Community-based watershed planning

Subwatersheds where Le Sueur River Watershed Network members are carrying out the 7 Recommendations for cleaner water and river health.
Le Sueur River - Mankato / River Park Drive

Near the outlet of the Le Sueur River Watershed in Mankato, homeowners and farmers are experiencing rapid loss of their land and several feet of mucky sediment settling out on their property. Homeowners in Mankato Township, Don & Becky Waskosky are organizing their neighbors and downstreamers from the Le Sueur River to encourage local policymakers, staff and citizens to make water storage a priority and protect our land resources by stabilizing river flows throughout the watershed. 

Overview of challenges in the Le Sueur River Watershed and impacts to downstreamers, from the perspective of local residents Don & Becky Waskosky, Le Sueur River Watershed Network Steering Committee members and Brooke Hacker, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

Joint County Ditch #6 & Waseca County Ditch #47

The City of New Richland in Waseca County is where the confluence of two public drainage systems is located and results in flooding throughout the town and surrounding area. In 2010 and 2016, the watershed experienced a 100-year precipitation event, which each year has a 1% likelihood of taking place. Then, 2015 3 inches of rainfall fell in 3 hours, a 10-year rain event. The greater occurrence of severe storms in the area has resulted in damage to the community and economic pressure on citizens to repair infrastructure that is continually being damaged. County and City staff are working Le Sueur River Watershed Network to keep the conversation about temporary water storage solutions at the forefront of residents' minds while adapting long-term mitigation plans. 

To follow thier progress click here: JC#6 & CD#47 subwatersheds

Freeborn Lake - Headwaters of Cobb River

Freeborn Lake is a large, shallow lake in Freeborn County, adjacent to the City of Freeborn. The lake is in the headwaters of the Cobb River Watershed. The lake covers 2,222 acres, and currently sees limited recreational use and has low water clairty and minimal aquatic vegetation. In 2015, Freeborn County Transportation Department, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) and Ducks Unlimited started the conversation to implement a Lake Reclamation Project and update dam infrastructure. The Le Sueur RIver Watershed Network provided technical assistance in preparing maps for the lake management plan and continuing to work with watershed residents to work on upland projects providing benefit to the lake and downstreamers along the Cobb River. 

To follow their progress click here: Freeborn Lake - Headwaters of Cobb River subwatersheds

Blue Earth County Ditch #57

The drainage project treats ~6,000 acres west of Mapleton, MN and serves as a model for establishing temporary water storage practices in the traditional drainage improvement process. Leaders took a community planning approach with landowners, citizens of Mapleton, Soil and Water Conservation District staff, County staff, state agencies, local elected officials and ISG working together to reduce peak flows while increasing drainage capacity. The project includes a storage basin, native grass buffers, two stage ditch, in-channel sediment storage, rate control weir, and water quality monitoring. Pat Duncanson, of Duncanson Growers provides tours to state elected officials, community members, research groups, and students to spread the awareness of alternatives and opportunities for stabilizing hydrology in altered watersheds while maintaining drainage. Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) have opted to continue monitoring the drainage system with Minnesota State University, Mankato to evaluate long-term impacts of project. 

For more information on the project: Mapleton Area Agricultural + Urban Runoff Analysis Water Quality Report and Final Report prepared for Minnesota LCCMR

Le Sueur River - Waseca County Ditch #35
Waseca County Ditch #19

Gene Scheffert is working with neighbors to identify places to store water, as they evaluate options to improve drainage capacity of the system. They began a petition for a ditch improvement and repair along their system, during the planning they are identifying places to place temporary water storage to offset for increased drainage capacity in the system.

Bull Run Creek

County, SWCD and Network Steering Committee members are monitoring water flow and evaluating temporary water storage options across the landscape to stabilize hydrology.

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