Kick-Off Held for Mississippi River Brainerd “One Watershed, One Plan”
A public kick-off event was held on Monday at Camp Ripley to get community input on the One Watershed, One Plan implementation for the Mississippi River Brainerd region.
The goal of One Watershed, One Plan is to stitch together everyone who shares the same water in the Mississippi River. This lets counties transition from county-based water management planning to watershed-based planning. It ties together and focuses on multiple counties, cities, communities, and also land uses. These would include things such as farms, forests, agriculture, and all kinds of urban life.
The Mississippi River Brainerd watershed includes all or parts of Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, and Todd counties. To help protect the watershed and healthy drinking water, individuals at the kick-off suggested a few tips to make conservation efforts successful.
For starters, one should check the type of fertilizer they use or do not use. Also, the type of building practices matter, whether it be hard landscaping versus soft landscaping, because this all affects the outcome of water quality.
It’s also important to realize that everyone has an important role and that we acknowledge as you get further downstream, there a lot of impacts that make it harder and costlier to clean things up. The responsibility is on us to work together and help keep healthy water healthy.
Although this is a start in the right direction, there is still some development needed to move forward. Things are slowly being improved but with the lakes being impaired, they are not exactly where they need to be as of right now. There is still a high amount of phosphorus in lakes.
When comparing this to other parts of the state, the Mississippi River Brainerd watershed is very healthy. This means the goal is that people are able to use the land and water while protecting it, while trying to keep the economic viabilities of the watershed stay sound.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses the data to help determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities like fishing and swimming. The MPCA is now recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams – including several high-priority sites across Central Minnesota and in the Bemidji and Brainerd areas.
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