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Serpent Lake area to receive clean water grant

Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District Wednesday received a $1.2 million grant that will be used on conservation practices at the Serpent Lake Subwatershed.

The grant was a part of a Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announcement today of $5.7 million in Clean Water Fund grants to help improve Minnesota’s waters through its Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program, a new funding approach for addressing water pollution. The program focuses on watersheds where the amount of change necessary to improve water quality is known, the actions needed to achieve results are identified, and those actions implemented within a four-year time period.

BWSR received twenty-five proposals, totaling more than $46 million in funding requests. Chosen for the program’s first year: the Cedar River Watershed District (Dobbins Creek); the Rice Creek Watershed District (Long Lake); and the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (Serpent Lake).

The Serpent Lake Subwatershed, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), received the $1.2 million award.

North central Minnesota’s Serpent Lake, a regionally significant body of water in Crow Wing County, is at a critical turning point as water clarity continues to decline, state officials said. If polluted runoff problems are not addressed, the resulting costs of water quality impacts will increase greatly, negatively affecting the quality of life and economic vitality of the region. The SWCD estimates that the conservation practices implemented through this program will prevent 139 pounds of phosphorus from entering the lake. That represents the majority of the phosphorus pollutant reductions necessary to meet the lake’s water quality goal and reverse the declining water quality trend. “This program will have a lasting impact, increasing water clarity and reducing algal blooms on Serpent Lake, and helping keep the lake clean and healthy for all to enjoy,” said Melissa Barrick, Crow Wing SWCD District Manager.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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