnesota technologies to produce clean syngas to drive high-value markets for forest biomass feedstocks.

Minerals and Water Research

Subd. 03r     $883,000 TF (FY2020)

Rolf Weberg
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
1049 University Dr.
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone: (218) 788-2697
Email: rtweberg@d.umn.edu
Web: https://www.d.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$883,000 the first year is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for academic and applied research through MnDRIVE at the Natural Resources Research Institute to develop and demonstrate technologies that enhance long-term Minnesota mineral opportunities. Of this amount:

(1) $300,000 is to support continued applied research to advance new technologies to improve water quality;
(2) $275,000 is to initiate the characterization of western Mesabi iron resources and development of next-generation Minnesota iron products;
(3) $158,000 is to develop emerging hydrometallurgy technology to support high-value mineral product development in Minnesota; and
(4) $150,000 is to support efforts of the Natural Resources Research Institute to accelerate demonstration of high-capacity, cost-effective energy storage using Minnesota's historical auxiliary mine lands.

This research must be conducted in consultation with the Minerals Coordinating Committee established under Minnesota Statutes, section 93.0015.

Subproject 1 - SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The project provides a cost-effective process for treating wastewater to meet the wild rice sulfate standard of 10 mg/L. The data gathered from the field pilot trial at two wastewater treatment plants will help in implementing a full-scale treatment system to reduce sulfate level for protecting water resources in Minnesota.

Subproject 1 - OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The State of Minnesota adopted a sulfate standard of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for wild rice waters in 1973. Compliance with this standard is a challenge for small industries and municipalities as membrane-based technologies typically require high capital and operation costs. The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has developed a mobile treatment system based on barite precipitation reactions to reduce sulfate levels. In this project, NRRI deployed the trailer-based modular demonstration treatment system at two municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in northeastern Minnesota to perform field pilot trials. The objectives of the field pilot trials were to:

  1. Evaluate the efficacy of the chemical precipitation process at a flow rate of 1-2 gallons per minute with different wastewater sources (domestic and industrial wastewater);
  2. Optimize the chemical reagent dosage levels; and
  3. Estimate the chemical reagent costs.

The pilot tests were conducted using effluent from the Virginia WWTP and the Grand Rapids WWTP from June 2021 until October 2021. The Virginia WWTP treats domestic wastewater exclusively, and the resulting effluent has relatively steady sulfate concentrations of 60 mg/L. The Grand Rapids WWTP treats a mixture of domestic wastewater and industrial wastewater supplied from a regional paper mill with a sulfate level ranging from 85 to 115 mg/L. The pilot test results indicated that the chemical precipitation system consistently reduced the sulfate levels of both wastewaters to below 10 mg/L with optimal chemical dosage rates. The chemical costs were estimated to be $2.27 and $5.50 per thousand gallons of effluent from Virginia and Grand Rapids wastewater treatment plants, respectively. Information gained from the field trials was used to develop guidelines for the future design and operation of a plant-scale system.

Subproject 1 - PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

This project has produced materials of interest to a wide variety of stakeholders, including the researchers, city councils, wastewater treatment plant operators, and the community. Among these products are presentations, posters, and videos. Sulfate treatment research results were presented in three conferences (Minnesota Water Resources conference, The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. conference, and the International Mine Water Association conference), the Virginia City Council, and the University of Minnesota Duluth University for Seniors class. A YouTube video was created to describe the sulfate problem in Minnesota and our solution.

The full report is publicly available on the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) Website.


Subproject 2 - SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

This study initiated a long-term characterization program of the iron resources in Minnesota. Analysis of two sections of the iron formation produced a better understanding of the variability and potential for developing new iron-based products. With continued support, this program will provide a foundation for the future iron industry in Minnesota.

Subproject 2 - OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Iron mining has been an important part of the economy of northern Minnesota for over a century. Today, mining companies process magnetite-rich taconite ore. Magnetite is important due to its chemical, magnetic, and thermal properties. All iron mining companies encounter magnetite that has been oxidized to various degrees. Minor amounts of oxidation can negatively impact the economic processing of iron ore, so oxidized material is either not mined or mined and stockpiled. Significant unoxidized parts of the iron formation are also stockpiled because they cannot be economically processed with current technology.

The purpose of this study was to initiate a long-term comprehensive characterization program of the remaining iron resources of the Mesabi Iron Range to provide a foundation for future iron industry in Minnesota. This data is being used to direct research in the areas of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, reducing emissions, and to identify and develop value-added iron products that could be produced from under-utilized portions of Minnesota iron resources. This approach can also be applied to understanding and processing waste iron stockpiles. This study has been leveraged to obtain additional State and Federal support for other mineral related studies in Minnesota.

Two complete sections of the iron formation were analyzed in this study. The results have contributed to a better understanding of the mineralogical variability within the iron formation; the impacts of oxidation on iron product quality; the potential for new iron-based products; and the presence of trace elements. Furthermore, this study also indicated that there may be a significant resource of siderite, an iron carbonate mineral, on the Mesabi Range. While siderite is unlikely to be a primary source of metallic iron, there may be other applications for siderite. Future research will focus on opportunities to reduce environmental impact while creating value-added iron products in Minnesota.

Subproject 2 - PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
  • Presentations
    • Minnesota Minerals Coordinating Committee 2021 Virtual Cloquet Workshop Agenda Lightning Talks (4/23/2021)
    • SME Minnesota Conference 2022 Presentations (4/13/2022)
    • Minnesota Iron Ore and the Green Economy webinar (3/16/2022)
  • Articles
    • Business North: ‘Iron of the Future’ program looks to new iron making technologies, Lee Bloomquist Sep 16, 2021 Article.
    • Business North: A bright future for mining, Lee Bloomquist Dec 27, 2021 Article.
  • Technical Report
    • Johnson, R.C., Mlinar, M.A., Spigarelli, B.P., Post, S. Western Mesabi Iron Resource of the Future. Natural Resources Research Institute. September, 2022. Report NRRI/TR-2022/11.

Subproject 3 - SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Based on outcomes of “voice of customer survey” and funding opportunities available through federal agencies, the project has identified emerging hydrometallurgical innovations with potential for processing Minnesota’s in-situ and waste mineral resources with a reduced water, energy, and environmental footprint. The project has also identified bench-top hydrometallurgical research equipment required to initiate development of next generation value-added products from under-utilized and under-valued in-situ mineral and waste resources in Minnesota, specifically low-grade ores, waste tailings, metallurgical residues, incinerator ash, power plant combustion residues, and waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Subproject 3 - OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Minnesota has abundant in-situ mineral resources, including deposits of iron, iron manganese, copper-nickel-cobalt-platinum group elements, titanium-vanadium, copper-zinc, gold with and without silver, sand, and aggregate. Commercial and industrial byproducts such as mine tailings, industrial residues, and waste electrical and electronic equipment also contain valuable mineral resources. To address significant environmental impact concerns associated with mining, collection, and processing of these materials, new processing technology approaches with reduced water and energy consumption and minimal environmental footprints are needed to support production of value-added products. Emerging hydrometallurgical processing technologies offer promising opportunities. To evaluate the technical, economic, and environmental benefits of emerging hydrometallurgical innovations, the Minnesota Legislative-Citizen’s Commission on Minnesota Resources provided funding to the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) to evaluate how to best support the development of emerging hydrometallurgical technologies in the state. The study highlights Minnesota’s mineral and waste resources that have the highest potential for hydrometallurgical processing. The report also highlights key challenges anticipated by stakeholders during the commercial development of mineral and waste resources using hydrometallurgical technologies. The emerging hydrometallurgical innovations that may resolve various challenges are also identified by means of the stakeholder engagement survey and funding opportunities available through the federal agencies. The report summarizes research priorities that support development of emerging hydrometallurgical technologies in applications ranging from high-value materials to water remediation to carbon sequestration. The report shortlists key bench-scale and semi-pilot laboratory tools that will help NRRI to advance the readiness level of emerging hydrometallurgical technologies in Minnesota. The capital estimates for bench-top and semi-pilot laboratory prototypes range from $600,000 to $1.2 million. The personnel, installation, and collaboration costs range from $300,000 to $400,000.

