October 15, 2012
A seven year study of sedimentation in the Minnesota River is wrapping up… and found that contrary to former beliefs, the problem isn’t linked as much to upland farmland or cities as previously thought. Larry Gunderson, lead researcher on the study for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the problem in the Minnesota River Basin lies primarily with near-channel sources such as river banks, river bluffs, and ravines.
Gunderson explains that tubidity and sedimentation has a negative effect on aquatic life, and the main goal of the study is to determine ways to improve water quality and reduce sediment for aquatic life.
The Minnesota River receives a lot of its sediment from the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Rivers which flow into it, and the Minnesota River in turn flows into the Mississippi River. Gunderson says a parallel study found the Minnesota River is, in turn, responsible for 85-percent of the sedimentation in the Mississippi.