Comments invited on report to restore and protect waters in Redeye River watershed

Contact: Steve Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Brainerd, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local partners have developed a plan to restore and protect water quality in the Redeye River watershed in central and west central Minnesota.  The report is open for public review and comment through Sept. 28, 2016.

The Redeye River watershed includes all or parts of Becker, Otter Tail, Todd and Wadena counties. The Redeye River begins at Wolf Lake and joins the Leaf River, before draining into the Crow Wing River near Staples. Nearly half the watershed’s land use is agricultural, 30% is forested, 15% is wetlands and about 4% is developed communities and industries.

This Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report summarizes water quality work in the watershed since intensive monitoring began in 2011. It culminates in a table of implementation strategies to help restore areas where pollutants violate standards and help protect those areas meeting standards.

Much of the watershed is in good shape, so protection strategies will be key to maintaining water quality. Areas with identified impairments and in need of restoration strategies include South Bluff Creek, Wing River, Union Creek, and tributaries to East Leaf Lake and the Leaf River. The main concerns in these waters include low dissolved oxygen levels, excess sediments, increased drainage and flow alterations, and high bacteria levels.

These reports are being completed under the MPCA’s watershed approach, a holistic way of gauging the health of streams, rivers and lakes, and developing strategies to restore and protect water quality.

The draft report is available on the MPCA’s Public Notices webpage, or at the St. Paul MPCA office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to Bonnie Finnerty, MPCA, 7678 College Road, Baxter, MN 56425, or by email to bonnie.finnerty@state.mn.us, by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2016. For more information, contact Bonnie at 218-316-3897, or toll-free at 800-657-3864.

Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the report, and the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft report you believe should be changed and the reasons for making those changes.

More information on all of Minnesota’s 80 major watersheds is available on the MPCA’s watershed webpages.