From: Tim Terrill, District Manager
Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District
I wanted to pass on to you some information about the soil your Winona Soil & Water Conservation District has saved from entering our streams on a yearly basis. If you assume that the soil saved is a silt loam soil, and that 100% of that soil would eventually make it to the stream and Mississippi River, then using flood money from fiscal year 2008 & 2009, your SWCD saved 59,825 cubic yards of soil from entering the streams of Winona County. Keeping the soil in place helps with crop productivity, soil health, and promotes water quality in our streams for better trout habitat.
So letís make it real: 59,825 cubic yards would fill up 396 semi truck trailers which would stretch from Sugarloaf to right around where St. Maryís college is located (3.9miles). Try walking that distance if you want a visualization!
Now letís talk economics: Making the same assumptions, it would cost the Army Corps of Engineers around $598,251 to dredge that soil out of the Mississippi. Do you know of any needy people or programs who could use over Ĺ a million dollars of that federal money on a yearly basis to help others, instead of using it to dredge? My point is not to present a scientific paper about soil erosion, but to put into perspective that soil conservation pays for itself many times over from an economic and environmental standpoint.