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Meetings on Mississippi River-Sartell Watershed Restoration
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/14/2020

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has scheduled two meetings for people interested in ongoing water quality projects in the Mississippi River-Sartell Watershed. At the meetings, you can share your concerns about lakes and streams you care about, learn about water quality in the watershed and the MPCA's process and reports, and help guide how restoration and protection work is prioritized.

Water quality monitoring by MPCA and area partners have uncovered excess levels of phosphorus and bacteria in the watershed. Two lakes and 15 streams are now considered "impaired" because they have failed to meet one or more water quality standard. The agency has found that alteration of flow in streams and changes in land use are stressing aquatic life and water quality. The MPCA is preparing a total maximum daily load report, which specifies how much pollution reduction is needed in the affected bodies of water to meet water quality standards. The MPCA has also drafted the Mississippi River-Sartell Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report, which summarizes watershed conditions, prioritizes resources, and establishes key restoration and protection strategies.

The studies are part of the MPCA's approach to gauging the health of Minnesota's 80 major watersheds. After intensive water monitoring, the agency and partners evaluate biological conditions in lakes and streams. Waters that fail to meet standards are placed on the Impaired Waters List, and the agency develops information and strategies that are used to restore impaired waters and protect healthy ones.

Public participation and partnerships are essential to a successful WRAPS process. The MPCA is seeking input on strategies for protecting and restoring water quality in the Mississippi River-Sartell Watershed. Get involved by attending an upcoming public meeting:

- Feb. 25, 4-7 p.m., Royalton American Legion, 103 N. Maple St., Royalton

- Feb. 27, 4-7 p.m., Sartell Community Center, 850 19th Street S., Sartell

For more information, contact Phil Votruba, MPCA Watershed Project Manager at 218-316-3901 or phil.votruba@state.mn.us. Information on all 80 of Minnesota's major watersheds is available on the MPCA's watershed web pages at pca.state.mn.us/water/watersheds.

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