Thursday, January 31, 2013

Draft National Blueways System Pre-Proposal page 3

Some portions had to be shortened to meet page limitations. They will get added back in for the full proposal.

Demonstrated  Watershed Support: 

·         U of M – SW Research &Outreach Center staff and researchers conduct watershed research and outreach education focused on K-12 educators and students.

·         Tatanka Bluff holds collaborative meeting in November 2012 to expand support for outdoor recreation destination in the center of AGO project area.

·         MN DNR funds part time planner position for Minnesota River Initiatives January 2013

·         USFWS funds intern position to support Blueway Nomination Application for Minnesota River Watershed December 2012.

·         Prairie Waters provides tourism and economic development support for 3 counties and surrounding communities at the west end of the watershed.

·         January 2013 MRWA member meeting approved Minnesota River Blueway pre-proposal developed by steering committee.


Accomplishments of Nominating Partnership:

Most of the accomplishments highlighted below and many more can be found with more details in the Minnesota River Basin Progress Report 2010. The link to this 194 page document is .

·         Nearly all of the 13 major watersheds in the Minnesota River Basin have a watershed project working to monitor and improve water quality. These projects access hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from state, federal and non-profit sources to implement BMPs, monitor water quality and provide educational opportunities (ongoing).

·         Non-profit groups lobby state legislature to provide additional tools for public access to recreational opportunities in the Minnesota River Valley (2013)

·         Non-profits establish Minnesota Valley History Learning Center in Morton, MN, in 2011 ( )

·         City of Henderson sponsors the J. R.  Brown Minnesota River Center and Ney Nature Center ( )

·         TNC, DNR, USFWS and others partner to Identify core Prairie Conservation Areas

·         Numerous cities/counties sponsor and fund rain garden and rain barrel  installations to decrease storm water impacts

·         4 Dams have been removed on the main stem or major tributaries since 2004. The Minnesota River from Granite Falls, MN to confluence with the Mississippi River is the longest stretch of free flowing river in Minnesota at approximately 253 miles.

·         Dakota County Greenway feasibility study is underway.   The corridor will travel the south side of the Minnesota River valley from Burnsville to St. Paul.  

·         MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, established in 2001, works to acquire and restore lands and waters in the lower Minnesota River Valley in concert with the USFWS. FMV receives an LCCMR funded restoration project

·         Co-sponsored Managed Drainage field days and workshop presentations are conducted to introduce new concepts to landowners and see how and where equipment works best on the landscape.

·         A State Trail Master Plan has been completed for the Minnesota River State Trail which will connect Big Stone Lake State Park to LeSueur. 

·         Efforts are currently underway to complete the Minnesota Valley State Trail, which will run from LeSueur County to Fort Snelling State Park.