• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Resources

 

Agricultural Water Quality

Free video: "Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production"
On February 24, 2011, the Freshwater Society hosted a lecture by Craig Cox, Midwest Vice President of the Environmental Working Group, entitled "Taking the Pollution out of Agricultural Production." The presentation addressed many factors impacting farm production, pollution, policy and progress. After the lecture, a panel of Minnesota water experts joined Cox in a Q & A session with the audience covering a wide range of water quality issues. The lecture and panel discussion are available online in video, PDF and audio formats at http://www.freshwater.org/index.php/component/content/article/424-cox-lectures-on-farm-runoff-.

Land Stewardship Project's Farm Beginnings Program
Farm Beginnings is a farmer-led educational training and support program designed to help beginning and transitional farmers who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers; attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences; and receive resource materials. They also create links with experienced farmers through farm partnerships, land and equipment use and/or rental. The program allows participants to see sustainable farming practices being used on real farms under a variety of conditions. For more information, visit http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/farmbeg.html.

USDA launches loan program for land preservation, conservation
The USDA Farm Service Agency has launched a program that will provide credit to farm owners to implement land preservation techniques that will conserve natural resources. The conservation loan program will offer direct loans for up to $300,000 and guaranteed loans for up to $1,119,000. The funds can be used to install conservation structures, improve permanent pastures, or adapt other emerging or existing conservation practices, techniques, or technologies. This program can also be used to implement strategies to assist Minnesota livestock producers in meeting the open lot runoff reduction requirements. More information is available from the Farm Loan Manager at your local Farm Service Agency office; visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=mn&agency=fsa.

Nutrient Best Management Practice (BMP) Challenge
Best Management Practices (BMPs) for fertilizer use are designed to save farmers money and maintain optimal crop yields. The BMP Challenge program works to give farmers growing corn for grain or silage an opportunity to test reduced nutrient and tillage rates on their fields, without worrying about loss to their income. Essentially, the Nutrient BMP challenge pays farmers cash if their yield and income are reduced by adopting the nutrient BMPs. It is available to corn farmers in Minnesota as well as a number of other states, for up to 160 acres per farm. There is also a Reduced Tillage BMP challenge that Minnesota farmers are eligible for, which encourages use of no-till, ridge-till, stip-till, and other options. Program information is available at http://www.bmpchallenge.org/.

MN Department of Agriculture's Water Quality Assurance Program
Minnesota livestock producers have a new voluntary and proactive way to address water quality issues on their land through the Livestock Environmental Quality Assurance Program (LEQA). With funds from the environmentally-dedicated sales tax, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has launched the program to help livestock producers take the initiative on a non-regulatory basis to evaluate water quality issues and implement appropriate practices.

MDA has contracted with Ag Resource Strategies, LLC, to recruit farmers to enroll in the LEQA program. The company trains technicians to look at the farm in separate resource management areas, such as the farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and wooded areas. The technicians then develop an assessment and an action plan, if necessary. The assessment and plan is confidential unless the farmer decides otherwise.

The cost to register for the program is $225. The farmer then receives an assessment, action plan and up to 20 additional hours of assistance from the LEQA technician. More information is available at www.agresourcestrategies.com or contact Tim Gieseke at 507-359-1889.

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Financial Assistance

Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District Best Management Practices Cost Share Grants
Through the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District Best Management Practices Cost Share Program, public and private landowners in the watershed are invited to apply for cost share that covers up to 75% of eligible project costs. Examples of eligible projects are rain gardens, rain barrels, pervious asphalt and pavers, volume reduction and runoff treatment practices (infiltration basins & trenches, cisterns, green roofs, filtration), unique solutions for soil erosion and sediment control practices, and native habitat restoration with priority given to waterways, lakes, buffers, and ponds. The District has allocated $250,000 for the BMP Cost Share program for 2011 and is accepting applications year round until funds are gone. The minimum grant is $100. The maximum grant is $2,500 for residential projects and $30,000.00 for commercial and government projects. For more information, visit www.rwmwd.org.

Capital Region Watershed District Stewardship Grant
CRWD offers 50% of an approved project budget for stewardship projects, not to exceed $2,000. Applicants provide a 1:1 match of cash or in-kind services. For more information, visit www.capitolregionwd.org.

Capitol Region Watershed District Rain Barrel Workshop Grant
CRWD offers $1,200 to neighborhood organizations, planning councils, faith communities, non-profits within the district to host workshops for 35 or more participants. For more information, contact Elizabeth at Elizabeth@capitolregionwd.org or 651-644-8888.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Programs and Grants
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District offers cost share money to residents, businesses and private schools for shoreline and streambank naturalization and stormwater best management practices. For more information, visit www.minnehahacreek.org.

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Stewardship Fund
The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization offers Mini Grants (up to $2,000), Planning Grants (up to $10,000) and Action Grants (up to $50,000). For guidelines and deadlines, visit www.mwmo.org/stewardshipfund.html.

Rice Creek Watershed District Cost-Share Grant Program
The RCWD has created a dedicated cost-share grant program to assist property owners with the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) aimed at improving the quality of surface waters within the District. In many cases, the RCWD can cost-share up to 50% of total project costs. Applications are accepted throughout the year. For more information, see http://ricecreek.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={607D5989-0807-43F9-A730-5B3711605906}.

