BMP Workshop on Minnesota / Lake Superior Basin
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Basin Program Funds:
On a watershed basis, tributary sediment and nutrient loadings to Lake Superior
are substantial. Approximately sixty miles of unstable clay shoreline areas
exist along the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior. Several reports including
the North Shore Management Plan, drafted in 1988, and the Stage I and Stage
II repots of the St. Louis Remedial Action Plan (RAP) have identified soil erosion
The goal of this project was to provide private shoreline landowners and local
units of government with practical information focusing on how to install best
management practices (BMPs) for the reduction of sediment and nutrient loadings
to Lake Superior and its tributaries.
Nonpoint source pollution of Lake Superior is occurring along the shoreline
and within the watershed. The Soil Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) are the
local unit of government primarily responsible for erosion and water quality
BMP implementation. The districts are well equipped to educate and inform landowners,
local units of government and the general public about the importance of using
BMPs to control erosion and sedimention.
The Great Lakes Basin Program invested $9,450 over a sixteen month period
to support the convening of three workshops to educate landowners and local
units of government on topics such as potential structural and non-structural
practices for shoreline erosion control, regional shoreline geology, permit
processes and sources of assistance in the Lake Superior drainage basin.
Five separate state and local agencies combined resources to coordinate and
conduct a total of six workshops that focused on Shoreline BMPs in the Lake
Superior watershed. Only three workshops were originally planned, but as interest
grew, a total of six were conducted.
One hundred and thirty two (132) private property owners attended the workshops.
Three hundred workbooks were prepared and each workshop participant received
a copy (25 individuals who could not attend a workshop also received workbooks).
The remaining workbooks are being used by the SWCD to bring the shoreline BMP
message to property owners seeking assistance.
One direct result of the workshop series is that approximately 50 property owners
have requested additional technical and financial assistance from a SWCD and/or
Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to help apply some of the more detailed
BMPs to their eroding shorelines. The total Lakes Superior frontage owned by
these property owners is approximately 10,000 feet. At the workshops, many questions
were asked concerning how to apply the BMPs and where to go for assistance.
The actual quantities of sediment and nonpoint pollution cause by erosion
entering Lake Superior that will be reduced by the practices presented at the
workshops is difficult to determine. However, due to the positive response and
high level of property owner participation, a significant reduction can be anticipated.
Many property owners who live directly in the Lake Superior watershed now have
an increased awareness of shoreline erosion control BMPs at their disposal.
Due to the success of the six workshops, at least four northern Minnesota
inland counties are now planning similar workshop in their regions of interest.
The additional workshops and informational workbook will be patterned after
the format and contents of the original six workshops.
Also, Lake County utilized the BMP steering committee and BMP workshop outline
to conduct a separate workshop which focused on construction BMPs along Lake
Superior. This workshop attracted more than 35 regional contractors who typically
work in the Lake Superior watershed.
The high landowner interest from this project will also be used in other initiatives.
For example, BWSR and the SWCDs have drafted a legislative proposal for the
Lake Superior Basin in Minnesota. EPA 319 funds and Great Lakes Protection Fund
dollars have also been applied for using the results from this project.
The Great Lakes Basin Program has leveraged $31,275 from non-federal sources.
Contact: Gene R. Clark, (218) 723-4752