MPCA to host public meetings Jan. 12 and 26, for Mississippi Headwaters water quality projects

Contact: Steve Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has scheduled two public informational meetings to provide updates and answer questions regarding ongoing water quality projects in the Mississippi River-Headwaters watershed. The meetings are scheduled for Jan. 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th St. NW, Bemidji; and Jan. 26, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at the Cohasset Community Center, 305 1st Ave. NW, Cohasset.

The Mississippi River-Headwaters Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) project began in October 2012. Since then, the MPCA and area partners have collected extensive water quality monitoring data on lakes, rivers and streams throughout the watershed. Assessments of the data have led to two lakes being addressed through individual water quality studies to determine causes, and find solutions to excess nutrient pollution, mainly phosphorus. Those lakes are Lake Irving in Bemidji, and Little Turtle Lake, about 10 miles north of Bemidji. The lake studies are known as Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDLs.

The WRAPS project will also establish protection strategies to maintain the long-term health of surface waters throughout the watershed that do meet state water quality standards.

MPCA staff and area partners will present information about this WRAPS project, answer questions and offer citizens the opportunity to get involved in the process.

For questions about this project or the public meetings, contact MPCA Watershed Project Manager Phil Votruba at 218-316-3901. More information on the WRAPS process can be found on the Mississippi River-Headwaters watershed webpage.