Buffalo River Watershed Watershed Conditions Report Addendum

During the Phase I assessment of the Buffalo River Watershed-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study (i.e., the Watershed Approach Plan), a watershed conditions report (HEI, 2010) was written to describe the current water quality in the watershed and to identify data gaps. The watershed conditions report (2010) provided an overview of the existing watershed physical settings and water quality conditions with data collected through the 2009 sampling season. An examination of available data revealed the water quality issues within the watershed appeared to be more widespread than what was currently listed on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency?s (MPCA) 2010 draft List of Impaired Waters (i.e., the 303(d) list). Due, in part, to these findings, more monitoring work was completed in the Buffalo River Watershed (BRW) during the 2009 and 2010 field seasons to assess the condition of its streams in relation to water quality. Some of the work performed during this time included the Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) effort, which seeks to evaluate the current conditions within the watershed, including geomorphological studies. The main goal of this addendum to the 2010 Watershed Conditions Report (HEI) is to present the findings of the work completed in the BRW during the 2009/2010 field seasons and to incorporate those findings into the watershed-wide TMDL project. Additional goals are to present other related and complementary efforts in the area (either completed or currently underway) and to provide a resource that enables local managers to review waters for restoration and/or protection of aquatic resources in the future. General background information on the physical settings (i.e., land use, population, general layout of the watershed, etc.) and management of the BRW can be found in the original Watershed Conditions Report (HEI 2010). Figure 1 displays the water quality monitoring sites, continuous flow monitoring sites, impaired waters (note: impairments are based on the 2011 assessments, as described within this addendum), and municipalities within the study area.
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