Studies identify water quality problems, remedies for Coon Creek Watershed

Contact: Risikat Adesaogun, 651-757-2053

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Coon Creek Watershed District and local groups are recommending a number of actions to restore and protect water bodies in the Coon Creek Watershed. The watershed is located in Anoka County and includes the cities of Andover, Blaine, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, and Spring Lake Park. The Coon Creek Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are available for public comment through Jan. 28.

Several streams in the Coon Creek Watershed are impaired for aquatic life and high levels of E. coli bacteria. Stream bank erosion and stormwater runoff are having a negative effect on the watershed’s water quality. Urban development and agricultural activities in the watershed have resulted in runoff that carries excess phosphorus, sediment and bacteria into bodies of water. These pollutants degrade water quality and are harmful to fish and other aquatic life. 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 identifies the actions needed to achieve and maintain water quality. For example, installing plant buffers along shoreland, stabilizing stream banks, and implementing stormwater-control projects will help improve water quality in the watershed.

Many groups are participating in restoration and protection efforts, including the Coon Creek Watershed District, Anoka Conservation District, member cities and several state and local organizations. Individuals are always encouraged to get involved. 

These reports are some of more than a dozen that have been 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 reports are available on the MPCA’s Coon Creek Watershed webpage or at the MPCA’s St. Paul office, at 520 Lafayette Road N.

The MPCA encourages those interested in the Coon Creek Watershed to review and provide feedback on the reports. Comments on the reports should be submitted in writing by Jan. 28, 2016, to Rachel Olmanson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194, or sent by email to rachel.olmanson@state.mn.us. Olmanson is available to answer questions at 651-757-2473.

Written comments must specify which report you are commenting on, 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.