The Nine Mile Creek Watershed District has won the prestigious Environmental Leadership Award for its work reducing salt overuse. The Environmental Leadership Award recognizes leaders who are making changes to protect water from winter snow and ice control materials.
Staff accepted the award at the 18th annual Road Salt Symposium co-hosted by Fortin Consulting and the Freshwater Society. The Road Salt Symposium was the first such symposium in the US to bring together winter maintenance professionals, environmental professionals and others interested in exploring current research and implementing innovate best practices for reducing the overuse of road salt.
Nine Mile Creek is impaired for chloride, meaning the creek has unhealthy levels of chloride in it based on state water quality standards. For Nine Mile Creek to be considered “healthy,” salt applications in the watershed need to be reduced by 62%. This will require public (e.g., the state, county and cities), commercial and private applicators to reduce chloride application rates and improve winter management practices.
NMCWD was recognized for actions stretching over several years, designed to reduce salt application rates, while maintaining public safety. The District passed a resolution of support for limited liability protection for private applicators. Nine Mile Creek is the first watershed district to require a chloride management plan as a part of their permit process. Finally, education is a key component of the District’s work. We host trainings annually for winter maintenance professionals. We are working with neighboring watershed districts and cities to put on workshops to focus on winter maintenance for non-profits and places of worship.
Nine Mile Creek also offers cost sharing grants to help organizations and residents install water quality improvement projects. Join us at an info session at the District office on Wednesday February 20 from 5:30-7 PM to learn more about the grants.
Congratulations to other winners!
We would also like to congratulate Edina Public Schools and the citizen group Stop OverSalting for also winning this award! We are excited to partner with such great groups to reduce oversalting, keep our constituents safe, and protect our lakes and creeks.