Subproject 3 - PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

NRRI conducted a “Voice of Customer” survey through interviews with a broad range of stakeholders around the country. These included current or prospective mineral/metal producers, metal recyclers, hydrometallurgical R&D labs, engineering and technology providers, consultants, academia and educators, regulators, and federal agencies. The study produced a report of investigations of interest to wide variety of stakeholders, including regulators, mineral rights holder, federal agencies, prospective manufacturing and resource extraction companies, and the community.

Technical Report: Rao, S., Mlinar, M., Hudak, G., Kangas, K., and Peterson, D., 2022. Developing Emerging Hydrometallurgical Technologies: Report to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth, Report of Investigations NRRI/RI-2022/10. 179 p.


Subproject 4 - SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The purpose of this project was to provide a technology survey and a geographical recommendation of potentially feasible, non-battery, long-duration energy storage technology concepts that can utilize Minnesota’s various topographies, geologies, and infrastructure to facilitate the state’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Numerous technology concepts with related siting recommendations are reported for consideration by state leaders.

Subproject 4 - OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Achievement of Minnesota’s renewable energy transition and associated greenhouse gas reduction goals requires development and installation of both short- and long-term energy storage capability. Battery storage options (lithium batteries) readily provide 2-4 hour duration storage. Longer-term (>8hr), high-capacity (35-200 milliwatt) storage can better facilitate capture of available renewable energy and potentially eliminate the need for natural gas-based peaking plants to provide a more stable electrical supply when intermittent resources (e.g., solar or wind) cannot supply the necessary electricity. Non-battery options harnessing physical principles involving gravity, compressed gas, waste heat and chemical processes can offer storage options with long lifetimes that do not require access to critical minerals and may offer safety improvements. Many of these options are in the development or demonstration phase and can take advantage of Minnesota’s natural and man-made (former mine workings) topographical and geological features.

The project consisted of two parts. The first was a thorough survey of existing and emerging long-term, high-capacity, non-battery storage technologies with potential for applications in Minnesota. This entailed engagement with technology leaders, onsite concept evaluations and discussions with energy industry collaborators to characterize each technology. Identified technologies ranged from concepts that take advantage of mineland topographic features in northern Minnesota to others that could be deployed in municipalities or metropolitan areas. This information was collated into a summary format including industry contacts for each concept to facilitate follow-up by the state and/or industry.

The second part of the project entailed development of an interactive mapping tool to identify areas in the state where each identified technology might best be suited, considering the local topography, geology, and proximity to distribution infrastructure, industry, and applicable brownfield areas. This tool shows that there are multiple non-battery storage options in regions across Minnesota, primarily located in the vicinity of distribution infrastructure.

Subproject 4 - PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

The full report and three appendices are publicly available on the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) Website. NRRI:

  • collaborated with Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) personnel to organize two presentations to state stakeholders (agency, industry, academia, government) to communicate report findings and solicit feedback;
  • presented to DER Energy Storage Workgroup meeting with Great River Energy and support from CERTs;
  • was presented at a Minnesota House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee hearing on renewable energy generation and storage; and
  • Continues conversations with Minnesota Department of Commerce in conjunction with CERTs and University of Minnesota colleagues to model energy storage opportunities.

Native Bee Survey

Subd. 03s     $600,000 TF (FY2020)

Jessica Peterson
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road, Box 25
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5130
Email: jessica.d.petersen@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/pollinators/index.html

Appropriation Language
$600,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to continue to assess the current status and distribution of native bee pollinators in Minnesota by expanding surveys into the coniferous-deciduous forest region of Minnesota and facilitating interagency collaboration and public outreach on pollinators.

Diagnostic Test for Chronic Wasting Disease

Subd. 03t     $1,804,000 TF (FY2019)

Peter Larsen
MN DNR
300B Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 626-1694
Email: plarsen@umn.edu
Web: https://www.vetmed.umn.edu/bio/veterinary-and-biomedical-scie/peter-larsen

Appropriation Language
$1,804,000 in fiscal year 2019 is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop diagnostic testing for chronic wasting disease that can be used to perform animal testing and environmental monitoring. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Subd. 04Water Resources

Determining Influence of Insecticides on Algal Blooms

Research Project

Subd. 04a     $350,000 TF (FY2018)

William Arnold
U of MN
500 Pillsbury Dr. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (625) 625-8582
Email: arnol032@umn.edu
Web: https://williamarnold.org/

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to quantify the occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in Minnesota's surface waters and groundwaters and assess if the insecticides are contributing to the formation of algal blooms.

Benign Design: Environmental Studies Leading to Sustainable Pharmaceuticals

Subd. 04b     $415,000 TF (FY2018)

William Arnold
U of MN
500 Pillsbury Dr. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (625) 625-8582
Email: arnol032@umn.edu
Web: https://williamarnold.org/

Appropriation Language
$415,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to determine how to best remove harmful fluorinated pharmaceuticals during wastewater treatment and to develop alternate versions of these compounds that are medically useful but environmentally harmless. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Wastewater Nutrient Reduction through Industrial Source Reduction Assistance

Subd. 04c     $200,000 TF (FY2018)

Laura Babcock
U of MN
200 Oak St. SE, Suite 350-1
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 624-4678
Email: lbabcock@umn.edu
Web: http://www.mntap.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to provide technical assistance for industrial facilities to optimize their processes, reduce nutrient loads to wastewater treatment facilities, and improve water quality. The economic savings and water quality improvements achieved through this work must be documented.

Quantifying Microplastics in Minnesota's Inland Lakes

Research Project

Subd. 04d     $200,000 TF (FY2018)

Kathryn Schreiner
U of MN - Duluth
2205 E 5th St
Duluth, MN 55812

Phone: (218) 726-8680
Email: kschrein@d.umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first 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 quantify the amount, type, and source of microplastics in the water, sediment, and fishes of a range of Minnesota lakes.

Improving Nitrogen Removal in Greater Minnesota Wastewater Treatment Ponds

Research Project

Subd. 04e     $325,000 TF (FY2018)

Paige Novak
U of MN
122 Civil Engineering Building, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 626-9846
Email: novak010@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$325,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to assess cold weather nitrogen cycling and different aeration methods to improve the efficacy of Minnesota's underperforming wastewater treatment ponds.

