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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Building a Clean Water Legacy

In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to, among other things, protect and restore our lakes, rivers, and streams. Since then, much work has been done to protect and restore our state’s vital water resources. BWSR’s work is focused on making measurable progress toward local and state goals – partnering with local governments and other agencies to keep our state’s waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable. Learn more about our progress to date here.

Conservation Superstars

Mike and Mary Mueller own 360 acres in Bismark Township in Sibley County that are mostly protected in Perpetual Conservation Easements. In addition to farming and pasturing in small amounts, the Muellers have a solar project that meets their electric needs for the year, experiment with pollinators, serve as a resource by opening up their farm for schools and community programs, and volunteer at conservation and wildlife organizations. In short, the Muellers are conservation superstars. Read the story here.

Partnering for Efficiency and Effectiveness

Wetlands are so important that both state and federal agencies regulate activities within their boundaries. In Minnesota, state regulation falls under the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA), overseen by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. The Federal program is Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers. While the programs operate in the public’s best interests, navigating the different rules can sometimes be a challenge for landowners and agencies alike. Read how the agencies are working together to address this here.

Protecting Minnesota’s water resources

Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but lakes are just a part of Minnesota’s vast water resources. In fact, Minnesota contains a variety of surface water and ground water resources, and the discussion of how to best protect and manage those resources goes back to the late 1800s. There are more than 20,000 protected surface water bodies in Minnesota, and stretched end to end, the shorelines of our natural rivers and streams would circle the Earth more than twice. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Joe Pye Weed

A long list of native insects are supported by the flowers, leaves and stems of Joe Pye Weed, including moths, butterflies, and a wide-variety of bees. Its stems provide a good nesting habitat for many native bees over the winter. It’s also an attractive addition to stormwater and lakeshore planting, providing nutrient and pollutant treatment benefits. Learn more here.

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Read past stories


March 23, 2015

BWSR issues $2.2 million in flood relief grants

St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) today announced $2.2 million in disaster relief funding grants to help counties continue their flood recovery efforts.
To read the press release, click here. To see a list of counties receiving funds today, click here.

March 19, 2015

Demand High for RIM Wetlands Easement Program

St. Paul, Minn. - Conservation easements have been an important and popular tool in Minnesota’s efforts to conserve and protect our water, wildlife, and soil resources. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today the results of our 2015 ReInvest in Minnesota (RIM) Wetlands program sign-up, which continues that tradition. Read the release here.

March 12, 2015

Governor Proposes Buffer Initiative to Protect, Improve Water Quality

ST. PAUL, MN – The Land of 10,000 Lakes may soon establish 125,000 acres of water quality buffer strips statewide; that is, if a proposal from Governor Mark Dayton becomes law this session. The legislation, introduced March 9, would require at least 50 feet of perennial vegetation – otherwise known as water quality buffer strips – to surround Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke joined Governor Dayton and other agency commissioners today for a press conference on the bill. You can read the release here. For more information about the Buffer Initiative, please visit

March 2, 2015

2015 Clean Water Fund Report to the Legislature now available

The 2015 Clean Water Fund annual report is now available. The report includes 2015 competitive grant information, as well as highlights from BWSR’s other Clean Water Fund programs. Check out the report here.

January 28, 2015

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) Report to the Legislature

Each year BWSR is required to prepare and submit to the Legislature by February 1st a report describing the performance of the local water management entities for which BWSR has oversight responsibility. To read the 2015 PRAP Report please click here.

January 28, 2015

Board of Water and Soil Resources awards $14 million in Clean Water Fund grants
St. Paul, Minn.— In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to, among other things, natural resource protection and improvements. Since then, much work has been done to protect and restore our state’s vital natural resources. Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced this fiscal year’s Clean Water Fund grant awards, more than $14 million to help local governments accelerate their work improving water quality in Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.
Read the news release or visit the Clean Water Fund page for more project-specific information.

January 2, 2015

BWSR highlights 2014 progress for state’s soil and water
St. Paul, Minn. – The mission of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. In 2014, those partnerships resulted in projects that are making a difference for Minnesota’s natural resources. Read the press release here.

December 16, 2014

$5.4 million in Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program grants
St. Paul, Minn.  - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources announced today the second round of grants for its Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program, funded through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment’s Clean Water Fund.  A new approach to addressing water pollution, the program focuses funding on watersheds where actions needed for water quality improvement are known and can be achieved in a four-year window of time.  Read the release here.

December 14, 2014

BWSR salutes outstanding 2014 conservation work
As 2014 comes to a close, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) took time to recognize outstanding work done at the local level to advance Minnesota conservation. Read the press release here.

December 11, 2014

Recognizing excellence in conservation
BWSR is pleased to announce the 2014 outstanding conservation award winners.

2014 Outstanding Watershed Employee of the Year
Bruce Albright, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District

2014 Outstanding District Employee of the Year
Pam Tomevi, Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District

2014 County Conservation Award
Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative

Announcements Archive

To view previous announcements, visit the archive

Legacy Amendment

Legacy Amendment logoInformation For Citizens: How These Dollars Are Being Spent and How You Can Participate

BWSR receives appropriations from the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment to pay for on-the-ground conservation projects that provide multiple benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.

One Watershed, One Plan

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) is an important planning initiative, conceived by local governments, passed by the legislature, and being developed by BWSR.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan

The Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan (NPFP) is a criteria-based, systematic process to prioritize Clean Water Fund (CWF) nonpoint implementation investments.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

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About BWSR

BWSR Mission: Improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners

BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens.

About BWSR


BWSR works in partnership with local government units, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations.

Local Government Units and Partner Agencies -- Overview of BWSR's conservation partners, includes directories, maps, guidance documents and publications.

Performance data for local government units -- Through the Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP), BWSR staff evaluate water management entities, and, where necessary, provide assistance.


The BWSR Training page has dates and locations of training sessions conducted by BWSR staff as well as other training-related information.


The BWSR Map Portal contains maps that BWSR staff and partner agencies use to administer conservation programs.


Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155 | (651) 296-3767 | Fax (651) 297-5615 | TTY (800) 627-3529

An Equal Opportunity Employer