Watershed Management Projects

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The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District partners with two watershed management projects in the county. These organization are citizen driven groups that cooperate to protect and restore the water quality of our county.

What Is the Big Sandy Area Lakes Watershed?  A watershed is an area of land drained by a stream, water system, or body of water.  This watershed is much more than just Big Sandy Lake.  It includes:

  • Portions of three counties – Aitkin, Carlton, and St. Louis
  • 4 cities – Cromwell, McGregor, Tamarack, and Wright
  • Nearly 260,000 acres
  • 49 Lakes including Big Sandy, Minnewawa, Prairie, Island, and more.
  • You – You are the most important component of the watershed.  Actions you take, officials you elect, discussions you have, all impact water resources.

The Big Sandy Area Lakes Watershed Management Project was organized in 1991 in an effort to protect and enhance the many values of lakes, streams, and shoreland resources in the Watershed.  We are excited to offer assistance to landowners interested in protecting water quality.  Community input and collaboration will make our efforts more successful.  Please watch for opportunities to become involved!

This Group generally meets on the second Wednesday of the month at a location in the watershed. Check out their website for specific meeting information. www.bsalwmp.org.

Working together we can make a difference for water quality!

The Mille Lacs Lake Watershed Management Project is Working Together To Preserve Lake Health

MILLE LACS LAKE in east central Minnesota is among Minnesota’s crown jewels of lakes. Long recognized as one of the premier walleye-producing lakes in the world, it supports numerous additional recreational opportunities as well.

Although Mille Lacs currently enjoys relatively good water quality, the lake is vulnerable.  A recent diagnostic study provided conflicting results. Fertilization of the lake from natural causes plus those related to development of the shoreline and watershed is a concern.  And the introduction of aquatic invasive species are creating new threats to the lake’s waters.

The Mille Lacs Lake Watershed Management Group was formed in 1997 in an effort to manage these potential impacts to water quality and preserve the health of our natural resources. Since that time, we have received grants from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, and many other partners.  Funds have been used to assist landowners with projects that protect and improve water quality, to provide educational opportunities for landowners in the watershed, and to monitor water quality.

You’re Invited To Join Us! Meeting are typically held on the third Monday of the month at various location around the lake. More information may be found at www.millelacswatershed.org.