Through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) Clean Water Fund grant program, nearly $60 million has been invested in “on-the-ground” projects, where citizens and local governments are installing conservation practices to improve the quality in our lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater. In January 2014, the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District was selected to be a recipient of Clean Water Funds for its Bluff Creek Fish Passage and Streambank Restoration Project. It was awarded $150,000.
In 2002 and 2004, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed Bluff Creek for turbidity and for low fish IBI scores respectively. A Total Mass Daily Load report which identified to extent of pollution to the creek and implementation plan were finalized and approved in 2013. In this report, Site 1 located south of the Southwest Regional LRT Trail was identified as a severe deteriorated site. The site was also identified as needing a culvert restoration and bank repairs. Currently, the culvert is roughly 8ft above the creek creating a disconnection where fish can no longer move upstream. The culvert is also showing signs of failure. In addition, the stream channel is incised and banks are severely eroded and thus contributing to sediment load to the Minnesota River. This grant will allow the City of Chanhassen and the RPBCWD to restore the physical and biological integrity of Bluff Creek.