Rice Creek Watershed District Urban Stormwater Remediation Cost-Share Program
Cost-Share funding is available to assist counties, cities, townships, school districts, libraries and other public and private entities located within the RCWD to incorporate water quality improvement practices into redevelopment, roadway and storm sewer improvement projects in 2011. Roughly $175,000 will be made available and project may be funded at up to 50% of total costs up to a maximum of $50,000 per project. For more information, see http://ricecreek.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={607D5989-0807-43F9-A730-5B3711605906}.

South Washington Watershed Water Quality Cost Share Program
The South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) Clean Water Cost Share Program offers financial assistance to encourage citizens, municipalities, and businesses to use innovative practices to protect and improve lakes and streams within the district. This program promotes water quality improvement by focusing on the reduction of phosphorus in stormwater runoff. Each pound of phosphorus, a nutrient critical to algae growth, removed from stormwater runoff can prevent up to 500 pounds of algae in our lakes, streams, and rivers. For more information, see http://www.swwdmn.org/programs/water-quality-cost-share-program/.

Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization Cost Share Program
Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization has three cost-share programs to help property owners with projects that benefit water quality. The Rainbarrel Cost Share will reimburse 50% of the cost of 2 rainbarrels (up to $125 per rainbarrel). The Best Management Practice (BMP) Cost Share Program funds projects such as raingardens, shoreline restorations, and other projects that protect or enhance water quality. This program will reimburse 50% of the cost of materials and approved labor, up to $1000. The Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Program is for larger scale projects with a maximum request of $5000 which must be matched by the applicant. For more information, see http://www.vlawmo.org/planning.cfm?ID=99&PID=97&siteID=1&CatID=5.

Washington Conservation District Financial Assistance Program
The Washington Conservation District (WCD) serves as a central distribution for many grant and cost share programs including the State Cost-Share, WCD Water Quality Cost-share, Survey and Engineering Assistance, Watershed BMP's, Annual Grant Programs through the MDNR, BWSR, MPCA and National Park Service, Federal Natural Resources Conservation Service Cost-Share, Reinvest in MN Reserve Program, AgBMP Loan Program, etc. For more information, see www.mnwcd.org/financial_assistance.php.

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Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs):
Fact sheets, research finding, maintenance, case studies, etc.

A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation
A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation provides an important conservation resource for individuals, organizations, governments and businesses across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This new book profiles promising conservation practices and technologies and describes the protection of critical land and water resources. Thirty-one case studies feature the work of government and private organizations and conservation leaders throughout the Bay watershed. The book's six chapters-Climate Change Solutions, Stream Restoration, Green Infrastructure, Incentive Driven Conservation, Watershed Protection, and Stewardship-are each introduced with a summary of the restoration principles learned from the projects. To download this free resource, visit http://www.conservationfund.org/sustainable-chesapeake.

Free Green Infrastructure Guide
Green infrastructure is a network of decentralized stormwater management practices, such as green roofs, trees, rain gardens and permeable pavement, that can capture and infiltrate rain where it falls, thus reducing stormwater runoff and improving the health of surrounding waterways. This new guide-The Value of Green Infrastructure: A guide to recognizing its economic, environmental, and social benefits-is a product of a partnership between the Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers. See http://www.cnt.org/repository/gi-values-guide.pdf.

Stockholm Tree Planting Manual
This manual provides specific, detailed information about tree planting methods in urban areas. It is intended as a tool to make sure cities can reap the stormwater management benefits of healthy trees. See http://www.bonestroo.com/client_files/Tree_Symposium/Stockholm_tree_planting_manual_2-23-09.pdf.

Healthy Lakes: Let it Grow! Documentary Available Online for Free
Watch a video documentary on lakeshore habitat and shoreland restorations that aired on Lakeland Public Television in May, 2010. The documentary explains why shoreline owners should not mow all the way down to the water's edge and the value of shoreland habitat. Watch the video at http://www.lakelandptv.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=97&video=506.

Webinar: Permeable Pavement Design
The Center for Watershed Protection offers web-based training through a series of webcasts. Their "Permeable Pavement Design" webcast (which was originally broadcast on September 1, 2010) provides practical design, installation and maintenance tips to boost the runoff reduction and pollutant removal performance of various permeable pavement types. See http://www.cbstp.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17&Itemid=21.

Web-based Stormwater Training Modules
The Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership (CBSTP) is pleased to share its web-based training initiative. This initiative includes web-based training modules that consist of presentations and supplemental resource materials on a host of stormwater topics (such as BMP design, construction and maintenance specifications, and research). Currently, 17 modules are available on the CBSTP website. See http://www.cbstp.org/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=22.

Online MS4 Toolkit Provides Wealth of Resources
Reach citizens, businesses, municipal staff and elected officials in your community using brochures, newsletter articles, posters, videos and more. Download the editable versions to personalize these materials for your community. For more information, see http://www.cleanwatermn.org/About-You/MS4Toolkit.aspx.

