Riverbank Erosion Project Receives Funding from Legislative-Citizen Commission On Minnesota Resources

Morrison County Soil & Water Conservation District receives LCCMR recommendation for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund for the Weyerhaeuser Museum Riverbank Restoration Project.

(Little Falls, MN; July 25 2023) – The Morrison County Soil & Water Conservation District received support from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) last week when it was selected for inclusion in their annual recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature on how to allocate proceeds from the state’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The Weyerhaeuser Museum Riverbank Restoration Project will aid in mitigating erosion issues on the property of the museum, owned and operated by the Morrison County Historical Society (MCHS), located on Lindbergh Drive South in Little Falls.  It will also aid in improving water quality along this section of the Mississippi River and create habitat for fish spawning.  If approved by the 2024 Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, the project would begin in July 2024.

“We are thrilled to be included in this year’s LCCMR funding recommended projects list and are appreciative of Shannon Wettstein, Mike Becker, and the staff of Morrison County Soil & Water for taking the lead on this application,” noted Camille Warzecha, MCHS Board President.  “Their expertise and experience working with LCCMR was vital in the success of the proposal.  We also wish to acknowledge the many donors who have contributed already to this project, including Morrison County, the City of Little Falls, and countless individuals, organizations, and agencies. Their support demonstrated local backing of the project, an integral component of the LCCMR application.”

By incorporating a unique method of bank stabilization, the project will significantly reduce the amount of soil and sediment entering the river during heavy rainfalls.  Its use of angled jetties will also create critical fish habitat and maintain the overall health of this section of the upper Mississippi River.

The project was one of 101 included in the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources’ (LCCMR) recommendation following its 2024 Request for Proposals (RFP), which sought projects across several priority issue areas, including foundational data and information, water resources, environmental education, invasive species, renewable energy, methods to protect and restore habitat, and habitat protection and outdoor recreation. The LCCMR will meet on November 16, 2023, to finalize these recommendations.

In response to the RFP, LCCMR received 218 proposals requesting a total of approximately $174 million. Members selected 102 proposals to invite in for a presentation before the LCCMR. From this reduced pool, 101 proposals received a recommendation to the Legislature for some portion of the $79,644,000 available. Additional information on the LCCMR and its 2024 provisional recommendations process can be found online at www.lccmr.mn.gov.

The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) is a permanent dedicated fund in the Minnesota state treasury that was established by 77% voter approval of a constitutional amendment in 1988. The amendment directs forty percent of the net proceeds of the Minnesota State Lottery into the ENRTF until the year 2025. Since 1991, approximately $697 million from the ENRTF has been spent on over 1,700 projects that protect and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources in every county of the state.

Morrison County Soil & Water Conservation District, www.morrisonswcd.org/

Morrison County Historical Society, www.morrisoncountyhistory.org

Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources, www.lccmr.mn.gov/

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