Click here for the Workplan

The High Island Watershed Assessment Project is a project to study water quality and quantity in the High Island Watershed. During a two-year span project staff will collect and analyze water samples at ten monitoring sites throughout the High Island watershed. Water samples collected at these sites will have numerous parameters tested, including, Nitrates, Phosphorus, Fecal Coliform Bacteria, and Total Suspended Solids. During the project flow data will be collected at five of the ten monitoring sites (designated as primary sites) in the watershed. Water quality and quantity will be combined to determine the weekly, monthly and/or yearly loading at these five primary sites.

2001 Water Quality Sampling Results

Biological Oxygen Demand
Fecal Coliform
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Total Phosphorus
Total Suspended Solids
Transparency Tube
Combine Results

Why is the project taking place?
The project is taking place out of concern many citizens and organizations have for the water quality in the High Island Watershed, which drains into the Minnesota River. The overall purpose of the diagnostic study is to obtain water quality data that will be used to implement land use changes to improve water quality. Quantity and quality data will be used for future management of water quality/quantity issues. The collected data will be used to determine priority areas to implement best management practices that will reduce sediment and nutrient loading to High Island Creek and its tributary Buffalo Creek. The data will also be used to create a plan that will work toward reduction of fecal coliform bacteria that is released into the streams. Click here to view a basemap of the project.

Where is the project taking place?
The High Island Watershed (33) is a rural watershed that drains 153,219 acres in Sibley, McLeod and Renville counties. Buffalo Creek is a sub-watershed of the High Island Creek watershed and drains 18,004 acres. The High Island Watershed is a minor watershed of the Lower Minnesota River watershed.

The High Island Watershed is mostly level or slightly rolling agricultural land of high productivity. Nearly 85% of the land is used for agricultural purposes. A small portion of the watershed in located in the Minnesota River Valley in the east portion of the watershed.

Flow in the High Island Watershed flows from west to east. The watershed begins in Renville county to the west and flows eastward through McLeod County in the mid reaches and Sibley County in the east. Sibley, McLeod, and Renville counties contain respectively 65%, 25%, and 10% of the watershed area.

When is the project taking place?
The High Island Assessment Project began May 1st of 2000 and will run through April of 2002. Water samples will be collected from April through September during 2000 and 2001. Many other activities will also take place during the study. Click here for information on other project activities.

Who is involved with the project?
The sponsor and fiscal agent for the High Island Assessment project is Sibley County. The project co-sponsor is the High Island Watershed District. Contributing sponsors include a variety of local, state, and federal organizations that are involved with the High Island Assessment Project. Click here for a list of the contributing sponsors.

For more information about the High Island Watershed:
Scott Matteson
High Island Assessment Project
PO Box 161, 111 6th Street, Gaylord, MN 55334
Phone: 507-237-5435 ext. 103, Fax: 507-237-5249

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Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
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