Improving Drinking Water for Minnesotans through Pollution Prevention

Research Project

Subd. 04f     $345,000 TF (FY2018)

Raymond Hozalski
U of MN
500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 626-9650
Email: hozalski@umn.edu
Web: http://www.cege.umn.edu/directory/faculty-directory/hozalski.html

Appropriation Language
$345,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to reduce exposure of Minnesotans to a toxic, cancer-causing chemical by identifying key pollutant precursor sources in the upper Mississippi River watershed and assessing options to reduce the formation of this chemical during drinking water treatment.

Protecting Minnesota Waters by Removing Contaminants from Wastewater

Research Project

Subd. 04g     $250,000 TF (FY2018)

Matt Simcik
U of MN
MMC 807, 420 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 626-6269
Email: msimcik@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop methods for treatment plants to remove harmful polyfluoroalkyl substances and microplastics from wastewater before the wastewater is released to the environment. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Reducing Municipal Wastewater Mercury Pollution to Lake Superior

Research Project

Subd. 04h     $250,000 TF (FY2018)

Scott Kyser
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 757-2665
Email: scott.kyser@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to evaluate and summarize current technologies to help municipal wastewater plants in the Lake Superior basin save money and reduce mercury pollution to Lake Superior and other Minnesota waters.

Extracting Deicing Salt from Roadside Soils with Plants

Research Project

Subd. 04i     $360,000 TF (FY2018)

Bo Hu
U of MN
1390 Eckles Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-4215
Email: bhu@umn.edu
Web: https://bbe.umn.edu/directory/faculty/bohu

Appropriation Language
$360,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to collaborate with the Department of Transportation to evaluate potential native plants that can be grown on roadsides to adsorb and remove toxic salts accumulated from deicing roads and assess uses for the harvested material.

Transformation of Plastic Waste into Valued Resource

Research Project

Subd. 04j     $225,000 TF (FY2018)

Brett Barney
U of MN
1390 Eckles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 626-8751
Email: bbarney@umn.edu
Web: http://barneybioproductslab.cfans.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$225,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop technologies that use microbes to convert plastic waste into useful chemical compounds and fuels, lowering the likelihood that these materials end up in the environment. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Accelerating Perennial Crop Production to Prevent Nitrate Leaching

Subd. 04k     $440,000 TF (FY2018)

Dennis Fuchs
Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District
110 Second Street S. Suite 128
Waite Park, MN 56387

Phone: (320) 345-6477
Email: dennis.fuchs@mn.nacdnet.net

Appropriation Language
$440,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District to reduce nitrate leaching on sandy soils of central Minnesota by developing water-efficient production methods, supply chains, and end-use markets for three perennial crops: Kernza, prairie species, and alfalfa. Net income from the sale of products or assets developed or acquired through this project may be reinvested as described in the work plan approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources according to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Farm-Ready Cover Crops for Protecting Water Quality

Research Project

Subd. 04l     $741,000 TF (FY2018)

Keith Olander
Central Lakes College - Ag and Energy Ctr
1830 Airport Road
Staples, MN 56479

Phone: (763) 257-2881
Email: kolander@clcmn.edu
Web: http://www.clcmn.edu/ag-energy-center/

Appropriation Language
$741,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System for Central Lakes College to demonstrate conservation benefits of using camelina and kura clover as continuous living cover with corn-soybean rotations and to develop secondary markets to increase farmer adoption of this practice for protecting water quality in vulnerable wellhead protection areas. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Setting Realistic Nitrate Reduction Goals in Southeast Minnesota

Research Project

Subd. 04m     $350,000 TF (FY2018)

John Nieber
U of MN
1390 Eckles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 625-6724
Email: nieber@umn.edu
Web: https://bbe.umn.edu/directory/faculty/johnnieber

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to develop advanced water-flow and age-dating tools to improve the ability of state agencies to assess how well nitrate reduction best management practices are working in southeastern Minnesota.

Mapping Unprofitable Cropland for Water and Wildlife

Research Project

Subd. 04n     $100,000 TF (FY2018)

Jason Ulrich
Science Museum of Minnesota - St. Croix Research Station
16910 152nd St N
Marine on St Croix, MN 55047

Phone: (651) 433-5953
Email: julrich@smm.org
Web: https://www.smm.org/scwrs

Appropriation Language
$100,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Science Museum of Minnesota for the St. Croix Watershed Research Station to conduct the first statewide analysis that maps the extent of Minnesota's unprofitable cropland and estimates both the water-quality and habitat benefits of converting these lands to perennial crops and vegetation. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Evaluating Locally Sourced Materials for Road Salt Reduction

Research Project

Subd. 04o     $162,000 TF (FY2018)

Chanlan Chun
U of MN - Duluth NRRI
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy
Duluth, MN 55811

Phone: (218) 788-2613
Email: chun0157@d.umn.edu
Web: https://scse.d.umn.edu/about/departments-and-programs/civil-engineering-department

Appropriation Language
$162,000 the first 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 evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of using locally sourced wood chips, corncobs, and iron-bearing minerals as alternative abrasive materials to lower salt use for protecting Minnesota's water resources. 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.

Minnesota Spring Inventory Final Phase

Subd. 04p     $71,000 TF (FY2018)

Paul Putzier
MN DNR
Box 25, 500 Lafayette Rd N.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5692
Email: paul.putzier@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/groundwater_section/mapping/springs.html

Appropriation Language
$71,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to complete the Minnesota Spring Inventory that identifies, catalogs, and assists resource managers in monitoring, assessing, and protecting important and threatened statewide water springs. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Springs are natural points of groundwater discharge that provide flow for trout streams and cool water fisheries, base flow during to streams, and unique ecological habitats. Management of this resource is only possible when we know their location. The MSI project located and makes available information on over 7,200 springs.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Springs are natural points of groundwater discharge that provide flow for trout streams and cool water fisheries, base flow during to streams, and unique ecological habitats. Management of this resource is only possible when we know their locations and characteristics. The primary objective of this project was to find unmapped springs, add the location of those new springs to the existing Minnesota Spring Inventory (MSI) and field verify and characterize as many currently mapped but unverified springs as possible.

For the project, DNR conducted field investigations of targeted parts of the state to find, characterize and map new springs locations. The existing MSI database also held ‘non-verified’ spring locations added to the database from old maps and studies and from the MSI Citizens App. DNR conducted ‘field verification’ by traveling to many of those features to confirm their existence and update the database. Approximately 350 spring locations were added to the MSI through the Citizen App.

The Covid-19 Pandemic and Minnesota’s Stay Safe at Home order limited MSI fieldwork for over twelve months of the two-year project. When restrictions were relaxed in 2021, fieldwork resumed for the MSI team and many springs and features were added the database.

Because of this project (all phases), Minnesotans benefit by having easy access to approximately 7,200 features in the MSI including a combination of field verified springs, and many likely, but non-verified spring locations. The MSI project resulted in a 76% increase in mapped springs and increased from holding verified springs in 22 counties, primarily in the southeast, to verified springs located in 71 counties.

