Blue Earth County’s wetland plan will identify and prioritize potential wetlands for enhancement and restoration. In accordance with the Wetland Conservation Act, the plan must include an inventory and prioritization of replacement sites based on an analysis of the types and locations of replacement projects that will provide the desired wetland functions, benefit the watershed from a landscape perspective, and best offset losses of public value caused by approved impacts.
One of the most important goals of the wetland plan analysis is to develop science-based, locally-defined methods to prioritize wetlands that provide the greatest wetland functions and public values for water storage, water quality, wildlife habitat and recreation.
Prioritizing potential sites for wetland restoration is challenging in Blue Earth County. While there are large numbers of potentially restorable wetlands, the potential public value of restorable wetlands varies depending on numerous factors. Most potentially restorable wetlands are on privately-owned land drained for agricultural purposes. Preserving agricultural land is also a high priority in Blue Earth County and is important to the local, regional and state economy.
In addition to application of the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA), the plan will provide information for landowners’ adaptive management and voluntary wetland restoration projects.