Frozen fish and salty toes

One growing concern for urban lakes and streams is pollution from winter road salt. Currently, there are 50 lakes and streams in Minnesota that are listed as impaired due to elevated chlorides and another 75 that are “nearly” impaired.

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2021 will bring $2.6 million in new funding for watershed work in the St. Croix region

Just in time for the holidays, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $12.3 million in Clean Water Fund grants to be used statewide for water quality improvement projects across Minnesota. Locally, partners in the Lower St. Croix watershed will receive $1.4 million in Clean Water grants in addition to $1.2 million already…

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In the in between

We’re in the season of in between, both literally and metaphorically. The leaves have fallen but the snow has not. A crisp layer of ice coats the corners of the lakes and rivers, not yet thick enough to support our weight, but cold and sharp enough to keep us from impulsively leaping in for one last swim.

In the time of in between, look for the simple pleasures in life. The magic is still happening, just a little bit more quietly.

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Boring bureaucracy keeps the water clean

The U.S. EPA created the MS4 Program in 1990 to address the growing threat of stormwater pollution. In Minnesota, the program is administered by the MPCA and applies to roughly 300 cities, townships, counties, watershed districts, and large campuses such as universities, hospitals and prison complexes that operate their own private roads and stormwater drainage systems. This includes more than 20 permit holders in Washington County.

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Amidst tumult of 2020, Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District work continues

CLFLWD continues its work to protect and improve local lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands in Forest Lake and southern Chisago County. The district has completed dozens of clean water projects and is currently updating its 10-year comprehensive watershed management plan, which will guide future work from 2022-2031.

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Boy Scouts and Water Stewards help to create outdoor classrooms in Woodbury

South Washington Watershed District created its Campus Greening program two years ago to encourage schools and other large campuses to think holistically about how they can meet stormwater management requirements when expanding buildings and parking areas. At the Lake and Middleton campus, South Washington County Schools (District 844) worked with SWWD to convert 15 acres of turf to prairie, plant 200 trees, and create the two new outdoor classrooms.

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Water stewards inspire neighbors to take action and adopt storm drains

To date, Twin Cities’ residents have adopted 13,747 storm drains. However, only 530 of those are in Washington County. This fall, the East Metro Water Resource Education Program is encouraging people to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and join the movement to promote clean lakes, rivers and streams. To sign up, go to http://www.Adopt-a-Drain.org.

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Brown’s Creek Watershed District Receives Two National Awards in 2020

This fall, the Brown’s Creek Watershed District will receive awards from the American Water Resources Association and the Water Environment Federation for long-term work to protect Brown’s Creek.

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Campus greening projects planned for Valley Crossing and Crestview Elementary Schools

At Valley Crossing in Woodbury, the school will convert 3.7 acres of turf to oak savanna and revitalize 7.15 acres of existing prairie on site. Crestview Elementary in Cottage Grove will restore 10 acres of degraded woodlands on campus and convert several areas of unused turf to prairie as well. The project is a partnership between South Washington Watershed District and South Washington County School District 833.

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Debate over Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline floats quietly through the St. Croix River Valley

Since Aug. 5, Relay for Our Water participants have been transporting water from the Mississippi River headwaters through the state to protest construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline.

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