Addressing excess sedimentation impairments in the Nemadji River Basin


The goal of this project is to assess excess sedimentation impairments in the Nemadji River basin and coordinate implementation planning about the Nemadji Basin Plan. The Nemadji watershed was included in the St. Louis River Area of Concern (SLRAOC) because of concerns about accelerated erosion and sedimentation due to land use practices dating back to the mid-1800’s. The St. Louis River AOC is impaired for excessive loading of sediment and nutrients (Beneficial Use Impairment 6). The goals of the project will be met through collection of biological, water quality, and sediment data, Hydrological Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF) modelling, and development of workshops to encourage land use planning and “slow the flow” management practices in the Nemadji Watershed.


Assessment goals: • Verify the status of the sediment loading impairment in the Nemadji River, and verify that progress has been made towards reducing erosion and sedimentation in the Nemadji River Basin by filling major data gaps: o Collect biological and water quality data to assess the biological integrity of the system, specifically in downstream reaches, and identify any impacts of the present sedimentation rates on biota in the system. o Collect suspended sediment concentration data in order to calibrate existing TSS data and calculate a modern sediment load to determine if sediment loading has improved since the last sediment load was calculated based on 1970’s data. (Nemadji Basin Plan - NRCS, 1998). o Develop HSPF modeling scenarios to help distinguish anthropogenic impacts from natural sedimentation in the Nemadji River basin and show changes in sediment loading before, during, and since peak logging and agriculture. Implementation Planning Goals: • Develop and implement a strategy to promote a watershed-based land use-planning approach to stormwater runoff management. This strategy will include implementation of the Nemadji Basin Plan through coordination of workshops, meetings for stakeholders, and facilitation of a local watershed group. Note that this action meets the intent of the Removal Target for Excessive Loading of the Sediment and Nutrient BUI, as it involves implementation strategies of the Nemadji Basin Plan.

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