The DNR established special MSI accounts for MPCA and SWCD field staff from the Duluth/ Northern MN region and provide guidance documents and training, allowing them to add springs directly to the MSI using the Survey 123 application.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

DNR conducts dissemination through individual contacts, presentations and news releases. One example is online at St. Croix 360. Another example came from an environmental consultant in a June 2021 email:

"Can (you) help assist with information gathering regarding seeps & springs in the St Paul area. I’m working with the Capitol Region Watershed District to identify springs within their boundary, and prioritize the springs in order of level of prevalence/risk to become a public comment or threat to infrastructure."

The spring data is accessible at Minnesota Spring Inventory and GIS files are at the Minnesota Geospatial Commons, and at Showcase.

Restoring Impaired Lakes through Citizen-Aided Carp Management

Subd. 04q     $106,000 TF (FY2018)

Andrew Dickhart
Carver County Water Management Organization
600 E. 4th Street
Chaska, MN, 55318

Phone: (952) 361-1871
Email: adickhart@co.carver.mn.us
Web: https://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/public-services/planning-water-management/water-management

Appropriation Language
$106,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Carver County Water Management Organization to quantify water quality improvements and the cost-effectiveness of a new citizen-aided carp management method for restoring impaired lakes in Minnesota.

Spring Biological Nitrate Removal to Protect Drinking Water

Subd. 04r     $175,000 TF (FY2018)

Troy Nemmers
City of Fairmont
100 Downtown Plaza
Fairmont, MN 56031

Phone: (507) 238-9461
Email: tnemmers@fairmont.org

Appropriation Language
$175,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Fairmont to build and demonstrate the effectiveness of an experimental passive biological treatment system to reduce nitrates that enter the city's springtime water supply source.

Degrading Chlorinated Industrial Contaminants with Bacteria

Subd. 04s     $150,000 TF ($149,000 FY2016 reallocation / $1,000 FY2020)

Paige Novak
U of MN
122 Civil Engineering Building, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 626-9846
Email: novak010@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$1,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to determine the best way to stimulate bacteria to more quickly and completely remove industrial chlorinated pollutants from contaminated sites. On the day following final enactment, the following amounts from unobligated appropriations to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota are transferred and added to this appropriation: $75,000 in Laws 2016, chapter 186, section 2, subdivision 4, paragraph (l), and $74,000 in Laws 2016, chapter 186, section 2, subdivision 6, paragraph (b).

Managed Aquifer Recharge

Subd. 04t     $150,000 TF (FY2020)

John Bilotta
U of MN - Water Resources Center
173 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-7708
Email: bilot002@umn.edu
Web: https://www.wrc.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, Water Resources Center, for a comprehensive study of the economic benefits of managed aquifer recharge and to make recommendations to enhance and replenish Minnesota's groundwater resources. The study must include, but is not limited to:

(1) examining the potential benefits of enhancing groundwater recharge in water-stressed areas;
(2) assessing the relationship to changing seasonality and intensity of precipitation on groundwater recharge rates;
(3) reviewing the approaches to manage recharge in geologically appropriate areas;
(4) identifying policy options, costs, and barriers to recharging groundwater; and
(5) assessing the economic returns of options for groundwater recharge.

In conducting the study, the Water Resources Center must convene a stakeholder group and provide for public participation.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Aquifer storage and recovery can be a viable technique that could be deployed safely to ensure groundwater availability and sustainability to communities in Minnesota. Treating, injecting and temporarily storing clean water in aquifers may provide a solution to meeting future demands of residents, industry and agriculture.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Some of the more than 75% of Minnesotans who rely on groundwater may find it in short supply in the face of population, land-use and climate change. Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a technological approach to treat and inject clean water into an aquifer for temporary storage. The hydrogeological characteristics and the chemistry of the source water and aquifer impact treatment needs prior to injection and after extraction. Aquifer properties that control how water moves determine the volume and rate of water injected. This study examined four different kinds of aquifers across Minnesota with unique pressures to determine their suitability for ASR. The study findings suggest three may be suitable for ASR. The Buffalo aquifer in Moorhead has variable injection capacity and multiple sources of water for injection. Water quality issues of arsenic, sulfate, manganese, and hardness may require treatment before injection and after extraction. The Jordan aquifer in Rochester faces increased pressure from growth and nitrate contamination in agricultural areas. The wastewater treatment plant could provide adequate source water if treated. Woodbury faces pressure from increasing population and PFAS contamination of the Jordan aquifer. ASR could recharge groundwater from wastewater treatment plants and also be integrated with PFAS remediation scenarios by reinjection of treated groundwater. ASR is not recommended for the surficial sand aquifer in the Straight River Groundwater Management area in north central Minnesota because there is no feasible source of water at this time. Cost-benefit analysis combined with a sensitivity analysis of economic factors should be a component of ASR project feasibility studies. Modified state well code and a streamlined permitting path would allow more successful development and deployment of ASR. State adoption of control over Class V injection wells from the USEPA is also necessary. Improvements are needed to the state aquifer properties database.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

This project results in two reports. First, a full-color 10 page executive summary describes the project and provides recommendations for policy leaders, professionals, and stakeholders to consider for the application of ASR to Minnesota. A full scientific report encompassing each of the individual activities, methods, data, recommendations and discussion. They are both available online at https://www.wrc.umn.edu/banking-groundwater-managed-aquifer-recharge

Throughout the term of the project, policy leaders, professionals, and stakeholders were engaged in discussions. Meetings were held with multiple agencies including the Interagency Groundwater Team and multiple presentations were given to a broad list of stakeholders including to members of the Legislature, the Environmental Quality Board, MNDNR Groundwater Management Area leaderships, DNR Groundwater Technical Analysis Workgroup, and stakeholders in each of the study areas.

The Executive Summary has been sent to all interested stakeholders and a link to the full report with an expanded table of contents has been provided for deeper review. The final report has been submitted to the LCCMR and project recommendations introduced in bill language during the 2021 legislative session.

Multiple presentations were given during professional conferences and seminar opportunities. Multiple project updates were published through the Water Resources Center and the Freshwater Society regular electronic news updates. Individual activity researchers and authors are currently writing manuscripts for professional publications.

Subd. 05Environmental Education

Expanding Camp Sunrise Environmental Program

Subd. 05a     $237,000 TF (FY2020)

Lori Arnold
YouthCARE MN
2701 University Ave SE, Suite 205
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (612) 338-1233
Email: larnold@youthcaremn.org
Web: http://www.youthcaremn.org/

Appropriation Language
$237,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with YouthCare Minnesota to expand camp opportunities to more school districts and implement improved hands-on environmental education programs for economically disadvantaged youth.

