The State of Minnesota has adopted a "watershed approach" to address the state's 81 "major" watersheds (denoted by 8-digit hydrologic unit code or HUC). This watershed approach incorporates water quality assessment, watershed analysis, civic engagement, planning, implementation, and measurement of results into a 10-year cycle that addresses both restoration and protection. As part of the watershed approach, waters not meeting state standards are still listed as impaired and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies are performed, as they have been in the past, but in addition the watershed approach process facilitates a more cost-effective and comprehensive characterization of multiple water bodies and overall watershed health. A key aspect of this effort is to develop and utilize watershed-scale models and other tools to help state agencies, local governments and other watershed stakeholders determine how to best proceed with restoring and protecting lakes and streams. ThisWatershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report summarizes past assessment and diagnostic work and outlines ways to prioritize actions and strategies for continued implementation.
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Minnesota Water Research Digital Library