Spring is well underway here in Minnesota, putting us ahead of Winter enough to trade out our snow boots for our rain boot. The warmer weather bringing a breath of fresh air, many fish to be caught, trees to be planted, and summer time home improvement projects are underway.
Speaking of projects, what has the Pomme de Terre River Association (PDTRA) been up to anyway?
2017 has been anything but slow for the Association. Coming straight into the new year, Stephanie Adams joined PDTRA as the new Watershed Projects Coordinator.
“The last 5 months have already been highly rewarding for me” Stephanie comments “I work with a lot of different people all interested in the state of our waters and how we can plan for a better future. The amount of coordination, planning, and projects that are going on right now is really exciting”
Immediately since arriving Stephanie has been busy planning and administering four new funding sources that PDTRA was granted this year. Grants include a 2016 Federal 319 grant, 2017 Clean Water Funds, 2017 Pre-WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) funding, and a Surface Water Assessment Grant (SWAG) for 2017.
With these funds PDTRA has a number of projects underway in partnership with the 6 Counties and SWCDs included in the Pomme de Terre Watershed ( portions of Otter Tail, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, and Big Stone) including, but not limited to; Aiding in cost-share for Best Management Practices (BMP) for landowners, providing education and outreach opportunities to the public, the removal of a failed dam on Drywood Creek that has been sought-after by PDTRA since 2014, and monitoring streams and lakes throughout the watershed as part of a 10-year Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) cycle that will steer future prioritization of conservative efforts.
PDTRA is also currently pre-planning for the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) One Watershed, One Plan planning process that will result in a comprehensive watershed-scale management plan for future use in prioritizing, targeting, and measuring conservation efforts across the Pomme de Terre watershed
“I am thankful to be a part of the Pomme de Terre River Association” Nicole comments “I have a lot of experience analyzing different components in water chemistry and believe that water equals life. It is important to monitor these different sites to determine water quality.”
During her time in the Pomme de Terre Watershed she will be monitoring 30+ sites including lakes, stretches of the Pomme de Terre River, and streams that are directly connected to the main stem to investigate the health of our waters.
The Pomme de Terre River Association is a strictly voluntary and grant-funded organization formed through a Joint Powers Board consisting of County Commissioners and SWCD Supervisors. PDTRA includes a Technical Advisory Committee made up of technicians and professionals from each of the listed counties within the watershed to provide technical assistance and planning.