The primary objective of this program is to determine the health of lakes and streams in Minnesota. Through funded projects, local partners collect data on surface water quality to identify lakes and streams that are in need of restoration or protection strategies. The MPCA focuses these strategies at the major watershed scale.
Eligible partners include soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, watershed management organizations, local governmental units (i.e., counties, cities, townships, lake associations, and lake improvement districts), American Indian tribal governments in Minnesota, Minnesota colleges and universities, and joint powers organizations. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations are eligible only as subcontractors. Subcontractors must be identified within every agreement.
Through Surface Water Assessment Grants, local partners have provided water-quality data for lake and stream sites throughout the state. To date, the MPCA has awarded 208 grants and agreements totaling $10.9 million.
MPCA awarded eleven agreements totaling $408,000 for water quality monitoring over a two-year period (2020-2021).
Becker Soil and Water Conservation District: Nine lakes within the Crow Wing River Watershed.
Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District: Partnered with Central Lakes College to monitor sixteen lakes and nine stream sites within the Crow Wing River Watershed.
Hawk Creek Watershed Project: Seven lakes and sixteen stream sites within the Minnesota River (Yellow Medicine River) Watershed.
Hubbard Soil and Water Conservation District: Twenty lakes and two stream sites within the Crow Wing River Watershed.
Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District: Partnered with Itasca Soil and Water Conservation District to monitor twenty three lakes and seven stream sites within the Big Fork Watershed.
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Six lakes within the Big Fork River Watershed.
Whitewater Watershed Project: Partnered with Root River Soil and Watershed District, Wabasha Soil and Water Conservation District, and Winona County Planning and Environmental Services to monitor two lakes and eight stream sites within the Mississippi River (Winona) and Mississippi River (La Crescent) Watersheds.
Yellow Medicine Watershed District: Partnered with the Redwood Cottonwood River Control Area to monitor four lakes and eighteen stream sites within the Minnesota River (Yellow Medicine River) Watershed.
For assistance with Surface Waters Assessment Grants, please contact Kelly O'Hara at 651-247-1054 or 1-800-657-3864.