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319 Watershed Projects and the
North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund

A Little Background information on 319 from the

North Dakota Department of Health



In North Dakota there is a Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program through the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality whose mission is "to protect or restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the state by promoting locally sponsored, incentive based, voluntary programs where those waters are threatened or impaired due to nonpoint sources of pollution".



Section 319 of the Clean Water Act defines the scope of the NPS Pollution Management Program.  In North Dakota, the Department of Health administers the program with input from the North Dakota NPS Pollution Task Force.  The task force is comprised of representatives from state and federal natural resource agencies, commodity/producer groups, tribal councils, and private wildlife/natural resource organizations.  



Annually, federal funds are appropriated by the United States Congress to the US Environmental Protection Agency for NPS pollution management.  These "Section 319 Funds" are available to individual states based on an allocation formula.  Section 319 funds in North Dakota are awarded to local projects through a competitive grant application process.  Approved local projects receive 60% federal funds with a 40% local funding match requirement.  


Targeted Funding

The funds awarded through the grant application process are aimed at addressing waterbodies impaired by NPS pollution or projects addressing a major NPS issue in the state.  Given the size of the agricultural industry in North Dakota, a majority of the states' Section 319 funds have been directed toward locally sponsored projects promoting voluntary NPS pollution control on agricultural lands.  These funds have generally been used to implement various information/education activities and/or provide the necessary financial and technical assistance to landowners implementing best management practices (BMPs) on their land.



The North Dakota NPS Pollution Management Program is a voluntary program directed toward local project sponsors which may include soil conservation districts, water resource boards, city councils, resource conservation and development councils, nonprofit organizations, and other natural resource-focused groups.

Current 319 Watershed Project

Jamestown Reservoir Watershed Project

The main goal of the Jamestown Reservoir watershed project is to minimize the occurrence of harmful algal blooms(HABs) and improve recreational opportunities in the Jamestown Reservoir by reducing the delivery of nutrients from the watershed immediately adjacent to the reservoir. 

The four sub-watershed highlighted in the picture to the left are our focus points. We are trying to implement practices that will capture the nutrients on the landscape and not allow them to run off. Doing this will protect the water bodies in the watershed and also save producers by not having to put as many nutrients down in the field. If anyone interested in the highlighted sub-watersheds or even in the bigger blacked outline should call or stop in to visit with Dustin. 

We are utilizing (PTM0App) to prioritize, target, and map, applications to target the areas we would like to implement Better Management Practices (BMPs). There are many types of practices we can use including nutrient management, no-till, cover crops, grass waterways, fencing, water, and rotational grazing to name a few. The practices are known  for capturing phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment and not allowing them to make it to the reservoir. 

Spiritwood Lake Watershed Project Phase II

Spiritwood 12 digit pic.jpg

The main goal of Spiritwood Lake is to restore and protect the beneficial use of fish and other aquatic biotas to fully supporting. This will be accomplished through nutrient management, grazing management, riparian improvements, reducing in-lake nutrient cycling, and decreasing residence time. 

Spiritwood Lake flows come in from the Northeast inlet and flow out the Southeast outlet. With flows coming in and leaving so close together nutrients brought into the lake make it over to the western part of the lake and settle over there. The water then has a high resident time as it does not cycle through and the water resides in the lake longer allowing nutrients to be captured and settled down to the bottom. This would be the need for the hypolimnetic drawdown to provide a pull of water from the deepest point of the lake and the other side of the lake. 

Objectives of the project are to provide technical and financial assistance to producers and landowners, particularly in applying best management practices that protect and enhance riparian areas, to address near lake septic systems and fertilization practices, reduce in-lake nutrient cycling, implement a hypolimnetic drawdown system and develop an education/information program that increases public awareness of NPS. 

Phase I of the project was a success as we focused on near-lake septic systems and capturing nutrients before they reach the lake. 57 septic systems were inspected, of the 57 inspected systems,  10 systems were determined to be failing and all 10 systems have been replaced. We also focused on educational efforts by sending out 10 newsletters, and 8 direct mailings and held four informational meetings out at the lake. 

Phase II is focusing on the landscape further away from the lake and out in the watershed. We are trying to reach out to the landowners and producers to implement BMPs within their operations to limit nutrients in the water system. 

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