Winter Maintenance for Small Sites Training Video Online
In 2010, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of MN Landcare, MN Pollution Control Agency, Digital Motion and Fortin Consulting created a 20-min long training video called Winter Maintenance for Small Sites - specifically steps, ramps, curbcuts, entry ways etc.

These small areas and entryways are managed by everyone and anyone-from professionals to housing and athletic staff at the University of MN, front desk attendants, restaurant servers, sales people-and often by people with no knowledge of the impacts of deicers on water quality. The University of MN Landcare group will use this video as part of their training and orientation for new seasonal employees.

We are happy to announce that this video may now viewed on the MPCA website at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-events-and-training/road-salt-education-program.html.

Help tell businesses, public agencies and your networks about this new resource. And of course, feel free to link to it on your websites.

Northland NEMO Provides Outstanding Resources to Local Decision Makers
NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) is a nationally recognized educational program for local elected and appointed decision makers addressing the relationship between land use and natural resource protection. Northland NEMO is a collaborative of organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin with groups currently working in the Twin Cities Metro Area and the Western Lake Superior Basin. Northland NEMO partners work together to offer educational programming, provide resources, and create effective tools to assist and enable communities to make informed decisions regarding land use and natural resources. Our mission is to help Minnesota and Wisconsin communities better protect natural resources while accommodating growth and redevelopment. For more information or to request assistance in your community from a NEMO representative, see http://northlandnemo.org/index.html.

Study: Porous Pavement Looks Promising for Improving Water Quality
Shingle Creek was the first stream in Minnesota to be designated as containing unacceptable levels of chloride, most of which comes from road salt for de-icing. A MPCA study estimates that the chloride load to the Creek needs to decrease by 71 percent - a daunting goal to accomplish while still keeping public safety in mind. Using porous pavement to reduce chloride in surface waters looks like a promising approach.

In September 2009, the City of Robbinsdale built a traditional asphalt street surface at the intersection of 41st and Zenith streets in Robbinsdale as a control section. The city also built a porous asphalt street surface at 41st and Abbott streets as a test section. One complete winter of study found that the porous section generally maintained a warmer profile than the control section. When melting conditions occurred, water seeped through the porous section instead of re-freezing at the road surface. It is anticipated that this reduced build-up of ice will decrease the need to apply road salt in the first place.

The study will continue over the winter of 2010-2011, with an additional paired intersection in Robbinsdale. The section constructed in 2009 was on a sand subgrade, and the section to be constructed in 2010 will be on a clay subgrade. Additional details available at http://www.shinglecreek.org/pages/PermeablePavement/.

Self-guided Stormwater BMP Tours in Chaska and Chanhassen
The Carver County Water Management Organization has recently completed a Stormwater Best Management self-guided tour around Chaska and Chanhassen, MN. There is both a short tour (4 stops; approximately 1 hour) and a long tour (8 stops; approximately 2 hours) that will guide you through different Best Management Practices (BMPs), including porous pavement, filtration swales, filtration shelves and raingardens. Tour packets are available at http://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/LWS/water_managment.asp under the "stormwater" section. Each tour packet contains a starting location, directions, a tour map and informational site sheets for each stop.

Free Best Management Practices (BMP) Factsheets
Stormwater runoff is the number one water quality problem facing our nation today. Properly maintaining best management practices is one of the best ways you can help improve the health of our water. The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has developed a series of four free factsheets providing guidance on the proper maintenance of BMPs. The free factsheets are available at http://www.minnehahacreek.org/permits/regulatory-programs/stormwater-bmp-maintenance-program.

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Water quality tools for public entities: Model ordinances, stormwater treatment technique maintenance, etc.

EPA Website: Tools for Comparing Impaired Waters' Restorability
This website provides technical assistance for restoration programs to help them consider where to invest their efforts to achieve the greatest likelihood of success, based on the traits of their geographic area's environment and communities. Website components include step-by-step instructions in screening various waters' recovery potential; and a library of technical information on specific recovery-related factors (ecological, stressor, and social), how they influence restorability, and how to measure them. See http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/tmdl/recovery/index.cfm.


EPA Launches Recovery Potential Screening Website to Assist Restoration Planners
Monitoring programs under the Clean Water Act have identified tens of thousands of US water bodies that do not meet Water Quality Standards and are in need of restoration. This website provides technical assistance for restoration programs to help them consider where to invest their efforts for greater likelihood of success, based on the traits of their own geographic area's environment and communities. Step-by-step instructions in recovery potential screening provide watershed managers with a methodology for comparing restorability differences among their waters. The steps in the methodology link to several online tools and resources that are used in recovery potential screening. A library of recovery potential indicators offers technical information on specific recovery-related factors (ecological, stressor, and social), how they influence restorability, and how to measure them. For additional information, see water.epa.gov or contact Doug Norton.

Climate Change Handbook to Assist Water Managers in Planning for Climate Change
Developed cooperatively by the U.S. EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Water Resources, and the Resources Legacy Fund, the "Climate Change Handbook for Regional Watershed Planning" provides a framework for considering climate change in water management planning. Key decision considerations, resources, tools, and decision options are presented that will guide resource managers and planners as they develop means of adapting their programs to a changing climate. The handbook uses the California Department of Water Resources' Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning framework as a model into which analysis of climate change impacts and planning for adaptation and mitigation can be integrated. In addition, the handbook provides a checklist for identifying and prioritizing the vulnerability of local watersheds. The checklist includes questions about water demand and supply, wildlife and habitat, sea level rise, critical infrastructure, and hydropower. See www.water.ca.gov.

