Open for comment: water quality report for Long Prairie River watershed

Contact: Steve Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local partners have developed plans to restore and protect water quality in the Long Prairie River watershed in central Minnesota.  A Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report is open for public review and comment through March 15, 2017.

The Long Prairie River watershed is located in the central part of the Upper Mississippi River basin in central Minnesota, and covers all or parts of Douglas, Morrison, Otter Tail, Todd, and Wadena counties. The watershed includes more than 240 lakes and 884 miles of rivers and streams, and empties into the Crow Wing River, just south of Motley.

The dominant land use in this watershed is agriculture at 57-percent. The rest is a combination of grasslands, forests, surface waters, and urban areas. Biological, chemistry, and flow monitoring began in 2011, and results indicate at least ten lakes and 13 stream/river reaches have pollution impairments present, most notably phosphorus in the lakes and bacteria in the streams.

A WRAPS report summarizes physical, chemical, and biological assessments of water quality; identifies impairments and water bodies in need of protection; identifies biotic stressors and sources of pollution; and proposes strategies and actions designed to achieve and maintain water quality standards.

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 reports are available on the MPCA’s Public Notices webpage, or at the St. Paul MPCA office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to Anna Bosch, MPCA, 7678 College Road, Baxter, MN, 56425, or by email to, by 4:30 p.m. on March 15. For more information, contact Anna at 218-316-3929, or toll-free at 800-657-3864.

Governor Mark Dayton has declared a “Year of Water Action” and is encouraging all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations. Governor Dayton has called on Minnesotans to work together to find solutions to keep Minnesota’s water clean and accessible to everyone. Despite the state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, groundwater and streams, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are currently listed as impaired or polluted. 

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