SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
Environment & Natural Resources

Protecting South Dakota's Tomorrow...Today!
Joe Foss Building
523 E Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501
Field Offices
Contact Us

Watershed Protection

Active Section 319 Water Quality Improvement Projects

South Dakota DENR administers grant money provided by the EPA through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act to reduce nonpoint source pollution in impaired rivers, streams and lakes. Projects may be local or statewide and include an information and education component, water quality monitoring, and installation of best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution. BMPs may include activities such as installing riparian buffer strips to filter water before it reaches the lake or stream, installing fencing and providing alternative sources of water to keep livestock out of waterbodies, and bank stability activities that reduce erosion, as well as other activities designed to directly reduce nonpoint source pollution. Each project has a local coordinator who works with various partner agencies to achieve project goals and develop local support and funds to bolster the project.  Along with the map displaying project boundaries, information about the activities of each project is listed below along with links to project websites.  Projects referred to as "implementation projects" are intended to implement the recommendations of previously completed assessment projects that have identified and quantified sources of nonpoint source pollution. To learn more about past 319 water quality improvement projects, full project reports from completed projects can be viewed here.

Belle Fourche Watershed Implementation Project - The Belle Fourche Watershed Implementation Project seeks to reduce sediment and bacteria to the impaired Belle Fourche River. Best management practices to achieve this goal include replacement of flood irrigation systems with high-efficiency sprinkler irrigation systems, grazing improvements such as pipelines, fencing, off site water sources for livestock, and riparian revegetation projects.  For more information, contact Justin Krajewski.


Big Sioux River Watershed Project - The goal of this project is to restore and protect the Big Sioux and its tributaries south of the Brookings/Hamlin County line by reducing sediment and bacteria through BMPs. Project BMPs include installing zero-discharge animal waste systems, providing incentives for landowners to remove livestock from riparian areas through the Seasonal Riparian Area Management (SRAM) program, and cropland management BMPs such as terrace restoration, grassed waterways, and cover crops.  For more information, contact Barry Berg.


Grassland Management Planning and Assistance Project - The Grassland Management Planning and Assistance Project’s goal is to reduce sediment, nutrients, and fecal coliform bacteria from surface waters in South Dakota by improving range condition on grasslands.  This is accomplished through extensive information and education events geared mainly toward grassland managers and livestock producers and grassland management BMPs.  BMPs include providing a cost-share for fencing, pipeline, wells, pumps, stock dams, stream crossings, and grass seeding to improve grassland health and promote water quality.  For more information, contact Judge Jessop.


South Central Watershed Implementation Project - The goal of the South Central Watershed Implementation Project is to restore and protect water quality in the Lower James River Watershed, Lewis and Clark Lake, and the watersheds of Geddes, Platte Lake and Lake Andes.  This will be accomplished through the installation of BMPs in the watersheds such as alternative water sources, grass buffers, and animal waste systems that target sources of sediment, nutrients, and fecal coliform bacteria.  For more information, contact Rocky Knippling.


Soil Health Improvement and Planning Project -The goal of the project is to improve soil health through planning and implementation of agricultural best management practices and outreach to producers in select 303(d) listed water bodies in South Dakota. Outreach efforts include planning and holding workshops and field demonstration tours to educate and inform producers of ways to manage land to reduce runoff and improve nutrient cycling which will ultimately improve water quality. The project utilizes demonstration plots developed for cover crops and/or no-till planting methods at four locations. These demonstration plots are in addition to planned workshops covering grazing management, livestock integration onto cropland, and diverse crop rotations. The project will also provide information and education to local landowners and the general public to provide a better understanding of soil health and its relationship to water quality benefits. For more information, contact Cindy Zenk.


Northeast Glacial Lakes Watershed Implementation Project - The Northeast Glacial Lakes Watershed Implementation Project protects and improves the water quality of northeast South Dakota glacial lakes, streams, and rivers by implementing BMPs to reduce nutrients, sediment, and bacteria. BMPs include installation of animal waste management systems, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, grazing management improvements (cross fence and water development), bank stabilization, and stream crossings.  For more information, contact Dennis Skadsen.


South Dakota Nonpoint Source Information and Education Project -

The goal of the South Dakota Nonpoint Source Information and Education Project is to provide South Dakota’s citizens with information and educational opportunities about nonpoint source pollution in order to gain their support for, and participation in, nonpoint source pollution prevention and reduction practices.  To achieve the goal, this project focuses on:

For more information, contact Anne Lewis.


Upper Big Sioux Watershed Implementation Project - The goal of this project segment is to improve the quality of the water entering the Big Sioux River and Lakes Kampeska and Pelican, and to continue restoration of the lakes and river by reducing phosphorus and sediment loads. BMPs include lake shoreline stabilization and management, small ponds, grassed waterways, filter strips, grass seeding, construction of animal nutrient management systems, streambank stabilization, and wetland restoration.  For more information, contact Roger Foote.


To learn more about past water quality implementation projects, full project reports can be viewed here.


Top of page