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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Targeting Long Lake

Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) received a $3 million Targeted Watershed Demonstration (Clean Water Fund) grant from BWSR in 2014 to reduce pollutants to Rice Creek, Pike Lake, and ultimately Long Lake in New Brighton. The RCWD grant is the largest competitive grant ever awarded by BWSR. Read the story here.

Building Partnerships for Clean Water

Looking for opportunities to improve water quality, provide education, and gain partnerships is always in the back of Melissa King’s mind. King, a Water Quality Specialist with the City of Faribault had that opportunity with the Twin Lakes Stormwater Retrofit Project. Read the story here.

Grants Compliance Specialists: Behind the scenes, helping the grant process work

Grants Compliance Specialist (GCS). The title’s a mouthful, and can sound a little intimidating, but in reality BWSR’s GSCs are an important resource for the agency and its local government partners alike. Read the story here.

Managing Drainage for Multiple Purposes

Most of us, unless we work in agriculture or have relatives who do, don’t have much of an understanding of agricultural drainage. Given how much of the state is farmland, however, agricultural drainage impacts both farmers and non-farmers alike. Staff at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources work with local governments, state, and federal agencies to implement conservation practices on the landscape that help manage drainage systems. Read the story here.

2016 Legislative Update

The 2016 Minnesota legislative session wrapped-up on Monday, May 23rd with some unresolved issues at its close. Chief among those was the lack of Bonding or Transportation bills. A tax bill was passed during the session and then expired when Governor Dayton chose not to sign it without the other bills in place. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: American Wild Plum

The grocery store isn’t the only place plums are found in Minnesota. The American Wild Plum is a thicket forming small tree that is widespread across the state. They produce dark red plums about an inch in diameter that are valued by a wide range of wildlife species, as well as human foragers who eat them raw or use them in jams and jellies. Learn more about the Featured Plant, another pollinator favorite, here.

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July 11, 2016

FY2017 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant RFP & training videos now available

Local governments interested in applying for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities can learn more about the process in newly available training modules available here. The complete Request for Proposals for the FY17 Clean Water Fund (CWF) Competitive Grants is also at the link. The application period is open through August 8, 2016. These funds are available as a result of the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.

June 27, 2016

BWSR Seeks Input on Buffer Implementation 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 seeking public comment on key policies that will be used for implementation of the program on public waters and public drainage systems. Read the release here.

May 31, 2016

Board of Water and Soil Resources expands options to help farmers meet Buffer Law requirements

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota farmers will have an additional way of meeting the state’s new Buffer Law requirements as the result of recent action taken by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Under the Buffer Law, farmers may use alternative water quality protection practices that are comparable to buffer protection. The BWSR Board recently passed a resolution affirming that certification in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program qualifies as an approved alternative water quality protection practice. This means that farmers who become certified through the program will also be compliant with the state buffer law. Read the news release here.

May 25, 2016

BWSR awards nearly $8.2 million in Targeted Watershed Program grants

St. Paul, Minn. – Water quality has been making a lot of headlines recently, both in Minnesota and around the country.  Today the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources announced a third round of Clean Water Fund grants that will help six local governments from around the state accelerate their conservation work while taking a targeted approach to addressing water quality issues.  Read the release here.

May 17, 2016

Draft Nonpoint Funding Plan Update open for comment

St. Paul, Minn. – The Draft Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan update is now available on BWSR’s website here. We are currently accepting feedback on the plan; comments should be sent to Denise Wilson. The deadline for comments is Monday June 6 and the final plan will be posted on BWSR’s website on July 1, 2016.

May 9, 2016

BWSR issues $3 million in flood relief grants

St. Paul, Minn. – While the high waters from the heavy 2014 rains have receded, counties continue to recover from the damage left in their wake. Today the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced $3 million in grants as part of a third phase of flood relief funding. Fifteen counties will use the funds to implement conservation practices where human safety and health is a concern and to address erosion and water quality problems associated with imminent threats to private or public improvements. Read the press release here. To see the list of counties and allocations, click here.

April 25, 2016

BWSR recognizes 61st Soil and Water Stewardship Week

St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota’s abundant natural resources are more than just a source of pride for our citizens.  They are recreational and economic drivers for our state. Their conservation and protection forms the foundation of the work of Minnesota’s eighty-nine Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).  For over 70 years, SWCDs have worked hard for our soil, water and wildlife, managing programs that work toward the conservation and healthy use and development of our natural resources.  Read the release here.

March 29, 2016

One Watershed, One Plan launches statewide

St. Paul, Minn. — Wrapping up a successful, almost two-year pilot period, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) One Watershed, One Plan program begins the next phase of roll-out this week. The program aligns major watershed boundaries with prioritized, targeted, and measurable watershed plans that are developed and implemented locally. Read the news release here.

March 1, 2016

FY2018-19 Biennial Budget Request eLINK Module now available

ST.PAUL, MN — The eLINK module for submitting the Biennial Budget Request (BBR) is now available for data entry. The deadline for local governments to submit a BBR is April 15, 2016. For information on the new module, please click here. For more information on the BBR, please visit the BBR page.

January 25, 2016

FY2018-19 Biennial Budget Request (BBR) update

ST.PAUL, MN — In anticipation of data gathering for the third Biennial Budget Request (BBR) this March, BWSR has prepared a BBR update that outlines process changes that include using eLINK for data entry, the connection to local water management plans, and what information LGUs should provide in their response.  Read the 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

Minnesota CREP

On December 15, 2015 Governor Dayton submitted a $795 million proposal to the United States Department of Agriculture for a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for Minnesota. This federal, state and local partnership would work with farmers and other landowners across Minnesota to implement conservation practices on up to 100,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality.

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 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