EPA Releases Handbook for PCB Clean-up Plans
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a technical document titled Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Handbook, which provides EPA regions, states, and other stakeholders with updated information for addressing waters polluted by PCBs. PCBs rank sixth among the national causes of water quality impairment in the country, and of the 71,000 waterbody-pollutant combinations listed nationally, over 5,000 (eight percent) are PCB-related. This handbook identifies various approaches to developing PCB TMDLs and provides examples of TMDLs from around the country, complete with online references. It aims to help states complete more PCB TMDLs and ultimately restore those waters polluted by PCBs. The PCB TMDL Handbook is available at http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/tmdl/upload/pcb_tmdl_handbook.pdf.

Water Purification Eco-Center Demonstration Project Launch
The Rodale Institute recently opened its new Water Purification Eco-Center located on its research farm in Kutztown, PA. The center, supported in part through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will serve as a model on-site wastewater treatment system. The system incorporates an experimental wetland-based treatment and reuse facility that captures rainwater and reuses it several times before returning it to the soil as clean water. The system, which serves as an alternative to standard septic and sand mound on-lot sewage systems, is scalable and can be used in sustainable landscapes for residential and small commercial entities. This project will help promote the adoption of wetlands-based residential and institutional wastewater treatment systems to help encourage homeowners and businesses to seek out more sustainable and water-efficient wastewater treatment options. For additional information, visit the Rodale Institute website at: http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/wpec/home.

EPA Launches New Strategy to Promote Use of Green Infrastructure for Environmental and Economic Benefits
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new strategy to promote the use of green infrastructure by cities and towns to reduce stormwater runoff that pollutes the nation's streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. In addition to protecting Americans' health by decreasing water pollution, green infrastructure provides many community benefits including increased economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings and increased recreational and green space. Effective green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems.

EPA will work with partners including local governments, watershed groups, tribes and others in ten cities that have utilized green infrastructure and have plans for additional projects. EPA will encourage and support expanded use of green infrastructure in these cities and highlight them as models for other municipalities around the country. The ten cities are: Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Puyallup, WA; Syracuse, NY; and Washington, D.C. and neighboring Anacostia Watershed communities. For more information on EPA's green infrastructure agenda: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=298.

Residential Runoff Pollutants Loading Model
This modeling tool was developed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and helps homeowners estimate the amount stormwater pollutants-specifically phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment-running off of their properties. The model is available at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/stormwater/stormwater-mgmt-homeowners.htm.

Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management: Do-It-Yourself Stormwater Solutions for Your Home
This tool was developed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to help homeowners better manage stormwater on their properties. It can also be used by communities as an outreach tool to encourage better stormwater management on private properties. It provides fact sheets with step-by-step instructions for homeowners to install stormwater treatment practices themselves, such as dry wells and rain gardens. The tool is available at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/stormwater/stormwater-mgmt-homeowners.htm.

EPA Releases New Online Training Module on Water Quality Standards
A new online training module intended to encourage and facilitate public involvement in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Water Quality Standards program is now available on the EPA's website. "How to Develop and Implement Public Involvement Programs and Practices" outlines the requirements of public involvement and highlights good practices for creating an effective public participation process in decisions that affect water quality. Links to EPA policy, resources and tools are provided throughout the module and compiled at the end of the presentation for further development of a tailored public involvement process. The module is available at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/standards/academy/special/public/player.html.

Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox Upgrade Released
EPA has released a significant upgrade to its Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox. The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff. The Toolbox contains a variety of resources to help develop an effective and targeted outreach campaign. The Toolbox is available at www.epa.gov/nps/toolbox/.

A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation
A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation provides an important conservation resource for individuals, organizations, governments and businesses across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This new book profiles promising conservation practices and technologies and describes the protection of critical land and water resources. Thirty-one case studies feature the work of government and private organizations and conservation leaders throughout the Bay watershed. The book's six chapters-Climate Change Solutions, Stream Restoration, Green Infrastructure, Incentive Driven Conservation, Watershed Protection, and Stewardship-are each introduced with a summary of the restoration principles learned from the projects. To download this free resource, visit http://www.conservationfund.org/sustainable-chesapeake.

EPA Announces the Availability of a Web-based Training Series for NPDES Permit Writers
EPA has created a web-based training series, based on its popular in-person National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Writer's Course, which allows state and EPA Regional permitting staff, as well as stakeholders and the public, to access NPDES permit program training content online.

The recorded presentations cover the key elements of NPDES permit development and enable participants who attended the NPDES Permit Writer's Course to review the material in a self-paced environment. They also are useful for those who have not attended a live course, but who wish to become familiar with important concepts of the NPDES permit program. The training series can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/training under "Self-Paced Web Training." For more information please contact David Hair (hair.david@epa.gov; 202-564-2287).

Stockholm Tree Planting Manual
This manual provides specific, detailed information about tree planting methods in urban areas. It is intended as a tool to make sure cities can reap the stormwater management benefits of healthy trees. See http://www.bonestroo.com/client_files/Tree_Symposium/Stockholm_tree_planting_manual_2-23-09.pdf.

