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. The agreement, which came after two years of work and deliberations between the USDA and BWSR, will target 60,000 acres in areas of southern and western Minnesota facing significant water quality challenges, to protect and improve our natural resources for future generations. Read the Story here.
The agricultural landscape throughout much of Minnesota is dotted with surface intakes that are essential for efficient crop production, especially in the prairie pothole region. These intakes play an important role in agricultural production by taking ponded surface water and runoff in depressional sites and removing the water from the fields through a subsurface tile drainage system. However, these surface intakes also provide a direct pathway for the movement of sediment and associated pollutants to surface waters. Read the story here.
In 2010, approximately 3,000 acres and five miles of Lake Vermilion shoreline in northern Minnesota were added to the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, creating the current 4,048 acre state park on a rugged ridge on the south shore. The park offers a unique combination of recreational opportunities including picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, and tours of a former iron ore mine. Read the story here.
Student interns are an integral part of the work done at BWSR and the opportunities are a win-win for both BWSR and students. Working with BWSR Technical Services staff, student interns have played a key role in furthering the field of conservation while gaining valuable, hands-on experience. Read the story here.
Known for its vibrant red bark, red-osier dogwood is easy to spot in the landscape during the fall and winter months. It produces white flower clusters in May that are used by a wide variety of pollinators. As a large deciduous shrub, Cornus sericea is a vigorous species that flourishes in many open, moist conditions and is a favorite landscape plant for aesthetics and attracting wildlife. It is also commonly used to stabilize shorelines as part of bioengineering practices. Read the story here.
Read past stories
March 16, 2017
Minnesota is Well On its Way to Full Compliance with Statewide, Bipartisan Water Quality Effort
St. Paul, MN – At a press conference this morning, Governor Dayton announced that nearly 74 percent of Minnesota’s counties are already 60–100 percent compliant with the state’s bipartisan water quality buffer initiative according to analysis from the Board of Water and Soil Resources. BWSR’s preliminary analysis comes as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the state’s water quality buffer protection map is now complete. Governor Dayton was joined by BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, and MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Dakota County Farmer Dave Legvold, and Cottonwood SWCD's Beck Alexander. Read the press release.
March 10, 2017
Notification of Wetland Bank Service Areas Opening
Effective March 11, 2017, the Board of Water and Soil Resources will provide wetland replacement statewide for eligible county, city, and township road projects under the Local Roads Wetland Replacement Program. The four wetland bank service areas that were previously closed or proposed to be closed are now open. Read the announcement here.
February 27, 2017
Public Meeting Notice - Minnesota Wetland Bank Program 2017
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District (Corps) are jointly conducting three outreach sessions to share information about the state and federal banking programs.Click here to read the Public Meeting Notice.
February 7, 2017
BWSR Seeks Comments on Soil Loss Rulemaking
Following changes to State law in 2015, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is beginning the process to update the rules governing soil erosion. The agency is seeking public comments that will be considered as rule amendments are developed. Read the Request for Comments notice here.
January 19, 2017
Governor Dayton Signs 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.
January 3, 2017
Notification of Wetland Bank Service Area Closure
Effective February 2, 2017, Bank Service Area 9 – Minnesota River - will be closed and until further notice, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will not provide wetland replacement for Local Road Wetland Replacement Program (LRWRP) eligible road projects due to a lack of available wetland replacement credit. The closure of Wetland Bank Service Area 9 is in addition to the closure of Bank Service Area 4 – Upper Red River – and Bank Service Area 6 – St. Croix River - that went into effect December 2, 2016. Read the full notice here.
Planning Grants Available for One Watershed, One Plan
St. Paul, Minn. – Up to $1.5 million in Clean Water Funds is now available for planning grants under the One Watershed, One Plan program. These grants are for partnerships of eligilble local groups to use a systematic, science-based approach to watershed management to develop plans that provide the greatest environmental benefits to each watershed. The deadline for submittal of grant proposals is April 19, 2017. To view the request for proposals, click here.
December 22, 2016
Minnesota Approves First-Ever Comprehensive Watershed Management Plans for Yellow Medicine and Root Rivers
St. Paul, Minn. – Marking a new era in Minnesota water planning, on December 14 the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved the Root River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan and the Yellow Medicine River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. These are the first two plans completed through BWSR’s One Watershed, One Plan program. Read the press release here.
December 14, 2016
$13.4 million awarded to improve Minnesota's water quality
St. Paul, Minn. – Cleaner, clearer water. Healthier lakes, rivers, and streams. Today, Minnesota took another step forward toward its water quality goals thanks to funding support provided by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved more than $13 million in 2017 Clean Water Fund grants at its December meeting for local government projects benefiting Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. Read the press release here. For project information and maps, click here.
December 12, 2016
BWSR Seeks Comments on Buffer Law Policies
St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is charged with overseeing program implementation of the buffer law. The agency is currently seeking public comment on key components of its Buffer program. Read the release here.
December 7, 2016
Recognizing excellence in conservation
BWSR is pleased to announce the 2016 outstanding conservation award winners.
2016 Outstanding Watershed Employee of the Year
Myron Jesme, Red Lake Watershed District
2016 Outstanding District Employee of the Year
Melissa Barrick, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District
2016 AMC/BWSR County Conservation Award
Lake and Cook Counties
November 3, 2016
ST. PAUL, MN – 25 years after its original publication, the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM) has been updated and published in a wiki format on the Board of Water and Soil Resources website. The Minnesota Public Drainage Manual is a guidance document, not rule or law, and provides assistance to drainage authorities as they administrate Chapter 103E drainage systems. The Manual has multiple audiences: drainage authorities, their engineers, attorneys and inspectors; landowner’s; regulatory agencies; and other interested parties. The updating effort was funded through a Clean Water Fund appropriation. Thanks to the broad stakeholder community who served on the MPDM Project Advisory Committee for their many hours spent in review and comment, and to the project team including Houston Engineering, Inc., Rinke Noonan Attorneys at Law, and BWSR and MNIT project staff. Click here to enter the updated MPDM.
October 6, 2016
Innovative approach to water management takes next step
ST. PAUL, MN – Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more holistic, coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved seven new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program. The August 26 board action allocates up to $1,700,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund seven planning projects to address water quality on a watershed basis. Read the press release here.
To view previous announcements, visit the archive
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.
Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit http://bwsr.state.mn.us/buffers/.
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.
BWSR Media Center
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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.
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.