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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Root River Watershed: Pioneering a new era in watershed management

In April 2014, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Winona, Olmsted, and Dodge Counties and their Soil and Water Conservation Districts, along with the Crooked Creek Watershed District, submitted a nomination to be a part of new era in water management in Minnesota: One Watershed, One Plan. The new program represents a shift in local planning from largely political boundaries to planning that follows watersheds. Read the story here.

Protecting Minnesota’s wild rice lakes

Minnesota is the epicenter of the world’s natural wild rice. Protected, undeveloped shoreland is important to preserving sensitive wild rice lakes for current and future generations of wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. Although once found throughout most of the state, today, the heart of the state’s wild rice acreage falls within eleven counties: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, St. Louis and Wadena. Learn more about work to protect these natural resources here.

Targeting Dobbins Creek

Tucked into Mower County’s Cedar River Watershed, Dobbins Creek is familiar to many of Austin, Minn.’s residents. Running along the northeast edge of the city, it flows through the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center before eventually entering the Cedar River. The creek’s watershed runs through prime farmland known for producing high grain yields. Land-use changes, runoff from fields, and increased rainfall have affected the creek over the years, resulting in cloudy water that affects both water quality and wildlife habitat. Read about how the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program is helping improve the creek here.

Partnerships create lasting change in Dakota County

An eroding ravine on Flint Hills Resources property was a growing concern. Water spilling onto the steep bluff face at the head of the ravine, near the interchange at U.S. Hwy 52 and Minnesota Hwy 55, caused extensive erosion. The erosion, already a problem, was accelerating, depositing sediment from the ravine into Spring Lake and the Lower Mississippi River. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Prairie Coneflower

With a distinctive, long central disk and divided leaves, the Prairie Coneflower introduces color and texture to the landscape. The species is found in prairies and savannas across the Great Plains of the United States, where it is used by pollinators, small mammals, songbirds, and grazers. It is commonly used in prairie restorations and the upper edge of stormwater plantings, but can also help reclaim degraded, nutrient poor sites. Learn more here.

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June 19, 2015

Wetlands 101: What to Know Before You Work

St. Paul, Minn. - Minnesota's landscape includes roughly 10.6 million acres of wetlands. While many people think of wetlands as swampy, marshy areas with standing water and cattails, the reality is wetlands take on many forms. In addition to swampy, marshy areas, wetlands can vary from grassy meadows, to forested wetlands covered in trees and shrubs, to wet areas of cultivated farm fields. Many wetlands are actually dry for most of the year, with no standing water. Read the release here.

June 15, 2015

BWSR 2015 Legislative Summary

The Minnesota Legislature finished its 2014-15 legislative work on Saturday, June 13. Click here for a summary of the key items affecting BWSR.

May 19, 2015

BWSR Train Tracks

Training news and updates, including BWSR training, partners' training, and news.

April 23, 2015

BWSR recognizes 60th Soil and Water Stewardship Week

St. Paul, Minn. – For over 70 years, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) have been hard at work for Minnesota’s soil, water, and wildlife. Locally, these districts manage programs that work toward conservation and healthy use and development of our natural resources. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) honors and celebrates that work as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 26 – May 3, 2015. Read the release here.

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.

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