Project: Minnesota River integrated watershed, water quality and ecosystem restoration study
The Environmental Quality Board (EQB), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Minnesota River Board and more than 20 partners are developing a partnership for restoring the Minnesota River Basin. The partnership will provide the basin’s water and land managers with new tools for making sensible water and land use choices. It will help people living in the area understand how decisions can serve everyone’s economic interests by contributing to a diversified agricultural community and a beautiful and healthy environment. It will address watershed, water quality, ground water and ecosystem restoration needs. The partnership will link the efforts of local, state, federal and tribal agencies through a plan for people living and working in the Minnesota River Basin.
The project is guided by an Interagency Study Team. The study team advises the EQB and the Corps on study directions, and serves as an information broker to and from member agencies. Membership includes:
- State participants, including EQB, the Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Metropolitan Council, Department of Agriculture, Board of Water and Soil Resources, and Department of Health; the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University at Mankato; and the Minnesota River Board
- Federal participants, including the Corps, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Tribal interests, including the Shakopee-Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Upper Sioux Community and Lower Sioux Community
The Interagency Study Team uses subcommittees, such as its modeling and planning groups, to develop ideas and gather information to support recommendations for the full team to review and provide input to the EQB and Corps.
While the study is still in the early stages of development, the study team has begun to consider the suite of models best designed to understand the basin’s hydrology, information that we believe to be fundamental to the project’s success. The team has also begun to discuss the demonstration watersheds in which to apply the models.
This Web link provides a site where IST members and other stakeholders can access information about meetings, schedules, and references about the study and Minnesota River Basin planning process.
IST Meeting Documents
- Minnesota River Interagency Study Team Meeting Draft Report. Report of the August 9, 2011 meeting.
- Minnesota River Interagency Study Team Meeting PowerPoint introduction and overview. Provides information to support discussion of which small watersheds the project should study to gain a better understanding of the basin’s hydro-, geomorphic-, sediment- and water quality characteristics. August 9, 2011
- Planning Group Meeting PowerPoint. PowerPoint slides for the June 7, 2011 Planning Group meeting. June 7, 2011
- IST Meeting Agenda: Agenda to reach consensus on recommendations coming out of the Planning and Modeling Group workshops and agree on next steps. March 15, 2011
- Status of the Study: EQB discusses the purpose, organization, status and next steps of the Minnesota River study. April 20, 2010
- Meeting Notes: Notes of the meeting of the Interagency Study Team. February 9, 2009
- IST Member Ideas December 11, 2008: Ideas about the study offered by participants at the IST meeting. December 11, 2008
- Meeting Notes Notes of the December 11, 2008 meeting of the Integrated Study Team. December 11, 2008
- Map of sub-basins. Minnesota River major watershed units or sub-basins map. June 7, 2011
- Demographic trends. Slides explaining demographic trends affecting the basin. June 7, 2011 Discovery Farm Case Study. A drainage and water quality case study of where the city meets the farm: Minnesota’s first Discovery Farm. June 7, 2011
- Prairie Pothole Duck Nesting Map. Predicted Duck Pair Accessibility to Upland Nesting Habitat in the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota and Iowa. June 7, 2011
- Shakopee Creek Headwaters Case Study. Slides of a Minnesota DNR case study of Shakopee Creek. June 7, 2011
- Study of Use Support in the Redwood River Basin. A 2003 study by PCA of the extent to which natural resources were supported in the Redwood River Basin. June 7, 2011
- Wetland Remote Sensing. USGS presentation of data integration concepts for improved wetland remote sensing. June 7, 2011 Study questions in context: Understanding study questions in the context of past, present and future conditions. May 17, 2011
- Minnesota River Basin Gages. Map of stream gages in the Minnesota River Basin. May 5, 2011
- Minnesota River Ecoregions. Map of ecoregions in the Minnesota River Basin prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 5, 2011
- Minnesota River Agro-ecoregions. Map of agricultural ecoregions in the Minnesota River Basin prepared by Dr. David Mulla, et.al. May 5, 2011
- Analyses of model merits: Modeling working group analyses of which models would best answer planning questions. March 10, 2011
- Executive Summary, Draft Modeling Group Report: Summarizes recommendations to assist in identifying decision making criteria and modeling suites for IST consideration. March 10, 2011
- Important Minnesota River Planning Questions: Planning questions of hydrology, water quality, land use, ecosystems and economics. March 10, 2011
- Planning Questions for Modeling: Lists the hydrologic and hydraulic planning questions and describes the models and approaches suggested for addressing them. March 10, 2011
- Draft Modeling Group Report: Includes recommendations to assist in identifying decision making criteria and modeling suites for IST consideration. September 28, 2010
- Gridded surface subsurface hydrologic analysis: the GSSHA Model: The Corps Research and Development Center examines watershed modeling with an in-depth look into the GSSHA model. April 20, 2010
- Perspectives on need for a Minnesota River study: PCA discusses what we still need to learn about land use and water quality in the Minnesota River Basin. April 20, 2010
- Modeling nutrient loading in the Minnesota River Basin: PCA discusses the challenges of modeling nutrient loading in the Minnesota River Basin. December 10, 2009
Study Background Documents
Environmental Quality Board, 520 Lafayette Road North, Saint Paul, MN 55155