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Groups team up to save river bank


March 26, 2021

A hidden gem in Carlton County is getting some attention thanks to two vital grants. The Little Net River is a scenic trout stream near Holyoke. Starting in the Nemadji State Forest, the river flows north toward Lake Superior. The river cuts through some of the wildest parts of Carlton County, confined by steep forested banks. The combination of steep banks and unstable soils have led to some erosion problems, especially where roads cross this wild river.

The Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program recently awarded the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Carlton County Transportation Department, a $200,000 grant to repair an unstable bank near Carlton County Road 8. This landslide area not only is endangering the road, but it is also adding sediment to the Little Net River. This sediment covers fish spawning habitat and affects downstream water quality, including Lake Superior.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund awarded $596,300 for the needed matching funds.

In addition to addressing the slide off County Road 8, stormwater practices, especially near roads, will be used to reduce future landslides and erosion problems.

“These funds and the partnership will allow our department to reduce sediment loading to the Little Net River while at the same time strengthening our infrastructure and improving public safety along county roads,” said Will Bomier from the Carlton County Transportation Department.

The Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program provides grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to install sediment control projects in the Great Lakes Basin.

Melanie Bomier is the water resources manager for the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District.


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