What a year 2015 has been for the Pomme de Terre River Association (PDTRA). Through funding from the Clean Water, Federal 319, and County Funds the association, in terms of conservation, has had a tremendously successful year.
The beginning of the year started out with a bang as we received $387,146.00 from the states Clean Water Fund and $225,000.00 from the Federal 319 Fund. These two funding sources were married into the PDTRA’s WRAPS Implementation Plan Project. Whoa, what a mouth full! The project was designed to address water quality issues in the watershed that are outlined in our Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Report (The report can be found at https://www.pdtriver.org/projects/).
When we hit the 2015 field season we hit it, not running, but sprinting! By the time the snow flew we had installed a total of 4 shoreline restorations, 16 rain gardens, and a whopping 58 water and sediment control basins (These practices are known as Best Management Practices). In addition to the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), funding was also used to pay for soil and water conservation district (SWCD) employees hours. By providing these funds, we increased the amount of time SWCDs can put into contacting landowners for BMP installations as well as the enrollment of acres into federal programs. So, this year we have not only implemented BMPS, but secured projects for future field seasons and enrolled a total of 760.38 acres into the Conservation Reserve Program. If that seems like a lot of conservation being put on the ground, that’s because it is!
The association, however, was not limited to just putting conservation on the ground. The project coordinator in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Extension and Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) held watershed academies for teachers, lake associations, and residents. Talk about a great time! The curriculum for these academies included information on state agencies, watershed mechanics, how residents play a role in clean water and how the PDTRA is helping to protect and restore the watershed.
Speaking of protecting and restoring, the association applied for and was awarded a 2016 Clean Water Fund grant ($115,248.00) to help implement a new watershed tool, the PTMApp. The tool will aid the association in prioritizing and targeting areas within the watershed that have the potential to pollute our natural resources. Our plan is to integrate the data generated from the tool into our next Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy.
This years success was a direct result from the hard work that the soil and water conservation districts and residents, in our watershed, put into conservation.
We are now reaching the end of this review, lucky you. I have decided to end this in rhyme to keep things from getting askew.