Healthy Lakes: Let it Grow! Documentary Available Online for Free
Watch a video documentary on lakeshore habitat and shoreland restorations that aired on Lakeland Public Television in May, 2010. The documentary explains why shoreline owners should not mow all the way down to the water's edge and the value of shoreland habitat. Watch the video at http://www.lakelandptv.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=97&video=506.

Webinar: Permeable Pavement Design
The Center for Watershed Protection offers web-based training through a series of webcasts. Their "Permeable Pavement Design" webcast (which was originally broadcast on September 1, 2010) provides practical design, installation and maintenance tips to boost the runoff reduction and pollutant removal performance of various permeable pavement types. See http://www.cbstp.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17&Itemid=21.

Web-based Stormwater Training Modules
The Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership (CBSTP) is pleased to share its web-based training initiative. This initiative includes web-based training modules that consist of presentations and supplemental resource materials on a host of stormwater topics (such as BMP design, construction and maintenance specifications, and research). Currently, 17 modules are available on the CBSTP website. See http://www.cbstp.org/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=22.

Online MS4 Toolkit Provides Wealth of Resources
Reach citizens, businesses, municipal staff and elected officials in your community using brochures, newsletter articles, posters, videos and more. Download the editable versions to personalize these materials for your community. For more information, see http://www.cleanwatermn.org/About-You/MS4Toolkit.aspx.

Winter Maintenance for Small Sites Training Video Online
In 2010, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of MN Landcare, MN Pollution Control Agency, Digital Motion and Fortin Consulting created a 20-min long training video called Winter Maintenance for Small Sites - specifically steps, ramps, curbcuts, entry ways etc.

These small areas and entryways are managed by everyone and anyone-from professionals to housing and athletic staff at the University of MN, front desk attendants, restaurant servers, sales people-and often by people with no knowledge of the impacts of deicers on water quality. The University of MN Landcare group will use this video as part of their training and orientation for new seasonal employees.

We are happy to announce that this video may now viewed on the MPCA website at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-events-and-training/road-salt-education-program.html.

Help tell businesses, public agencies and your networks about this new resource. And of course, feel free to link to it on your websites.

Northland NEMO Provides Outstanding Resources to Local Decision Makers
NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) is a nationally recognized educational program for local elected and appointed decision makers addressing the relationship between land use and natural resource protection. Northland NEMO is a collaborative of organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin with groups currently working in the Twin Cities Metro Area and the Western Lake Superior Basin. Northland NEMO partners work together to offer educational programming, provide resources, and create effective tools to assist and enable communities to make informed decisions regarding land use and natural resources. Our mission is to help Minnesota and Wisconsin communities better protect natural resources while accommodating growth and redevelopment. For more information or to request assistance in your community from a NEMO representative, see http://northlandnemo.org/index.html.

New Blue Star Awards Recognizes Communities for Exceptional Stormwater Management
Minnesota has a brand new award program for communities that excel at protecting our water quality from urban runoff pollution: The Blue Star Award for Excellence in Community Stormwater Management!

While many cities and townships work to keep our water clean by reducing urban runoff, there are a few communities in our state that exceed state standards and go the extra mile to protect our waters. The Blue Star Award is available to any Minnesota community. The program rates key community indicators such as city development codes, site-design guidelines and post-construction stormwater management standards. Any community that scores high enough automatically earns the Blue Star Award for Excellence in Community Stormwater Management. For more information, see http://www.bluestarmn.org.

EPA Releases Risk Analysis Tools for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing two software tools for risk assessment and consequence analysis:
- The Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT), an upgraded all hazards risk assessment tool
- The Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT), a newly developed consequence analysis tool

The release of VSAT and WHEAT will provide drinking water, wastewater, and combined utilities of all sizes with the capability to assess, plan for, and better respond to man-made threats and natural disasters.

VSAT is an interactive desktop software tool that enables users to perform customized risk assessments. The tool not only evaluates man-made threats but also users to assess four different natural disaster scenarios: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes. VSAT has the flexibility for the user to assess other types of natural disasters as well.

WHEAT is an intuitive desktop software tool that assists drinking water utility owners and operators in quantifying public health impacts, utility financial costs, and regional economic impacts of an accidental or adverse event. Currently, WHEAT generates consequence results based on two scenarios for drinking water utilities: 1) release of a hazardous gas and 2) loss of operating assets. There are future plans to develop similar wastewater utility modules.

Among the programs' other benefits, users can easily import consequence results from WHEAT into VSAT to better refine consequence assessments that support overall risk assessments; and users can use VSAT to develop utility-specific risk analysis summaries and reports, and create an emergency response plan.

The VSAT and WHEAT tools are available for download free of charge through EPA's website at: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/index.cfm


Online manual for stormwater treatment practices
The University of Minnesota's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory has released a new online manual to help users assess the performance of, and schedule maintenance for, stormwater treatment practices. Stormwater Treatment: Assessment and Maintenance builds on the knowledge and experience of engineers, researchers, faculty, consultants, watershed districts and many others. It provides guidance and recommendations for measuring performance and maintaining stormwater treatment practices. The manual is available at http://stormwaterbook.safl.umn.edu/.

