Million Dollar Grant Will Help Clean Austin Waterway

Created: 03/26/2014 5:44 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It meanders through the Hormel Nature Center and empties into East Side Lake.

But Dobbins Creek needs some help.

"We're getting waves of water that come down and crashes into the city of Austin, and that creates some flood damage issues, but it's also picking up a lot of dirt and sediment," said Justin Hanson at the Cedar River watershed Distric. “Dirty water is leaving us some concerns in our degraded biological life."

Now, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources has approved a $1.5 million dollar grant toward a more than $2 million dollar project to restore the water quality on Dobbins Creek.

"We're going to have some practices that are going to be overall the 25,000 acres," Justin Hanson announced at a Wednesday morning news conference.

"To make this project successful, it's really going to depend on working with the landowners and making it theirs," said Matt Drewitz, Clean Water Specialist with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.

“Then we're going to be targeting some practices," the CRWD’s Justin Hanson continued.

It will include measures like filter strips, detention areas, stream bank stabilization and water and sediment control basins.

"A lot of them are agricultural in nature, because much of the Dobbins Creek, 75 percent of it, is in an agricultural area," Justin Hanson explained.

Planning on what is expected to be a four year project will begin this year.

"The Cedar River watershed district has a very good watershed plan that they've developed locally, and so I think that gives them a roadmap for what they need to do within the watershed," said the state board’s Matt Drewitz.

"We know the changes we're going to be making in dobbins creek are going to be really effective, big bang for the money," said Susan Olson with the Cedar River Watershed District.

The state funds come from Minnesota’s Clean Water Fund.