Red Lake County SWCD projects save topsoil, improve river’s water quality

Clean Water Funds from BWSR, backing from Red Lake Watershed District and Red Lake County support agricultural practices that mend gullies, focus on Lower Clearwater River

From left: Red Lake County SWCD technician Bob Bohland, District Manager Tanya Waldo, landowner Joe Ste. Marie and SWCD Board Chairman David Miller visited the site of a Clean Water Fund-backed SWCD project on Sept. 9, 2021, in Terrebonne Township. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
In 2022 the Red Lake County SWCD received two more Clean Water Fund grants from BWSR: $231,200 to install agricultural practices in the Hill River subwatershed, a Clearwater River tributary; and $95,000 for multipurpose drainage management work centered on County Ditch 57, which drains to the Clearwater.
Joe Ste. Marie talked with Red Lake County SWCD staff about the improvements he’s seen since a grade stabilization structure was installed in October 2020 at the edge of his Terrebonne Township field.
Red Lake County SWCD Manager Tanya Waldo has worked with landowners on Clean Water Fund-backed erosion control measures that benefit the Clearwater River.
A gully once cut into Joe Ste. Marie’s Terrebonne Township field and sent topsoil down a cliff to a Clearwater River tributary. A diversion and intake now channel the runoff, slow it down and allow sediment and the pollutants it carries to settle out. A pipe carries the water, which is filtered before it reaches the river.
The Lower Clearwater River subwatershed was identified as having the highest level of sediment pollution in the Clearwater River watershed. It flows to the Red Lake River and then the Red River.

Project Details

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. Website: www.bwsr.state.mn.us

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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.