Policy to Reality: Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development Updated
Originally published in 2000, the model ordinances found in From Policy to Reality: Model Ordinances for Sustainable Development have been recently updated. These newer ordinances offer legal tools to help local governments steer changes in their communities to reflect the aspirations of their comprehensive and other plans. Chapters include, among others, "Natural Resources Performance Standards" and "Stormwater and Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance." Produced by CR Planning in partnership with DeSotelle Consulting, EOR, the MN Pollution Control Agency, and others. The model ordinances are available at http://www.crplanning.com/susdo.htm.

US Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Scorecard
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in recognition of the challenges facing communities trying to balance water quality protection with accommodating growth, recently released a Water Quality Scorecard. The tool helps local governments identify opportunities to remove barriers and create codes, ordinances, and incentives for better water quality protection. It guides municipal staff through a review of relevant local codes and ordinances-across multiple departments and at the municipality, neighborhood, and site scales-to ensure that these codes work together to protect water quality goals. The two main goals of this tool are to: (1) help communities protect water quality by identifying ways to reduce the amount of stormwater flows in a community, and (2) educate stakeholders on the wide range of policies and regulations that have water quality implications. The scorecard is available at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/water_scorecard.htm.

TMDL Starter Guide Now Available for Local Partners
Spearheading a pollution clean-up (or "Total Maximum Daily Load," TMDL) project can be a frustrating experience for Local Project Sponsors as they navigate the varied programs of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) along with coordinating the many aspects of the project. To help with each step of the process, the MPCA recently developed the "TMDL Starter Guide," a packet of information that includes web links to documents needed for the project and a referral index for key state agency staff. The guide is intended for soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs), watershed districts and organizations, non-profit groups, and any organization leading a TMDL project. The TMDL Starter Guide is now online at: www.pca.state.mn.us/tmdl-guide.

Climate Ready Water Utilities Toolbox
The US EPA recently released the Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) Toolbox. The Toolbox provides a searchable database for water utilities to identify relevant climate change-related impacts and target resources for responding to those challenges, including:

-Current federal, state, and association activities related to climate change impacts on water resources and utilities
-Grant programs that could support climate-related actions by utilities and municipalities
-Publications and reports
-Tools and models
-Workshops and seminars

These resources are searchable by utility type and size, region, water resources, climate change impacts, and climate response strategies. The toolbox will be updated periodically and is available at www.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/climate/toolbox.htm.

EPA Decentralized Wastewater Management E-Handbook Now Available
The EPA Office of Wastewater Management has recently expanded its Handbook for Managing Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment Systems with the addition of an "E-Handbook." The E-Handbook features resource guides containing detailed information on the 13 management program elements featured in the existing management handbook: public education, planning, performance, site evaluation, design, construction/installation, operation/maintenance, inspections/monitoring, residuals management, training/certification, financial assistance, inventory/record keeping, and compliance assurance. It is intended for health departments, wastewater system management entities, local governments, and others involved in managing multiple individual or clustered treatment systems. Each resource guide contains detailed information on each program element topic and links to other resources, case studies, and examples of successful management programs. The handbook is available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/owm/septic/septic.cfm?page_id=289.

Receive Email Updates on Water Conditions from US Geological Survey's New Water Alert Service
The U.S. Geological Survey's new WaterAlert service allows users to set notification thresholds for any USGS real-time stream- or raingage, water quality, or groundwater monitoring site and then sends emails or text messages to subscribers whenever the threshold conditions are met. See http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert for more information.

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Water quality tools for citizens: Resource guides, communication resources, etc.

A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation
A Sustainable Chesapeake: Better Models for Conservation provides an important conservation resource for individuals, organizations, governments and businesses across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This new book profiles promising conservation practices and technologies and describes the protection of critical land and water resources. Thirty-one case studies feature the work of government and private organizations and conservation leaders throughout the Bay watershed. The book's six chapters-Climate Change Solutions, Stream Restoration, Green Infrastructure, Incentive Driven Conservation, Watershed Protection, and Stewardship-are each introduced with a summary of the restoration principles learned from the projects. To download this free resource, visit http://www.conservationfund.org/sustainable-chesapeake.

Residential Snow and Ice Care brochure
This free 2-page brochure, prepared by Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, provides basic guidelines for residential snow/ice management that keeps salt's impacts on lakes and streams in mind. See http://www.ninemilecreek.org/EDUCATION/PDFs/snowandicecare.pdf.

Healthy Lakes: Let it Grow! Documentary Available Online for Free
Watch a video documentary on lakeshore habitat and shoreland restorations that aired on Lakeland Public Television in May, 2010. The documentary explains why shoreline owners should not mow all the way down to the water's edge and the value of shoreland habitat. Watch the video at http://www.lakelandptv.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=97&video=506.

How is My Lawn Connected to Clean Water?
Clear Choices for Clean Water is a campaign to increase awareness about lawn care and its impact on our streams and lakes. Water quality friendly lawn care includes practices such as using phosphorus-free fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, managing yard and pet wastes, and overall lawn reform. Your fertilizer choices matter... Take the pledge, go phosphorus free! Visit http://www.clearchoicescleanwater.org/.

