The Root River Field to Stream Partnership (FSP) has been working in three small subwatersheds of the Root River (Bridge Creek, Crystal Creek and South Branch Headwaters) to study nutrient and sediment loss from agricultural fields and measure the effectiveness of conservation practices. The FSP is one of the most comprehensive and intensive studies of its kind in the upper Midwest. Read the story here.
In June of 2015, Governor Dayton signed into law a new buffer initiative aimed at enhancing protection of Minnesota’s waters. The law was further clarified in 2016, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is currently in the middle of a deliberate and transparent process to develop program policies and supporting guidance for its statewide implementation. Read the story here.
In March and April of this year, local governments from across Minnesota responded to BWSR’s request to submit planned water resource-oriented activities and budgets for the FY 2018-19 biennium. First initiated in 2012, and then again in 2014, the survey collects information on local government conservation and water management resource needs on a biennial – or two year – basis. Read the story here.
Since 2008, BWSR’s Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) has monitored and assessed the performance of Minnesota’s local water management entities. While the program was created as by statute, with the intention of assessing performance, BWSR has expanded the program goal to focus on assisting these local government partners to be the best they can be in their management of Minnesota’s land and water resources. Read the story here.
Several wild rose species add to the beauty of Minnesota’s landscapes. Smooth Wild Rose is a widespread and attractive native shrub that is valuable to native bees and other insects and develops nutrient rich rose hips. It can spread aggressively underground after it is established, making it effective at soil stabilization along waterways but sometimes too aggressive for smaller stormwater plantings. Read more here.
Read past stories
August 25, 2016
BWSR Board tours northwest Minneosta on annual tour
St. Paul, Minn. - On August 24, local and state staff came together to highlight conservation successes in northwest Minnesota as part of the 2016 Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Board Tour. The annual tour highlights our state’s local conservation delivery system in action. This year’s tour focused on projects in the Red River of the North – Grand Marais Creek watershed, located in northwestern Minnesota, and highlighted work done by the Red Lake Watershed District and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), West Polk SWCD, and Pennington SWCD. Read the press release here.
August 25, 2016
Registration now open for the 2016 BWSR Academy
The BWSR Academy is a three-day, cost effective annual training event for conservation-based local government staff. The 2016 BWSR Academy will be held October 24-26 at Cragun's near Brainerd and will focus on beginner and intermediate sessions to prepare newly hired LGU staff and as a refresher for experienced LGU staff. Please visit the Academy page for more information and to register.
August 24, 2016
BWSR receives $1 million in federal funding to support wetlands
St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in support of the Minnesota Wetland Bank for Agriculture. Read the press release here.
August 23, 2016
BWSR issues $2 million in flood relief grants
St. Paul, Minn. - Continuing efforts to help counties recover from damages left in the wake of the heavy rains of 2014, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced an additional $2 million in grants in the third phase of flood relief funding. Fifteen counties will use the funds to implement conservation practices to address erosion and water quality problems associated with imminent threats to private or public improvements or to repair, rehabilitate, or replace existing conservation practices on private lands. Read the press release here. For a list of the counties, click here.
August 9, 2016
The Technical Training & Certification Program webpage is now live.
The Technical Training and Certification Program is a collaborative effort between BWSR, MACDE, MASWCD and NRCS designed to develop and maintain a highly trained, technically skilled workforce of natural resource professionals capable of meeting the conservation delivery needs of Minnesota. The webpage contains information on the Technical Training and Certification Strategy, program information, implementation details, and programmatic updates.
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.
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/.
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.
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 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 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 Map Portal contains maps that BWSR staff and partner agencies use to administer conservation programs.