Red Clay Dam Phase II



The Red Clay Dam Phase II Project is part of a multi-year effort  addressing the 1970s Red Clay dams located in the Nemadji Watershed of  Carlton County. This project, funded by BWSR Clean Water Fund and Great Lakes  Commission grants, focused on restoring the stream where a Red Clay Dam  failed in the Deer Creek Subwatershed. This project also funded  engineering solutions for additional Red Clay projects using the  experienced SWCD Technical Service Area III (TSA III) engineers and staff. 


The Problem

The Red Clay Project was a 1970s initiative that encompassed Lake  Superior Basin watersheds with a goal of controlling erosion in  Northeastern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin. In Carton County, projects were focused on the construction of sediment retention structures, named Red Clay Dams, in the Skunk Creek  and Deer Creek sub watersheds of the Nemadji River Basin. These  structures had an engineered design life of 10-25 years, and they all  have exceeded their lifespan. Many of these structures are now failing, including one dam that was on a tributary to Deer Creek. 


The Solution

This project stabilized the steep banks at the failed dam on an unnamed  Deer Creek tributary and restored the stream through the old pond area where sediment had accumulated. Using natural channel design and  in-stream log structures, TSA III Engineers were able to design and  implement the project successfully during the fall of 2016. Superior Construction and Boreal Natives completed the construction. 



BWSR Clean Water Fund Grant


Great Lakes Commision Grant

BWSR All Details Grant Report

C14-2565_AllDetailsReport_RCD_Phase_II (pdf)