Online MS4 Toolkit Provides Wealth of Resources
Reach citizens, businesses, municipal staff and elected officials in your community using brochures, newsletter articles, posters, videos and more. Download the editable versions to personalize these materials for your community. For more information, see http://www.cleanwatermn.org/About-You/MS4Toolkit.aspx.

Winter Maintenance for Small Sites Training Video Online
In 2010, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of MN Landcare, MN Pollution Control Agency, Digital Motion and Fortin Consulting created a 20-min long training video called Winter Maintenance for Small Sites - specifically steps, ramps, curbcuts, entry ways etc.

These small areas and entryways are managed by everyone and anyone-from professionals to housing and athletic staff at the University of MN, front desk attendants, restaurant servers, sales people-and often by people with no knowledge of the impacts of deicers on water quality. The University of MN Landcare group will use this video as part of their training and orientation for new seasonal employees.

We are happy to announce that this video may now viewed on the MPCA website at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-events-and-training/road-salt-education-program.html.

Help tell businesses, public agencies and your networks about this new resource. And of course, feel free to link to it on your websites.

TMDL Starter Guide Now Available for Local Partners
Spearheading a pollution clean-up (Total Maximum Daily Load, "TMDL") project can be a frustrating experience for Local Project Sponsors as they navigate the varied programs of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) along with coordinating the many aspects of the project. To help with each step of the process, the MPCA recently developed the "TMDL Starter Guide," a packet of information that includes web links to documents needed for the project and a referral index for key state agency staff. The guide is intended for soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs), watershed districts and organizations, non-profit groups, and any organization leading a TMDL project. The TMDL Starter Guide is now online at: www.pca.state.mn.us/tmdl-guide.

Water-Energy Toolkit: Understanding the Carbon Footprint of Your Water Use
If you've ever lugged around 5-gallon jugs of water for long, you know that water is heavy and moving it takes a lot of energy. Moving, heating and treating water in the U.S. consumes 13% of all the electricity produced each year -- and generates the same amount of greenhouse gases as 62 coal-fired power plants.

River Network's new Water-Energy Toolkit is a guide to 11 tools and calculators that can help people and communities better understand the energy and carbon emissions embedded in their water consumption. The free toolkit is available at http://www.rivernetwork.org/resource-library/water-energy-toolkit-understanding-carbon-footprint-your-water-use.

New Web Tools to Inform the Public about Clean Water Enforcement
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new set of web tools, data, and interactive maps to inform the public about serious Clean Water Act violations in their communities. The new web page provides interactive information from EPA's 2008 Annual Noncompliance Report, which pertains to about 40,000 permitted Clean Water Act dischargers across the country. The report lists state-by-state summary data of violations and enforcement responses taken by the states for smaller facilities. Visit http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo/index.html.

Free, Personalized Tool to Communicate about your Community's Water Issues
The Source Water Collaborative has launched a new interactive tool to help organizations reach out to local officials and land use decision makers. The Your Water Your Decision tool helps users create a professional-looking guide that highlights their community or state's specific source water protection needs by customizing subject matter, content, cover photos, contacts and resources. In addition, organizations can brand their guide by adding their own logo and contact information -- making the guide unique for every organization. Use the guide to start a conversation with local officials about what can be done in your community by presenting best practices, people and resources that can help them protect their sources of drinking water. Visit www.yourwateryourdecision.org to see how you can create your own free, customized guide that downloads to your desktop in under 15 minutes.

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Educational Opportunities and Webinars

Free Online Environmental Science Videos
The University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) channel on SchoolTube, presents videos about environmental issues to middle- and high-school students. Through these videos, students and teachers can follow scientists as they go in the field, explore unique ecosystems, and hear from people impacted by environmental issues. Unlike other video-sharing websites, SchoolTube is trusted by educators and allowed to stream in classrooms across the country. Thus, UMCES will be able to share its research with a new audience and inspire the next generation of environmental scientists. Stay tuned … our channel is growing. See http://www.schooltube.com/user/UMCESfilms.

Free Webinar: Designing Low Impact Development (LID) to Work: Lessons Learned from North Carolina
This webcast features a discussion of barriers to LID implementation and the progress that is being made to address them from a "boots on the ground" perspective of the North Carolina State Cooperative Extension, as well as a landscape architect who is making LID a reality. Participants are encouraged to register and download presentations prior to the webcast at Watershed Academy Webcast Seminars at http://water.epa.gov/learn/training/wacademy/webcasts_index.cfm.

Webinar: Better Site Design Gets Better
The Center for Watershed Protection first introduced the concept of Better Site Design (BSD) in 1998, as articulated in 22 model development principles. Since that time, the Center has used BSD in its work with many communities, reviewing local codes and policies and conducting development codes roundtables. The objective of BSD is to improve local development codes (zoning, subdivision, stormwater, etc.) so that development and redevelopment projects can reduce impervious cover and runoff. This webcast starts with a discussion of development strategies at the watershed scale, then focuses at the site scale with an overview of the BSD principles, provides tools for communities to use to change codes (the codes and ordinances worksheet and EPA water quality scorecard), and presents case studies of communities that have used BSD to make local code changes. Whether you are a seasoned Development Roundtable veteran, or new to BSD, this webcast will introduce you to a "better" way to do Better Site Design. http://www.cwp.org/our-work/training/webcasts.html.

