Fifty-two grants will support voluntary conservation projects benefiting rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved $13.7 million in Clean Water Fund grants on December 19 to improve water quality in streams, lakes, and groundwater across the state. The majority of the grant funding — $11.7 million — is allocated for voluntary conservation projects across Minnesota. In addition, $1.4 million will support accelerated implementation for high-priority projects, and $610,000 will fund multipurpose drainage management.
“All Minnesotans deserve water that is safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing,” said Governor Dayton. “These 52 grants will improve water quality throughout our state and help provide more Minnesotans the clean water they expect and deserve.”
The $13.7 million will fund 52 separate grants, 36 of which are dedicated to specific projects and practices. For example, a grant awarded to the Martin Soil and Water Conservation District will support its efforts to improve drinking water in the Fairmont area by implementing agriculture best management practices near the Fairmont chain of lakes. Upon project completion, sediment in the chain of lakes is estimated to be reduced by 130 tons each year.
The Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board received a grant of $269,356 to enhance drinking water protection in Southeast Minnesota. The project will provide cost-share funds to landowners in vulnerable groundwater areas for the incorporation of cover crops in their crop rotation and provide education related to nitrogen BMPs through field trials and nutrient management plans. An anticipated 100 producers in highly vulnerable areas will plant 3,000 acres of cover crops resulting in preventing potentially 19,800 pounds of nitrate from leaching into groundwater.
About the Minnesota Clean Water Fund
Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, and forests, as well as fish, game, and wildlife habitats; preserve arts and cultural heritage; support parks and trails; and protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater. The Clean Water Fund receives 33 percent of the sales tax revenue generated by the Legacy Amendment. More information about the Clean Water Fund is available at https://www.legacy.mn.gov/clean-water-fund.
BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, which administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhances fish and wildlife habitat; and protects wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. BWSR’s mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.