Connecting Students to Boundary Waters

Subd. 05b     $450,000 TF (FY2020)

Chris Knopf
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
401 N Third St, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Phone: (612) 332-9630
Email: chris@friends-bwca.org
Web: https://www.friends-bwca.org/

Appropriation Language
$450,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to connect approximately 6,500 students to the boundary waters through classroom education and wilderness canoe experiences for diverse and underserved populations across Minnesota. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Forest Restoration

Subd. 05c     $199,000 TF (FY2020)

Mary Hammes
Mississippi Park Connection
111 Kellogg Blvd E, Suite 105
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 291-9119
Email: mhammes@parkconnection.org
Web: https://parkconnection.org/

Appropriation Language
$199,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Mississippi Park Connection to work with Conservation Corps Minnesota, local communities, and volunteers to address the loss of ash trees to emerald ash borer by planting approximately 15,000 native trees and plants in affected areas in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers

Subd. 05d     $250,000 TF (FY2020)

Mimi Daniel
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5308
Email: mimi.daniel@state.mn.us
Web: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html

Appropriation Language
$250,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources in cooperation with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa to encourage a diversity of students to pursue careers in environment and natural resources through internships and mentorships with the Department of Natural Resources, the Board of Water and Soil Resources, and the Pollution Control Agency. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2024, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Subd. 06Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species

Building Knowledge and Capacity to Solve AIS Problems

Research Project

Subd. 06a     $4,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Nicholas Phelps
U of MN - MAISRC
135 Skok Hall, 2003 Upper Buford Circle
St Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-7450
Email: phelp083@umn.edu
Web: http://www.maisrc.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$4,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to support the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in developing solutions to Minnesota's aquatic invasive species problems through research, control, prevention, outreach, and early detection of existing and emerging aquatic invasive species threats. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Sub-Projects M.L. 2019, Subd. 06a:

  • 21.2: Field Validation of Mulitbeam Sonar Zebra Mussel Detection (Year 2)*
  • 22.2: Assessing and Refining Copper-Based Treatment to Suppress Zebra Mussel populations
  • 23.2: AIS and Tourism - A Socio-Economic Assessment
  • 25.2: Examining Motivations for Illegal Baitfish Release
  • 28.2: Enzyme-Based Coatings to Suppress Priority AIS
  • 33: Optimizing eDNA Monitoring for Multiple Aquatic Invasive Species
  • 35: Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Species - Understanding Attitudes and Risk Perceptions
  • 36: RNA-Interference Screens for Zebra Mussel Biocontrol Target Genes
  • 37: Improving the Efficiency of Watercraft Inspections through Coordination and Cooperation
  • 38: Evaluating Native Phragmites as a Wastewater Treatment Alternative
  • 39: Increasing Effectiveness of Bigheaded Carp Deterrents by Carbon Dioxide Integration
  • 40: Enhancing Habitat and Diversity in Cattail-Dominated Shorelines


                                                                          *Subproject is split between M.L. 2017 and M.L. 2019 funding, only M.L. 2019 funds are reflected.




Sub-Project 21.2: Field Validation of Mulitbeam Sonar Zebra Mussel Detection (Year 2)* - $214,653 TF

Jessica Kozarek
U of M - St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
2 Southeast 3rd Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (612) 624-4679
Email: jkozarek@umn.edu
Web: http://www.safl.umn.edu/

Sub-Project 22.2: Assessing and refining copper-based treatment to suppress zebra mussel populations

Sub-Project 23.2: AIS and Tourism - A Socio-Economic Assessment

Sub-Project 25.2: Examining Motivations for Illegal Baitfish Release

Sub-Project 28.2: Enzyme-Based Coatings to Suppress Priority AIS

Sub-Project 33: Optimizing eDNA Monitoring for Multiple Aquatic Invasive Species

Sub-Project 35: Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Species - Understanding Attitudes and Risk Perceptions

Sub-Project 36: RNA-Interference Screens for Zebra Mussel Biocontrol Target Genes

Sub-Project 37: Improving the Efficiency of Watercraft Inspections through Coordination and Cooperation

Sub-Project 38: Evaluating Native Phragmites as a Wastewater Treatment Alternative

Sub-Project 39: Increasing Effectiveness of Bigheaded Carp Deterrents by Carbon Dioxide Integration

Sub-Project 40: Enhancing Habitat and Diversity in Cattail-Dominated Shorelines

Oak Wilt Suppression at its Northern Edge

Subd. 06b     $100,000 TF (FY2020)

Shannon Wettstein
Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District
16776 Heron Rd
Little Falls, MN 56345

Phone: (320) 631-3553
Email: shannon.wettstein@morrisonswcd.org
Web: http://morrisonswcd.org/about-us

Appropriation Language
$100,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District to eradicate the northern-most occurrences of oak wilt in the state through mechanical means on select private properties to prevent oak wilt's spread to healthy state forest habitats.

Noxious Weed Detection and Eradication

Subd. 06c     $1,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Mark Abrahamson
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert St N
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 201-6505
Email: mark.abrahamson@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/noxious-and-invasive-weed-program

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of agriculture to continue to monitor, detect, and eradicate noxious weeds, including Palmer Amaranth, primarily in conservation plantings and to develop and implement methods to prevent infestation and protect prairies, other natural areas, and agricultural crops. Of this amount, $650,000 is for grants to local communities to help combat infestations.

Emerald Ash Borer Response Grants

Subd. 06d     $300,000 TF (FY2020)

Valerie McClannahan
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5283
Email: valerie.mcclannahan@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/forestmgmt/managing-ash.html

Appropriation Language
$300,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for grants to local units of government to replace ash trees removed from public lands in response to emerald ash borer with ecologically appropriate trees.

Subd. 07Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy

Development of Clean Energy Storage Systems for Farms

Research Project

Subd. 07a     $650,000 TF (FY2020)

William Northrop
U of MN - WCROC
111 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 625 6854
Email: wnorthro@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$650,000 the first 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 develop and test novel clean energy storage systems for farms using wind-generated ammonia to displace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

White Earth Nation Community Solar for Economic Resilience

Subd. 07b     $500,000 TF (FY2020)

Nicole Saccoman
Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
3963 8th Street SW
Backus, MN 56435

Phone: (218) 947-3779
Email: Nicole@rreal.org
Web: https://www.rreal.org/cs4ca

Appropriation Language
$500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Rural Renewable Energy Alliance to install a 200-kW White Earth community-owned solar garden to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase economic development through environmental education and solar workforce training, and improve energy resilience.

Sustainable Solar Energy from Agricultural Plant Byproducts

Research Project

Subd. 07c     $185,000 TF (FY2020)

Ted Pappenfus
U of MN - Morris
600 E 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267

Phone: (320) 589-6340
Email: pappe001@morris.umn.edu
Web: http://cda.morris.umn.edu/~pappe001/

Appropriation Language
$185,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, Morris, to use regional plant-based agricultural by-products to fabricate solar cells for creating renewable and affordable energy.

Morris Energy and Environment Community Resilience Plan

Subd. 07d     $150,000 TF (FY2020)

Blaine Hill
City of Morris
610 Oregon Ave
Morris, MN 56267

Phone: (320) 589-3141
Email: bhill@ci.morris.mn.us
Web: https://www.ci.morris.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$150,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Morris to develop and begin implementing community resilience plans for energy and the environment and to create a model guide for other Minnesota communities to create and implement their own plans.

Subd. 08Methods to Protect, Restore, and Enhance Land, Water, and Habitat

Saving Endangered Pollinators through Data-Driven Prairie Restoration

Research Project

Subd. 08a     $800,000 TF (FY2020)

Erik Runquist
Minnesota Zoological Garden
13000 Zoo Blvd
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Phone: (952) 431-9200
Email: erik.runquist@state.mn.us

Appropriation Language
$800,000 the first year is from the trust fund. Of this amount, $630,000 is to the Minnesota Zoological Garden and $170,000 is to the commissioner of natural resources to reestablish populations of Minnesota's imperiled butterflies through reintroductions and prairie restorations and by developing foundational habitat recommendations for preventing future extinctions. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Promoting and Restoring Oak Savanna Using Silvopasture

Subd. 08b     $750,000 TF (FY2020)

Rebecca Montgomery
U of MN
1530 Cleveland Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: (612) 624-7249
Email: rebeccam@umn.edu

Appropriation Language
$750,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to demonstrate, evaluate, and increase adoption of the combined use of intensive tree, forage, and livestock management as a method to restore threatened oak savanna habitats.