Free Webinar: A Sustainable Water Future for Minnesota-How to Get There
Dr. Deborah Swackhamer spoke at the University of Minnesota's Water Resources Science Seminar Series on November 19, 2010. She presented the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework, which is a 25-year plan for how to reach sustainable management of the state's water resources. It addresses water quantity and quality, surface water and groundwater interactions, and both human and ecological uses for water. The Framework identifies the key issues, strategies to address these issues, and specific recommendations for how to implement the strategies - all with the purpose of achieving sustainable water resources for now and the future. This project was commissioned and funded by the Minnesota Legislature. The presentation is available at https://umconnect.umn.edu/p80615032.

Free Webinar: Evidence-Based Restoration: Promoting Successful Restoration through Effective Monitoring and Adaptive Management
Restoring the Chesapeake Bay's natural processes and functions in order to produce widely enjoyed benefits (e.g., recreational fishing and swimming) requires a multi-faceted approach, including using the strongest science possible to maximize the effectiveness of restoration actions. Some key take-home points of a recent literature review were: 1. Restored sites are marked by high variability and therefore early measurements can provide misleading indications of both positive and negative outcomes; 2. Some integrative metrics can be difficult to use in adaptive management since they can fail to pinpoint stressors; and 3. For stream restoration, restoring structure does not necessarily restore function.

Overall, it appears that many metrics in widespread use are not providing useful information about key functional outcomes and that fewer, more meaningful, metrics may be preferred to many inexpensive metrics. Finally, initial site selection and project goal setting must be realistic with respect to site constraints. The best restoration design and implementation cannot overcome high levels of system stress; therefore, screening sites for compatibility with restoration goals is probably the most important component of promoting successful restoration.

To access this webinar and associated materials, visit http://ian.umces.edu/seminarseries/ and scroll down to this session, which originally took place on September 30, 2010.

Free Webinar: Effects of Riparian Buffers on Nitrate Concentrations in Watershed Discharges: New Models and Management Implications
Watershed analyses of nutrient removal in riparian buffers have been limited by the geographic methods used to map buffers and by the statistical models used to test and quantify buffer effects on stream nutrient levels. We combined geographic methods that account for buffer prevalence along flow paths connecting croplands to streams with improved statistical models to test for buffer effects on stream nitrate concentrations from 321 tributary watersheds to the Chesapeake Bay, USA. We developed statistical models that predict stream nitrate concentration from watershed land cover and physiographic province.

Model predictions for the study watersheds provided estimates of nitrate removals achieved with the existing cropland and buffer distributions. Compared to expected nitrate concentrations if buffers were removed, current buffers reduced average nitrate concentrations by 0.73 mg N/l (50% of their inputs from cropland) in the Coastal Plain study watersheds, 0.40 mg N/l (11%) in the Piedmont, and 0.08 mg N/l (5%) in the Appalachian Mountains. Restoration to close all buffer gaps downhill from croplands would further reduce nitrate concentrations by 0.66 mg N/l, 0.83 mg N/l, and 0.51 mg N/l, respectively, in the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Appalachian Mountain study watersheds. Aggregate nitrate removal by riparian buffers was less than suggested by many studies of field-to-stream transects, but buffer nitrate removal is significant and restoration could achieve substantial additional removal.

To access this webinar and associated materials, visit http://ian.umces.edu/seminarseries/ and scroll down to this session, which originally took place on October 28, 2010.

Free Webinar: Clean Water Act's Section 401 Water Quality Certification Policy
The Clean Water Act's "Section 401" water quality certification policy is a powerful but under-utilized tool that allows states to review and then veto or place conditions on activities requiring a federal license/permit that may result in a discharge of pollution. The 401 certification process is a rare chance to fundamentally change the way in which an activity is conducted (e.g., requiring buffers, revegetation, time restrictions on activity during spawning, etc.) or to stop it altogether when the activity will violate water quality standards. The free webinar is available at www.rivernetwork.org/resource-library/401-certification-webinar.

Free Webinar: Where has all the Nitrogen Gone? Hot Spots in the Land and Seascape
We have done a great job at figuring out where all the nitrogen (N) comes from, but we are a little weak on where it goes. Is it going away or will it result in longer term problems? There has been a seven-fold increase in N since John Smith's arrival to the Chesapeake Bay Area-50% increase during first 360 years and 50% increase in last 40 years. There are quite a few hotspots in the land and sea-scape for nitrogen sources, but also areas that remove nitrogen. Population in the basin is going up, but the area of impervious surfaces has increased even more. Historically the Chesapeake region had significantly greater wetlands area, promoted in part by beaver activity. This has resulted in significant reductions in the rates of denitrification. The bay has nutrient obesity - too much of a good thing. Restoration goals should include fostering wetland areas. To access this webinar and associated materials, visit http://ian.umces.edu/seminarseries/ and scroll down to this session, which originally took place on July 29, 2010.

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Did You Know?

Lock at St. Anthony Falls

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is 49 feet deep.