A 10-year management plan for the area that drains into the Sauk River will get a virtual public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

The plan affects the southeastern corner of Douglas County, including Nelson and Osakis. It seeks to restore and protect the Sauk River Watershed, which serves as farmland, a playground for outdoors lovers, a home to about 250,000 people, and the drinking water supply for St. Cloud.

Called the Sauk River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, it has implications for farmers, homeowners, businesses, and anyone who fishes, swims or boats in the lakes and rivers. It was developed by the One Watershed One Plan Planning Partnership, which includes Douglas, Pope, Stearns, and Todd counties.

It provides scientific data and proposes projects, potential regulations, data needs and an outreach program for everyone in the watershed.

As an example, the plan identifies one concern as contaminants in the Sauk River Watershed that come from plastic bottles, drugs and insect repellent. One solution is teaching residents how to properly handle and dispose of laboratory-created compounds, including personal care products and pharmaceuticals.

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The plan's goal is to balance "a healthy ecosystem with a vibrant economy for generations to come.”

The plan is available on the Sauk River Watershed District website, www.srwdmn.org, in the announcements section.

To participate in the public hearing, join online at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89478224502?pwd=QzF6ajFKUVJjYjZxVGliQ3FsTTlnUT09 or by phone, 312-626-6799.

The meeting ID is 894 7822 4502 and passcode is 546857. Once that information has been entered, you will be placed in a waiting room until the meeting starts.