Sauk River Dam Removal and Rock Rapids Replacement

Subd. 08c     $2,768,000 TF (FY2020)

Colleen Winter
City of Melrose
225 First St NE
Melrose, MN 56352

Phone: (320) 256-4278
Email: cwinter@cityofmelrose.com
Web: https://www.cityofmelrose.com/

Appropriation Language
$2,768,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Melrose to remove an existing fixed-elevation dam, construct a rock arch rapids, and conduct in-stream and shoreline habitat restoration to improve water quality and native fish passage in the Sauk River. This project requires a match of at least $1,400,000 that must be secured before trust fund money is spent. At least $700,000 of this match must come from the city of Melrose. City of Melrose expenses for the Sauk River dam removal and rock rapids replacement incurred before July 1, 2019, may be counted toward the match.

Conserving and Monitoring of Minnesota's Rare Arctic Plants

Research Project

Subd. 08d     $135,000 TF (FY2020)

Briana Gross
U of MN - Duluth
207 SSB, 1035 Kirby Dr
Duluth, MN, 55812

Phone: (218) 726-7722
Email: blgross@d.umn.edu
Web: https://scse.d.umn.edu/biology-department/faculty-staff/dr-briana-gross

Appropriation Language
$135,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to provide monitoring and invasive species removal to conserve rare and endangered arctic plants on Minnesota's North Shore. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Nongame Wildlife Program Acceleration

Subd. 08e     $513,000 TF (FY2020)

Kristin Hall
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5444
Email: kristin.hall@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$513,000 the first 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.

Lawns to Legumes

Subd. 08f     $900,000 TF ($806,000 FY2019 / $94,000 FY2020)

Dan Shaw
BWSR
520 Lafayette Road
St Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (612) 236-6219
Email: dan.shaw@state.mn.us
Web: https://bwsr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$806,000 in fiscal year 2019 and $94,000 the first year are from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for demonstration projects that provide grants or payments to plant residential lawns with native vegetation and pollinator-friendly forbs and legumes to protect a diversity of pollinators. The board must establish criteria for grants or payments awarded under this section. Grants or payments awarded under this section may be made for up to 75 percent of the costs of the project, except that in areas identified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as areas where there is a high potential for rusty patched bumble bees to be present, grants may be awarded for up to 90 percent of the costs of the project.

Agricultural Weed Control Using Autonomous Mowers

Subd. 08g     $900,000 TF (FY2020)

Eric Buchanan
U of MN - West Central Research and Outreach Center
46352 State HWY 329
Morris, MN 56267

Phone: (320) 589-1711
Email: buch0123@morris.umn.edu
Web: https://wcroc.cfans.umn.edu/

Appropriation Language
$900,000 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.

Subd. 09Land Acquisition, Habitat and Recreation

Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas

Subd. 09a     $3,500,000 TF (FY2020)

Molly Roske
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5094
Email: molly.roske@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$3,500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for the scientific and natural areas (SNA) program to restore and enhance wildlife habitat on SNAs, increase public involvement and outreach, and strategically acquire high-quality lands that meet criteria for SNAs under Minnesota Statutes, section 86A.05, from willing sellers. A list of proposed acquisitions and restorations is required in the work plan.

Grants for Local Parks, Trails, and Natural Areas

Subd. 09b     $3,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Audrey Mularie
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5549
Email: audrey.mularie@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$3,000,000 the first 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, connections to regional and state natural areas, and recreation facilities and not for athletic facilities such as sport fields, courts, and playgrounds.

Minnesota State Parks and State Trails In-Holdings

Subd. 09c     $2,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Shelby Kok
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5590
Email: Shelby.Kok@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$2,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to acquire high-priority in-holdings from willing sellers within the legislatively authorized boundaries of state parks and trails 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 Minneopa, St. Croix, Frontenac, and Crow Wing State Parks. A list of proposed acquisitions is required in the work plan.

Minnesota State Trails Development

Subd. 09d     $5,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Kent Skaar
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5636
Email: kent.skaar@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$5,000,000 the first 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 bridges to rehabilitate or replace include, but are not limited to, those on the Arrowhead, Central Lakes, Harmony-Preston Valley, Matthew Lourey, and North Shore State Trails. High-priority trail segments to develop and enhance include, but are not limited to, the Paul Bunyan, Gateway, Heartland, Gitchi Gami, and Minnesota Valley 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.

National Loon Center

Subd. 09e     $4,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Leah Heggerston
National Loon Center Foundation
35770 Allen Ave
Suite 1 PO Box 642
Crosslake, MN 56442

Phone: (218) 839-9042
Email: fishes@crosslake.net
Web: https://www.nationallooncenter.org/

Appropriation Language
$4,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the National Loon Center Foundation, in partnership with a fiscal agent to be approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, to construct an approximately 15,000-square-foot National Loon Center in Cross Lake dedicated to loon survival, loon habitat protection and research, and recreation. Of this amount, up to $1,449,000 is for planning, design, and construction of approximately six outdoor demonstration learning kiosks, interpretive trails, boardwalks and boat docks, a fishing dock, and native landscaping along approximately 3,100 feet of shoreline. Any remaining funds are for planning, engineering, and constructing the building and indoor exhibits. A land lease commitment of at least 25 years and fiscal sponsorship must be secured before any trust fund money is spent. This project requires a match of at least $6,000,000. At least $2,000,000 of this match must come from nonstate sources. If naming rights will be conveyed, the National Loon Center Foundation must include a plan for this in the work plan. All matching funds must be legally committed before any trust fund money may be spent on planning activities for or construction of the building and indoor exhibits. Net income generated from admissions, naming rights, and memberships to the National Loon Center as a result of trust fund contributions may be reinvested in the center's long-term loon conservation efforts as described in the work plan approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources according to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Accessible Fishing Piers

Subd. 09f     $320,000 TF (FY2020)

Nancy Stewart
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 259-5616
Email: nancy.stewart@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$320,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources to provide accessible fishing piers in locations that have a high potential to serve new angling communities, underserved populations, and anglers with physical disabilities. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

Nine (9) new accessible fishing piers have been installed in various locations around the state to improve fishing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. The DNR worked with multiple sponsors and donors who brought funding and enthusiasm to the projects.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Accessible fishing piers make fishing safe, easy, and fun for all ages especially children, elderly, disabled, veterans, families, small and large groups, and anyone who doesn’t own a boat. Fishing piers provide the “classroom” to teach fishing skills and outdoor education classes. Data shows that 40% of people with fishing licenses do not own a boat (approximately 480,000 anglers). The demand for fishing piers is increasing as more people want to fish close to home and from a safe location. Each fishing pier is expected to last 20 to 25 years with proper maintenance. Below are the nine new fishing pier locations:

