The Red River has a poorly defined floodplain and low gradient that combine with extensive drainage, widespread conversion of tallgrass prairie to farmland, and urban/suburban development to leave the basin subject to frequent floods that affect urban and rural infrastructure and agricultural production. The main resource concerns in the watershed are wind and water erosion, nutrient management, wetland management, surface water quality, flood damage reduction, and wildlife habitat. Many of the resource concerns relate directly to flooding and increased sediment and pollutant loading of surface waters. Above-normal amounts of precipitation in the late fall of the year or from May to October lead to high levels of soil moisture, periodically producing the snow-melt and summer floods that are known to affect the region.
Over 99% of the land in the watershed is held by private landowners. Land use within the watershed is largely agricultural, accounting for nearly 92% of the overall watershed acres. Development pressure is moderate in the basin, with occasional farms being parceled out for development, recreation, or country homes.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
- Grand Marais Creek Watershed Stressor ID report (wq-ws5-09020306a)
- Grand Marais Creek Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-09020306b)
- Summary Grand Marais Creek Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-09020306c)
Strategy development for restoration and protection
Public comment period for the draft WRAPS and TMDL was January 7 – February 6, 2019