Conservation management plan for Fall Creek Watershed
Case TypeProject Stories
Sustainable Development Goals14 Life Below Water, 15 Life on Land
The purpose of collaborating with the Pepin County Land Conservation and Planning Department (LCPD) is to work to improve the health of the freshwater stream ecosystem and the riparian habitat of the Fall Creek Watershed. This project works to confront the issues that the agricultural industry has caused to the watershed by promoting environmentally sustainable practices. The extensive history of monoculture, both crop and livestock, within Pepin County has caused the health of the soil and stream ecosystems to deteriorate due to the degradation of the soil composition and nutrient loading (Pepin County Farmland Preservation Plan, 2016). The degraded soil composition can partly be attributed to conventional tillage and grazing practices that increase erosion and runoff into Fall Creek. This damaged soil exacerbates the effects that excessive fertilizer use has on nutrient loading because both the soil biogeochemical and biophysical characteristics are altered (Hungate, 2012). The corn, soy, and wheat fields within Pepin County are not the only culprits that contribute to nutrient loading. Dairy farms create immense amounts of manure that must be handled and stored in accordance to a nutrient management planto reduce its environmental impact (DATCP, 2018). This project aims to address the environmental issues caused by intensive agricultural practices by improving communication, endorsing education, and offering alternatives.
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