Welcome to the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District

Photo of a morning mist along a river with spruce trees in the foregrounndThumbnail image of the watershed district map

Mission of the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District:

"To protect and improve water resources within the jurisdiction of the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District through coordination with local units of government, citizens and other government agencies." 


Latest News

2015 Budget to be Considered at August 13th Meeting

The CMSCWD Board of Managers will consider a proposed 2015 budget (click here) at its August 13th meeting.  The budget includes income from a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency three-year grant that the District was awarded in 2013 to help protect high priority Sand and Long Lakes. In addition, it projects successful grant applications for 2015 Board of Water and Soil Resources clean water funds for Marine on St. Croix stormwater and Goose, Hay, and South Twin Lake watersheds projects. If either of these grants is not awarded, the budget numbers will be reduced.

Administrative costs remain the same as the 2014 budget. Program and project costs to protect and improve water quality in the District are proposed to increase by 15 percent. Overall, the budget tax levies are proposed to increase by 24 percent, since existing reserves have been used to lower and maintain levies over the last five years.  A tax payer with a $200,000 home in the District would see taxes rise by approximately $17 per year.

May Adopts "No Wake" for Big Carnelian Lake
In an emergency meeting of the May Township Board, a "no wake" ordinance was adopted for part of Big Carnelian Lake. To reduce erosion, 300 feet from shore of the main lake and all of the north east end of the lake, which includes the bay where much of the damage is occurring, are "no wake" zones.

Log House Landing

Several CMSWD Managers met with the Scandia City Council in a workshop on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 to discuss Log House Landing and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant that has been awarded to upgrade the road and install storm water and erosion control measures to reduce sediment and phosphorus input into the St. Croix River and Gilbertson’s Creek. Public comments at the meeting concerned the impact to trees and the rural ambience of the area with the increasing road width. Nearby residents were also worried about the problems of noise and crime that could occur if the project leads to increased usage.

The Scandia Administrator and CMSCWD Board President Kristin Tuenge discussed the history of the projects and the other options for the project that had been considered in workshops last year and in previous District proposals.  (Click to review the cost estimates. Click to review the feasibility assessment. Click to review the concept design.) Both the Council and CMSCWD Board representatives agreed that a survey should be done to accurately assess potential impacts to the area.


Scandia Considers “No Wake” Ordinance

The wettest spring ever has brought challenges to the District and homeowners alike.  Coming out of a drought that dramatically lowered lake and wetland levels, lakes and streams in the area are now beyond capacity. Little Carnelian Lake—down flow of  Big Marine and Big Carnelian lakes—has risen over 6 ½ feet this spring. For the first time since mid-2008, Little Carnelian Lake is draining to the St. Croix River.  

Worried lake property owners have been contacting the District to inquire about imposing “no wake” restrictions to minimize shoreline erosion.  While the District is concerned about erosion, it is cities and townships that must enact restrictions. May has enacted a "no wake" ordinance for part of Big Carnelian Lake (see above) and Scandia is considering an ordinance.

The District has increased monitoring to track lake levels and identify and remove blockages such as beaver dams that impede water flow.  A reminder to residents: activities impeding water flow are prohibited and could result in legal action.


District Co-hosts MAWD Summer Tour

“Collaboration in the St. Croix Basin: A Model for Working Together to Accomplish Water Quality and Natural Resource Protection Goals” was the theme of this year’s Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts (MAWD) Summer Tour.  Held in Stillwater from June 18-20th, the District, along with other water organizations in Washington County and the St. Croix Basin, co-hosted the event.

Local experts including Jim Almendinger of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Kathy Bartilson and Dan Baumann of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Stephanie Souter of Washington County highlighted collaborative projects to protect the St. Croix River.  

Participants were captivated by director Dan Engstrom on a tour of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station. The Summer Tour culminated with a dinner cruise of the St. Croix River. National Parks superintendent Chris Stein welcomed the participants and chief environmental compliance project manager Jennifer Hildebrandt spoke about the new bridge crossing.

Loan Program to Replace Noncompliant Septic Systems
Washington County has financial assistance available to help residents replace noncompliant septic systems.