Clean Water Act Section "319" Program

Sheldon Fletcher, "319" Water Quality and GIS Coordinator


Sheldon Fletcher measuring water velocity on Medicine Creek during the first day in the field for 2016.

 
Introduction:
There is a deep spiritual connection between the Lower Brule tribal members and the earth. We are strongly committed to the restoration and protection of our natural environment, including surface and ground water resources. These rivers, lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands, sustain fish and other critters, provide excellent wildlife habitat, provide recreational opportunities, supply drinking water, and allow for ceremonial uses. However, some of our water resources are threatened or impaired by polluted runoff, also known as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The goal of our "319" Water Quality Program is to provide the Lower Brule community and it's members with guidance and other information that will help them to protect and restore the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe's treasured water resources.



What is NPS pollution?
NPS pollution occurs when rainfall, snow-melt, or irrigation water runs over the Reservation lands or through the ground picking up pollutants and transporting them into our creeks, lakes, or ground water.

Here are some Nonpoint Sources of Pollution 

  •         Agricultural activities, feedlots, herbicides, pesticides, irrigation
  •         Construction activity
  •         Brownfields, old dump sites, abandoned buildings, etc.
  •         Malfuncting or improperly installed septic systems
  •         Winter road maintenance  


NPS Pollution Projects


"319" Mini Grant:  In 2009 the Environmental Protection Office's "319" Water Quality Program received a U.S. EPA "319" Mini Grant to install water tanks In range units where cattle utilizing creeks as their main source of water.  Eleven (11) tanks were installed around the Reservation as per NRCS specifications and a landowner match.  The newly installed tanks decreased the damage to the riparian area caused by the cattle, including streambank damage, vegetation damage, and a reduction of bacteria in the water.  The following pictures are from this project.


 In this photo the landowner and the NRCS Tribal liaison discuss the tank installation.

Counselor Creek Riparian Restoration Project:  In the summer of 2011 the Environmental Protection Office's "319" Water Quality Program received funding to do a small riparian project in the Counselor Creek watershed.  The project consists of installing five (5) miles of exclusion fencing, replacement of four (4) culverts, corral relocation, and five (5) new water tanks to keep the cattle out of the creek. 


In this photo NRCS Tribal Liaison meets with the landowner to discuss a stream crossing within the exclusion fencing.


Protect and restore your range units or allotments, contact Darrel DuVall, Tribal Liaison, administering USDA-NRCS programs for all Lower Brule land users, at the link below.
USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service, NRCS
Mission: Helping People Help the Land through individual Conservation Planning for natural resource improvements & management.
 

For information on developing and managing a Tribal "319" Nonpoint Source Program click on the link below:For information about ways protect and restore your range units or allotments, contact Darrel DuVall, Tribal Liaison, administering USDA-NRCS programs for all Lower Brule land users, at the link below.Mission: Helping People Help the Land through individual Conservation Planning for natural resource improvements & management.

To find out more information about Nonpoint Source Pollution check out the following links:
http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/nps/contacts.html
http://www.blackfeetenvironmental.com/nonpointsource.html
http://www.southernute-nsn.gov/environmental-programs/water-quality-program
http://www.utemountainuteenvironmental.org/index.cfm/water-quality/
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