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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

State Funding Programs Minnesota's Clean Water Partnership Program

Minnesota's Clean Water Partnership was created in 1987 to address pollution associated with run off from agricultural and urban areas. The program provides local governments with resources to protect and improve lakes, streams, and groundwater. Financial assistance available through the program falls into two categories: grants and low-interest loans. Grants are available for up to 50 percent of project costs; loans may be used for only the project implementation phase and may cover the entire cost of implementation or supplement a grant. The implementation phase involves putting in place BMPs such as sedimentation ponds, manure management, conservation tillage, terraces, new ordinances, wetland restoration, fertilizer management, education, or other methods designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution.

During the 1999 application cycle for financial assistance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency awarded $2,370,107 in grants and $5,778,524 in loans. Through 11 application cycles, more than $30 million of state, federal, and local funds have been allocated to protect and improve lakes, streams, groundwater, wellhead areas, and wetlands.

For more information on Minnesota's Clean Water Partnership Program, see www.pca.state.mn.us/water/cwp-319.htmlExit EPA Disclaimer

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Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Program

The Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Program, created in 1986, has two primary components: RIM and RIM Reserve. The RIM Program focuses on improving fish and wildlife habitat on public lands, and the RIM Reserve Program focuses on acquiring easements on private land.

The RIM Reserve Program protects water quality, reduces soil erosion, and enhances fish and wildlife habitat by retiring marginal lands from agricultural production and restoring previously drained wetlands. The owners of these lands are paid a percentage of the assessed value of their land to voluntarily enroll it in a conservation easement. A variety of land types are eligible, including drained wetlands, riparian agricultural lands, erodible cropland, pastured hillsides, and sensitive groundwater areas. Since the program began in 1986, landowners have enrolled about 2,400 easements, covering 83,000 acres.

The RIM Reserve Program has helped to leverage significant outside dollars for conservation in Minnesota. Under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the federal government will provide Minnesota landowners with up to $163 million to retire land in the Minnesota River valley. This money must be matched by $70 million in state funding. By combining a federal Conservation Reserve Program contract with a RIM Reserve easement, this funding will retire approximately 100,000 acres and more than double the amount of acreage currently enrolled in RIM Reserve.

The RIM Reserve/Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) partnership is another state/federal/local partnership that provides Minnesota with an opportunity to leverage federal dollars to increase conservation easement enrollment. Under the partnership, drained wetlands are enrolled and restored by combining WRP's 30-year easement option with a perpetual RIM Reserve easement. About 6,208 acres of RIM Reserve/WRP easements have been enrolled since the program began in 1997, costing about $5 million in federal dollars and $2.8 million in state dollars.

For more information on Minnesota's RIM Reserve Program, see http://www.bwsr. state.mn.us/ grantscostshare/ rimservices.html. Exit EPA Disclaimer

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