The Flute Reed River Partnership (FRP), a non-profit citizen’s action group working to improve water quality in and around the Flutereed River in Hovland, learned last week that a grant proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), totaling more than a half a million dollars, has made it to the agency’s final grant round. The grant was submitted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), in cooperation with local government agencies and the Flute Reed River Partnership (FRP). Chel Anderson is a Hovland resident and member of the FRP:
“The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been one of many partners that the Flute Reed River Partnership (FRP) has worked with to do projects in the Flutereed River watershed in the last several years.”
The Flute Reed River Partnership (FRP), founded in 2006, monitors water quality on the river and has held a number of educational workshops to promote greater understanding of the relationship between land use and water quality.
“Erosion is definitely a problem,” says Anderson. “And the Flutereed is a really important trout stream, it has a fairly long reach that’s available to trout, and so there’s a lot of interest in seeing some improvement to the water quality, and sediments have been the principle issue that’s been identified related to water quality.”
The Flutereed River watershed encompasses more than 10,000 acres and was identified in the Lake Superior Basin Plan as vulnerable, due in large part to the high percentage of private land within the watershed and the potential for development. Analysis of water quality data compiled by the Flute Reed River Partnership (FRP) indicates that the Flutereed exceeds state turbidity standards, and the river is listed on the MPCA’s draft 2010 register of impaired Minnesota waters. Anne Moore is public information officer with the MPCA:
“This project was one of three grant applications we made to the United States Environmental Protection Agency that was selected to be a finalist in the next grant round,” said Moore. “The MPCA staff will be submitting the final grant application within weeks and the EPA will be making a final decision, also within weeks of receiving that grant application. The proposal that we had made originally would be something that we would continue to go forward with. And that would be to help restore an old bridge site, on the North Road bridge. And then work on some culverts that are either undersized or damaged, and these activities, in addition to stabilizing the banks, would then help create this better condition for the Flutereed.”
The federal government has made restoring the Great Lakes a national priority, and the 2010 budget provides $475 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. The EPA received more than a thousand applications for funding and the Flutereed River grant is one of only 270 to make it to the final grant round. EPA expects to award grants in the coming months so that work on projects may begin later this summer.
For more information about the Flutereed River, go to