  • Duck Lake, Blue Earth County (Duck Lake County Park)
  • Lake Koronis in Stearns County, City of Paynesville (Veterans Park)
  • St. James Lake in Watonwan County, City of St. James (St. James Lake Park)
  • Maple Lake, Polk County (Maple Lake East Boat Launch)
  • Bingham Lake, Cottonwood County, City of Bingham Lake (Bingham Lake Park)
  • Black Oak Lake, Stearns County (Black Oak Lake Public Water Access)
  • Hoot Lake, Otter Tail County, City of Fergus Falls (Godel Park)
  • Lake Frances (Francis), Le Sueur County, City of Elysian (Lake Frances Public Water Access)
  • St. Croix River, Chisago County, City of Taylors Falls (South Lions Park)
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

DNR now has approximately 364 public fishing sites; with 282 on partner owned and operated lands, and 82 on state-owned land. Since 1984, the fishing pier program has relied on funds from competitive capital funding sources to grow the program and add new fishing piers (and shore fishing sites) such as Bonding, Legacy and now LCCMR. In a typical year each existing fishing pier is checked and repaired as needed. Summer storms and winter ice are the most common causes for damage. Piers past their useful life are prioritized for rehabilitation or replacement at a rate four to eight each year. The program is hugely successful because of the many partnerships with local units of governments.

Mesabi Trail Extensions

Subd. 09g     $3,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Bob Manzoline
St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority
111 Station 44 Rd
Eveleth, MN 55734

Phone: (218) 744-2653
Email: bmanzoline@rrauth.com
Web: https://www.mesabitrail.com/

Appropriation Language
$3,000,000 the first 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, and engineering for and construction of four trail segments beginning and ending at the following approximate locations: Darwin Meyers Wildlife Management Area to County Road 21, Embarrass to Kugler, County Road 128 to the Eagles Nest Town Hall, and Wolf Creek to the Highway 169 underpass.

Birch Lake Recreation Area Campground

Subd. 09h     $350,000 TF (FY2020)

Cathy Bissonette
City of Babbitt
71 South Dr
Babbitt, MN 55706

Phone: (218) 827-3646
Email: cathy@babbitt-mn.com

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Babbitt to expand Birch Lake Recreation Area by adding a new campground for recreational vehicles and tent campers. This project requires a match of at least $2,800,000 that must be secured before trust fund money is spent. At least $800,000 of this match must come from the city of Babbitt. Net income generated from admissions to the campground created as a result of trust fund contributions may be reinvested into the campground's long-term operations as described in the work plan approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources according to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

Britton Peak to Lutsen Mountain Bike Trail

Subd. 09i     $350,000 TF (FY2020)

Tim Kennedy
Superior Cycling Association
PO Box 1032
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Phone: (218) 370-0955
Email: tkennedy@boreal.org
Web: https://superiorcycling.org/

Appropriation Language
$350,000 the first year are from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Superior Cycling Association to create a sustainably designed single-track mountain bike trail connecting trail clusters and trailheads between Britton Peak in Tofte and Lutsen Mountains as part of northeast Minnesota's effort to become a national recreation destination. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

The Superior Cycling Association in partnership with the US Forest Service and Cook County designed and built 16 miles of purpose built mountain bike trails connecting existing trail clusters at Britton Peak and Lutsen Mountains to address the need for more sustainable mountain bike trails in Cook County.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

Recreation demands for mountain biking in Minnesota, especially Northeastern Minnesota, have grown to require more sustainably designed and purpose built mountain bike trails. The Cook County Mountain Bike System masterplan prepared for the Superior Cycling Association by the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission calls for development of clusters of mountain bike trails at Britton Peak in Tofte, Pincushion Mountain in Grand Marais and Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen with a connector trail between these three clusters. This project completed the Jackpot and High Climber trails between the existing trail clusters at Britton Peak and Lutsen Mountains, approximately 16 miles. The Superior Cycling Association in partnership with the US Forest Service and Cook County built these mountain bike trails to the highest sustainable trail design standards to minimize environmental impacts while utilizing the relief and geologic features found along the North Shore.

This project is part of a growing number of destination mountain bike trails to be found in Northeast Minnesota, including the City of Duluth, Cuyuna in Crosby, Giant’s Ridge, Redhead in Chisholm, Toiga in Cohasset, and more in the works. Recreation trails are a driving force to bring visitors to these areas of the state and make significant impacts on the local economy.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this trail was opened for use unceremoniously with no major announcements or Grand Opening celebration. However, riders did hear about the trail on the Superior Cycling Association, Visit Cook County, and other website as well as on trail aps that riders use. Response from riders echoed a similar sentiment, “this is the best trail in the State…I’ll be back”.

When COVID restrictions are over and large gatherings are again allowed, the Superior Cycling Association will be holding a Grand Opening which will invite riders, media, partners, and local businesses to celebrate this mountain bike trail resource.

Preserving the Avon Hills with Reverse-Bidding Easements

Subd. 09j     $1,600,000 TF (FY2020)

John Geissler
Saint John's University
104 New Science Building
Collegeville, MN 56321-3000

Phone: (320) 363-3126
Email: jgeissler001@csbsju.edu
Web: https://www.csbsju.edu/outdooru

Appropriation Language
$1,600,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with Saint John's University in cooperation with Minnesota Land Trust to restore and enhance protected lands, provide public outreach, and prepare management plans for and use a reverse-bid ranking system to secure permanent conservation easements on high-quality natural habitat in the Avon Hills area of Stearns County. Of this amount, up to $168,000 is for use by Minnesota Land Trust in a monitoring fund as approved in the work plan and subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.20. An annual financial report is required for any monitoring, management, and enforcement fund, including expenditures from the fund. A proposed list of acquisitions and restorations must be provided in the work plan. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2024, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Bailey Lake Trail and Fishing Pier

Subd. 09k     $550,000 TF (FY2020)

Britt See-Benes
City of Virginia
327 1st Street S
Virginia MN 55792

Phone: (218) 748-7500
Email: britts@virginiamn.us
Web: http://www.virginiamn.us/

Appropriation Language
$550,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Virginia to reconstruct the existing Bailey Lake Trail and construct a new fishing pier on Bailey Lake that is accessible from the trail.

