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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Fillmore SWCD project restores capacity of 1955 flood control structure

The centerpiece of one of the first farmer-led conservation efforts in the U.S., a dam built in the 1950s to protect Preston from flooding, is being restored to its original capacity Read more.

Financial reconciliations provide transparency for the state

During 2017 Grants Compliance Specialists from BWSR met with nearly 100 agencies, while reconciling over 150 grants. Located in the north, central and south regions of the state, these specialists conduct financial reconciliations with grantees—an important component of grants monitoring. Read more.

Excellence in conservation: 2017 MASWCD Outstanding Employee

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is excited to announce that Peter Mead, Administrator for Becker Soil and Water Conservation District, has been named the 2017 Outstanding District Employee of the year. Read more.

Excellence in conservation: 2017 MAWD Outstanding Employee

Phil Belfiori, District Administrator for the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD), maintains a focus on outcomes for district projects, which mirrors the long-term view he and his team take with project development. Read more.

Featured Plant: Prairie Milk Vetch

Prairie Milk Vetch is an example of a Minnesota plant that is not widely known but provides many ecological benefits. Like other members of the pea (Fabeaceae) family it fixes nitrogen, meaning that it adds nitrogen to the soil that can be used by other plants. It also has abundant flowers that attract many pollinator species. As a species that prefers drier conditions, it is native to Minnesota’s western prairies and grasslands and can be found in higher elevations and even deserts in states to the southwest. Image by Peter M. Dziuk of Minnesota Wildflowers Read more.

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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.

November 7, 2017

Opportunities on BWSR Board

St. Paul, Minn. – Want to make a difference? Yesterday Governor Mark Dayton encouraged “Minnesotans to apply for appointment to one of over 200 openings on Minnesota boards, councils, and commissions.”

There are three open positions for the BWSR board. Head to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website and search for the Board of Water and Soil Resources and you’ll see openings for a County Commissioner, SWCD Supervisor, and a Watershed District Representative. You can apply directly on the website.

For more information read Governor Mark Dayton’s announcement at

October 5, 2017

Progress Toward Buffer Compliance is Strong

St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota landowners and Soil and Water Conservation Districts have been hard at work statewide to achieve buffer compliance. With just under one month to go until the November 1 implementation deadline, statewide buffer compliance on public waters is currently over 94%. Read the press release here.

August 30, 2017

BWSR Expands Resources Available for Landowners Pursuing Alternative Practices to Buffers

St. Paul, Minn. – At the August 24 board meeting the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved two additional resources for landowners pursuing alternative practices to buffers. Each resource is designed to expand the options for water quality solutions in common situations where practices other than buffers may make sense. Read the press release here.

July 11, 2017

Local Governments Join Forces to Plan for Water Management

St. Paul, Minn. – Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more holistic, coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved six new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program. The June 28 board action allocates up to $1,500,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund six planning projects to address water quality and other water issues on a watershed basis. Read the press release here. One Watershed, One Plan map of participating watersheds.

May 4, 2017

MN CREP sign-up kicks off May 15, 2017

St. Paul, Minn. – Landowners have a new option to protect their environmentally sensitive cropland with the introduction of the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP). The kick-off for the MN CREP continuous sign-up begins May 15, 2017. Read the press release here.

January 19, 2017

Governor Dayton Signs CREP agreement

Governor Dayton signing 2017 CREP Agreement

Almost 180 conservation leaders, media, elected officials and farmers joined Governor Dayton in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, January 17 as he signed a new Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. A great day for conservation, you can read the Governor’s press release here. To learn more about CREP, click 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