Studies identify water quality problems and remedies for the Goose Creek Watershed

Contact: Alexis Donath, 651-757-2312

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and local partner groups have developed a plan to restore and protect water quality in the Goose Creek watershed. Goose Creek watershed, located north of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, includes portions of Chisago and Pine counties. The Goose Creek Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report and Goose Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are available for public review through Dec. 4, 2015.

Water quality monitoring and analysis has shown that high levels of bacteria and phosphorus are present in many water bodies within the Goose Creek watershed. The TMDL report quantifies the pollutant levels, identifies the sources of the pollution, and proposes ways to bring water quality back to an acceptable level.

The WRAPS report identifies impaired water bodies and those in need of protection, and recommends steps needed to achieve and maintain water quality. For example, to reduce the amount of nutrients such as phosphorus, stream buffers must be re-established along the lakes, streams and ditches to reduce runoff, and the amount of phosphorus runoff from agricultural and rural lands must be reduced.

Many groups are participating in restoration and protection efforts, including the Chisago County Soil Water Conservation District, Pine County Soil and Water Conservation District, Chisago County, local governments, lake associations, and several state agencies. Individuals are always encouraged to get involved.

This report is one of just a handful completed under the state’s watershed approach, a holistic way of gauging the health of streams and lakes, and developing strategies to restore or protect their water quality.

The MPCA encourages those interested in the Goose Creek Watershed to review and provide feedback on the reports, which are available online. The reports are posted on the Goose Creek watershed webpage. Comments on the reports should be submitted in writing by Dec. 4, 2015, to Christopher Klucas, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or christopher.klucas@state.mn.us. Klucas is available to answer questions at 651-757-2498.

Written comments must specify which report you are commenting on, and should 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. You must state the specific reasons for your position.

More information is available on the MPCA’s Impaired Waters and TMDLs webpage.