Vergas Long Lake Trail

Subd. 09l     $290,000 TF (FY2020)

Julie Lammers
City of Vergas
PO Box 32
Vergas, MN 56587-0032

Phone: (218) 342-2091
Email: cityofvergas@arvig.net
Web: https://www.cityofvergas.com/

Appropriation Language
$290,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Vergas to construct a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, trail, and floating boardwalk along Long Lake including shoreline restoration and stabilization with native plants. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Glacial Edge Trail and Downtown Pedestrian Bridge

Subd. 09m     $600,000 TF (FY2020)

Andrew Bremseth
City of Fergus Falls
112 Washington Avenue W
Fergus Falls, MN 56537

Phone: (218) 332-5403
Email: Andrew.Bremseth@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us
Web: https://www.ci.fergus-falls.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$600,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Fergus Falls to acquire easements for and construct a trail along the Otter Tail River in downtown Fergus Falls and a bicycle and pedestrian bridge crossing the river. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Crane Lake to Vermilion Falls Trail

Subd. 09n     $400,000 TF (FY2020)

Bruce Beste
Voyageur Country ATV
Box 414
Crane Lake, MN 55725

Phone: (218) 391-5108
Email: voyageurcountryatv@gmail.com
Web: www.VoyageurCountryATV.com

Appropriation Language
$400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with St. Louis County in cooperation with Voyageur Country ATV Club to designate and improve a wooded trail from Crane Lake to Vermilion Falls to accommodate all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile users. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

This project created a safe, marked 5.6-mile long corridor for ATV and snowmobile riders connecting the resort community of Crane Lake to the popular Vermilion Falls Picnic area. An elevated boardwalk was built on helical piles to minimize impacts and protect areas that are environmentally sensitive.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS

The resort community of Crane Lake is a popular tourist destination due to its unique geographic location. Crane Lake is the southernmost lake in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota’s only national park. Many visitors explore, by boat, the beautiful neighboring lakes including Namakan, Kabetogama and Rainy Lakes to the north. To the east of Crane Lake lies Superior National Forest & the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Provincial Park. Visitors may arrive with canoes and backpacks, setting out for a wilderness adventure with tents and fishing poles in hand. Another activity, notably increasing in popularity, is the visitor bringing the family and an ATV or snowmobile. Snowmobiling has been popular here for decades and Crane Lake has a well-established winter trail system. However, the beauty of this area with its many streams, lakes, and beaver ponds presents a challenge for ATV riders once the ice melts. To lessen the impact on our environment, and to keep visitors as safe as possible, our ATV club is working to establish a system of wooded, marked corridor routes (like this one) for the ATV enthusiasts.

This trail project was a priority as part of a Master Plan to improve the 5.6 miles between the resort community of Crane Lake and the very popular Vermilion Falls picnic area to create a safe and more immersive experience for riders, keeping them off the paved road. Trail improvements included culvert replacements and new installations, trail hardening, the construction of drainage ditches, and the installation of a 256 foot long pier-supported boardwalk. This bridge built on helical piles is low impact and 12’ wide able to accommodate a snowmobile trail grooming machine, making the boardwalk safe and appropriate for year round use. This project was completed with the blessing of the US Forest Service. Hundreds of people visit the Vermilion Falls picnic area each year and this trail will be perfect for making their experience safer and more enjoyable as they connect with the beautiful Northwoods of Minnesota’s Voyageur Country.

Restoring Five Sections of the Superior Hiking Trail

Subd. 09o     $191,000 TF (FY2020)

Lisa Luokkala
Superior Hiking Trail Association
731 7th Avenue, Suite 2
Two Harbors, MN 55616

Phone: (218) 834-2700
Email: lluokkala@superiorhiking.org
Web: https://superiorhiking.org/

Appropriation Language
$191,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Superior Hiking Trail Association to restore and repair the most damaged parts of five sections of the Superior Hiking Trail and restore an abandoned route to a natural footpath for hikers.

Rainy Lake Recreational Access and Boat Wash Station

Subd. 09p     $200,000 TF (FY2020)

Sherril Gautreaux
City of Ranier
PO Box 186
Ranier, MN 56668

Phone: 218-286-3311
Email: cityofranier@frontiernet.net

Appropriation Language
$200,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the city of Ranier to enhance and increase public access to Rainy Lake by constructing an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant recreational parking lot, an ADA-compliant public restroom, and an aquatic invasive species boat wash station.

Historic Bruce Mine Park and Mesabi Trailhead

Subd. 09q     $1,000,000 TF (FY2020)

Bob Manzoline
St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority
111 Station 44 Rd
Eveleth, MN 55734

Phone: (218) 744-2653
Email: bmanzoline@rrauth.com
Web: https://www.mesabitrail.com/

Appropriation Language
$1,000,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for a grant to the St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority to engineer, design, renovate, and construct the Historic Bruce Mine Park and Mesabi Trailhead and access in the city of Chisholm. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

Subd. 10Administration and Contract Agreement Reimbursement

Contract Agreement Reimbursement

Subd. 10a     $135,000 TF (FY2020)

Katherine Sherman-Hoehn
MN DNR
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4010

Phone: (651) 259-5533
Email: Katherine.Sherman-Hoehn@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$135,000 the first 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 is available until June 30, 2021, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES 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.

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 78 grants active in FY 2020. In FY 2021, the Grants Unit managed 72 active grants.

Between 1/1/2020 when billing began and 12/31/2020 when it ended, the DNR Grants Unit:

  • Made 136 reimbursements to grantees totaling $7,395,420
  • Finished executing 18 project amendments due to COVID extensions, including implementation of electronic signature process
  • Monitored all grants in compliance with Office of Grants Management policies.
  • Billed 1,257 hours at the FY 2020 professional services rate of $66.00/hr and 754 at the FY2021 rate of $69/hr
PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

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.

LCCMR Administration

Subd. 10b     $1,400,000 TF (FY2020)

Becca Nash
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Room 65 State Office Bldg
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 296-6264
Email: becca.nash@lccmr.mn.gov
Web: https://www.lccmr.mn.gov/

Appropriation Language
$1,400,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for administration in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.09, subdivision 5.

Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) Administration

Subd. 10c     $3,000 TF (FY2020)

Sally Olson
Legislative Coordinating Commission
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Room 72 State Office Bldg
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 296-9002
Email: Sally.Olson@lcc.mn.gov

Appropriation Language
$3,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the Legislative Coordinating Commission for the website required in Minnesota Statutes, section 3.303, subdivision 10.

Grants Management System

Subd. 10d     $330,000 TF (FY2019)

Becca Nash
Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Room 65 State Office Bldg
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: (651) 296-6264
Email: becca.nash@lccmr.mn.gov
Web: https://www.lccmr.mn.gov/

Appropriation Language
$330,000 in fiscal year 2019 is from the trust fund to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources to develop, enhance, and maintain a management system for project records.

Subd. 11Wastewater Treatment Recommendations

Water Infrastructure Loans

Subd. 11a     $0 TF (FY2020)

Jeff Freeman
Public Facilities Authority
322 Minnesota Street, Suite W820
St. Paul, MN 55101-1378

Phone: (651) 259-7465
Email: jeff.freeman@state.mn.us
Web: https://mn.gov/deed/pfa/

Appropriation Language
Up to $5,000,000 of the money in the trust fund is available to the State Board of Investment to invest in loans through the Public Facilities Authority's clean water revolving fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 446A.07. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 446A.07, repayments of principal and interest and any investment income must be credited to the trust fund and are available for reinvestment in the clean water revolving fund.

Optimization Local Mechanical and Pond Wastewater-Treatment Plants

Subd. 11b     $500,000 TF (FY2020)

Joel Peck
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Rd. N.
St. Paul, MN, 55110

Phone: (651) 757-2202
Email: joel.peck@state.mn.us
Web: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/

Appropriation Language
$500,000 the first year is from the trust fund to the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency for the pilot program created under Laws 2018, chapter 214, article 4, section 2, subdivision 4, paragraph (a). This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021, by which time projects must be completed and final products delivered.

SOUND BITE OF PROJECT OUTCOMES AND RESULTS

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.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION

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.