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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Understanding pollinator use on RIM conservation easements

One of the most pressing questions in wild bee conservation is how effective conservation plantings are in conserving wild bee communities. While some evidence exists that wildflower plantings attract an abundance of wild bees, it is less clear if these bees are typical of the tall grass prairie habitats conservationists aim to recreate. Read more.

BWSR unique among state agencies with grant volume and availability

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) provides more than 1,000 grants per year to its local government partners, supporting a wide range of conservation activities. Read more.

A river runs through it, again

Grey Cloud Slough, a 2.8 mile long waterbody, was a “cut-off” meander loop of the Mississippi River located east of the main channel between Grey Cloud Township and St. Paul Park in Washington County. Read more.

Turning wastewater problems into solutions in the City of Myrtle

The unsewered community of Myrtle, located 15 miles southeast of Albert Lea, had a problem. Thirty-one properties within Myrtle were connected to a community straight pipe that was discharging raw sewage into Deer Creek, a tributary of the Cedar River. Read more.

Featured Plant: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Emerging as early as March from last fall’s bed of leaves, bloodroot is one of the first signs of spring across Minnesota. Named for the red sap in its roots, it was once used as a dye by Native American artists and in the natural dying of yarn and fabrics. Read more.

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March 12, 2018

2018 RFP to Purchase Wetland Credits

St. Paul, Minn.— The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is seeking to purchase wetland replacement credits from established wetland banks to offset wetland impacts resulting from qualifying public road projects in Minnesota. Proposals submitted must be received by mail no later than 2:30 p.m. Central Time, April 2, 2018. Email and faxed proposals will not be considered. BWSR is requesting proposals from wetland bank account holders with the specified types of credits from sites located in the following Bank Service Areas (BSA) 2, 4, 7, and 9. The RFP and submission forms can be accessed on the BWSR website at The RFP and submission forms can also be obtained by submitting an email request with “RFP Request” in the subject line, to Tim Smith.

Read more.

February 2, 2018

BWSR Completes Feasibility Study and Plan for Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program

St. Paul, Minn.— BWSR has completed a feasibility study and plan for a Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program – a program that would provide incentives for landowners to plant perennial and cover crops that will improve water quality. The report, posted below, includes an overview of promising crops and livestock enterprises, including perennial grasses and winter annual cover crops that keep roots in the soil and vegetation on the land throughout the year, improving soil health and wildlife habitat, storing carbon, and capturing excess nitrogen. Many of these crops can be grown for food or beverage production, grazed, used for livestock feed and bedding, or processed for applications such as bio-jet fuel, bio-based packaging, and renewable chemicals.

The study was directed by the 2016 Minnesota Legislature (Laws 2016, c. 189, s. 4) with the goal of improving water quality by increasing living cover on the landscape at a watershed scale. 

BWSR coordinated this effort with stakeholders and other state agencies, including agricultural and resource conservation interests, commodity groups, watershed districts, soil and water conservation districts, the biofuels industry, landowners, researchers at the University of Minnesota, and the Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Health, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

BWSR will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to analyze water quality impacts, track the progress of crop development, and investigate emerging market opportunities. Updates will be posted to this page regularly.

Read more.

February 1, 2018

Recommendations for Accelerating Public Drainage System Acquisition and Establishment of Buffer Strips and Alternative Practices

St. Paul, Minn.—BWSR has released a report for legislative consideration containing recommendations for accelerating the establishment of buffer strips on those reaches of Minnesota’s 19,150 miles of public drainage ditches that still need vegetative buffers. The report recommends statutory changes, funding provisions, administrative policy changes, and a comprehensive outreach and education to the county and watershed district drainage authorities that manage these systems on behalf of the landowners who own them. The 2017 Legislature directed BWSR to coordinate the Drainage Work Group to evaluate and make recommendations that would accelerate the acquisition and establishment of buffer strips or alternative practices along public drainage systems in advance of the November 1, 2018 deadline established by Minnesota’s Buffer Law. The Drainage Work Group completed and approved the 23-page report in early January and on January 24, 2018 the BWSR Board accepted it and directed it be sent to the legislature. The Drainage Work Group has representatives from all the key stakeholder groups involved in the management of public drainage systems in Minnesota. Read more here.

February 1, 2018

Root Causes, Root Solutions

St. Paul, Minn.—Improvements Josh and Steph Dahl are making on their fourth-generation family farm through the Root River Field to Stream Partnership will position their Houston County dairy operation for the future. Intensive edge-of-field and in-stream monitoring data collected here and on three other southeastern Minnesota farms will pinpoint what effect specific conservation practices have on water quality. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture-led venture started with monitoring in 2010. Clean Water Fund grants from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources helped fund conservation practices in Houston, Fillmore and Mower counties. Full story here.

January 25, 2018

Root River Area Farmers Implement Conservation Practices to Reduce Soil Erosion, Protect Water Quality

St. Paul, Minn.—The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Board of Water and Soil Resources announced that their Root River Field to Stream Partnership with local farmers is reducing soil loss and protecting water quality. Nearly 100 percent of farmers in the Root River study area have participated in a field walkover to identify those areas most susceptible to sediment and nutrient loss. In just two years, more than 60 percent of those farmers have installed or fixed conservation practices in their fields to reduce these losses. Read more here.

December 21, 2017

Minnesota Awards $15.2 Million in Clean Water Fund Grants to Improve Water Quality Across the State

St. Paul, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton commended the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Board action to improve water quality in streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater across the state. The new grants, from the state’s Clean Water Fund, include $6.5 million dollars which will be used to protect at-risk waters and restore polluted waters throughout the state. Read the press release here.

December 19, 2017

BWSR celebrates outstanding 2017 conservation work

St. Paul, Minn. – As the year draws to a close, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) recognized the excellent work done locally in Minnesota communities to advance conservation. Read the press release here.

November 13, 2017

Sign up for MN CREP continues despite Federal CRP Continuous Signup suspension

St. Paul, Minn. – In October, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced a temporary suspension of enrollment in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP). However, Minnesota landowners are still able to participate in sign-ups for the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP). Read the press release here.

November 8, 2017

New healthy soils initiative launched by the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the University of Minnesota

St. Paul, Minn. – Clean water depends on healthy soil – soil that supports plant growth and can absorb, hold, and filter water. Healthy soil, in turn, depends on how people manage the land. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center (WRC) have committed to expand the science of soil health and share practical information with the farmers, conservationists and others who manage our state’s soils. Read the press release 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.

Buffer Program

Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit

To view the State buffer page, click:

Minnesota CREP

In January 2017 Governor Mark Dayton signed a $500 million Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. This federal, state, and local partnership will work with farmers and other landowners across 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota who choose to voluntarily implement conservation practices on up to 60,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality and enhance habitat.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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 Review and Assistance Program (PRAP)

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


The Technical Training page contains information on the Technical Training and Certification Strategy, program information, implementation details and programmatic updates.

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


The BWSR Maps and Apps Portal contains maps and interactive web map applications 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