The Valley Branch Watershed District (VBWD) is located in the St. Croix River Basin. The watershed encompasses approximately 44,800 acres and includes 47 public lakes and wetlands (greater than 10 acres), and three streams. Land use in the watershed is variable, but generally a mix of agricultural, forested, and developed land.
In 2008, Sunfish Lake was placed on the Minnesota’s 303(d) list of impaired waters due to excess nutrients (phosphorus). Excess nutrients, like phosphorus, can stimulate the growth of nuisance algal blooms in the summer which restrict recreational activities. Kelle’s Creek was also added to the impaired waters list in 2012 for exceeding the state’s Escherichia coli (E. coli) water quality standard. E. coli is used to indicate the potential presence of waterborne pathogens that can be harmful to human health. E. coli comes from human, pet, and wildlife waste.
This Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project is a joint effort between the VBWD, Ramsey County Public Works, Ramsey Conservation District, Washington Conservation District, local communities, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and other state, local, and federal agencies. The goals of this project are to identify the sources of impairments, quantify pollutant reductions needed to meet Minnesota’s water quality standards, and develop strategies for restoration. The project will also include strategies for protecting lakes in the watershed that are currently meeting state water quality standards. Protection strategies will be developed for Silver Lake, Lake Edith, Horseshoe Lake and Eagle Point Lake.
Map and location
The VBWD is located within the Lower St. Croix Watershed of the St. Croix River Basin. The VBWD is located in Ramsey and Washington Counties and includes portions of the cities of Afton, Grant, Lake Elmo, Mahtomedi, Maplewood, North Saint Paul, Oakdale, Oak Park Heights, Pine Springs, St. Mary's Point, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury, and the townships of Baytown and West Lakeland.
WRAPS/Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports
- Valley Branch Watershed District: Fact sheet
- Valley Branch Watershed District TMDL report (wq-iw6-12e) (EPA approval 7/7/2016)
- EPA Approval Letter (wq-iw6-12g)
- Valley Branch Watershed District WRAPS Report (wq-ws4-16a) (MPCA approval 3/8/2016)
- Lower Saint Croix Watershed Stressor Identification (under development)
- Lower St. Croix River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report