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Aug 07

Ditch Happenings August 3rd - 7th

Posted on August 7, 2015 at 2:53 PM by Acacia Wytaske

Let's talk grants! The Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR) offers statewide grants that provide funding to local government & agencies to deliver soil and water conservation services to their communities. In fact, there is over $13 million dollars in funding available through the 2016 Competitive Clean Water Grant.

This year, in collaboration with the Blue Earth County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Blue Earth County Drainage Authority was awarded a grant to inventory the open ditch portions on CD05 (Medo & Danville Townships), CD86 (Decoria & Beauford Townships), CD56 (Garden City & Lincoln Townships) and JD116 (Pleasant Mound Township). The inventory was to identify areas in need of repair or that could be potentially causing erosion. With the completed inventory, a Multi-Purpose Drainage Plan will be developed to include Best Management Practices (BMPs) aimed at improving water quality within each watershed area. Some examples of Multi-Purpose Drainage BMPs are cover crops, woodchip bioreactors, alternative tile intakes, wetland restorations, surge basins and saturated buffers. All work for the inventory and planning is funded by the grant.

Informational meetings for the landowners on these ditches, to share the information that was gathered, will be held this fall. 

Martin County completed a similar plan in 2014 that is currently being implemented by their Drainage Authority and landowners. You can view this report by visiting Martin County's Drainage Administration Page.

Weekly Tidbits:

 - Farmfest 2015 took place this week in Morgan, MN.  Gov. Mark Dayton was in attendance and commented on the new buffer law. Check out this article, "Dayton explains buffer zones", published in the New Ulm Journal, written by Fritz Busch. (Link used with permission.)

 - A blog with no pictures? No way! I'll leave you with this picture I took of the Blue Earth County Clock Tower last month. Next week, I'll have pictures from the Ag Drainage & the Future of Water Quality Workshop to share!