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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

75 Years of Conservation: Root River SWCD Celebrates Milestone

As one of state’s first districts, the Root River Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has earned its place in Minnesota’s conservation history. While much has changed since the SWCD began, its commitment to land stewardship and the people of Houston County is as strong as ever. Read the story here.

Damage Control: the Blakeley Trail Ravines Stabilization Project

Imagine, if you will, being hard at work on an almost million dollar, multi-benefit project that is being designed to improve water quality and protect private land and public infrastructure. You’re almost done with the project – 70% of the way there – when a six-inch rainfall hits. You visit the construction site, and note with relief that the project has actually held up pretty well. Then, days later, a second rainfall hits. This one’s eight inches, and it looks like your entire project might be a loss. Disaster. Read the story here.

Alternative Side Inlets: Promising for Farmers and for Water Quality

Side inlets are a commonly used tool on the agricultural landscape that help control erosion on farm fields while protecting drainage systems. Over the past five years, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and four local government agencies, has studied whether alternative side inlet designs might be a better way to help farmers achieve the surface water drainage they need while keeping soil and nutrients on their land. Read the story here.

PRAP Assistance Grant Supports Operational Effectiveness

After 34 years working for the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District, Administrator Bruce Albright sometimes felt like the district was an island. “You don’t always get the chance to step back and look at operations and costs,” said Albright. Thanks to a PRAP Assistance Grant, the watershed district developed a strategic plan that helped identify its immediate, short-term, and long-term needs. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Bottle Gentian

Bottle gentian has a unique association with bumblebees that help ensure efficient pollination, seed production, and ultimately the future of the species. Gentians are slow to establish from seed, so they are most commonly planted from containers or from the separation of clumps. They add to the aesthetics of stormwater and shoreline plantings while also helping to sustain bumblebee populations. Learn more here.

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November 18, 2014

BWSR Initiates Stakeholder Focus Groups for the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Update Project
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will begin work next month to update and modernize the 23-year old Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM). The first step in that process is holding stakeholder focus groups in key areas of the state. These meetings will draw on diverse user perspectives to help shape improvements to the manual. To learn more about the times and locations of these focus groups, read the announcement here.

October 15, 2014

BWSR 2012-2013 Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature
On October 15, 2014, BWSR submitted the Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature. You may read the report or view past reports by visiting our Legislative Resources page.

September 29, 2014

Notice to Adopt Metropolitan Water Planning Rule Amendment
The Board of Water and Soil Resources is accepting comments and hearing request until November 10, 2014, on a proposed amendment to Minnesota rules Chapter 8410. Read the Notice here. The draft amendment, current rule, and a summary of proposed changes can be found here. Read the news release.

September 23, 2014

Clean Water Roadmap rolled out at agency meetings
The seven state agencies responsible for implementing the Clean Water Fund have completed "Minnesota's Clean Water Roadmap." The roadmap articulates high-level goals for the 25 years of the Clean Water Legacy investment. The roadmap will be posted on the agencies' Clean Water Legacy web pages. Agencies will be presenting the roadmap at a series of upcoming meetings, including:

You can view the Roadmap here.


September 17, 2014

Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Update

For the first time since it was published in 1991, the Board of Water and Soil Resources has begun work on updating the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM). Read the announcement.

September 2, 2014

FY15 Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program Response

From July 14, 2014 through August 29, 2014, BWSR held the second Request for Interest for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. To read a summary of the responses to this phase of the application process, please click here.

September 2, 2014

2014 BWSR Academy — Registration Open!

Please visit our Academy page for sessions schedule, descriptions, registration, and lodging information.

August 26, 2014

BWSR Board to tour north Twin Cities metro on annual tour

St. Paul, Minn.— Minnesota’s local governments - counties, cities, watershed districts, conservation districts, and more - work every day on behalf of our state’s natural resources. On Wednesday, August 27, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) board members will take part in an annual tour that showcases how those efforts are making a difference in local communities. Read the release here.

August 25, 2014

BWSR Train Tracks

Training news and updates, including BWSR training, partners' training, and news.

August 18, 2014

FY15 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant RFP Now Available

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is pleased to announce that local governments can now apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities.  The application period for the FY15 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grants is open through September 26, 2014. These funds are available as a result of the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.  Complete Request Proposals can be found at

August 12, 2014

Wild Rice Shoreland Protection Program Outreach Materials available

Learn more about how Wild Rice Shoreland Protection Program is protecting rare and fragile wild rice waters from development thanks to support from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. BWSR’s Dan Steward and DNR's Gary Drotts tackle the subject here. More outreach materials are available for LGUs interested in the program here.

July 14, 2014

BWSR seeks nominations for Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is seeking nominations for three to six watersheds for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. The nomination period will be open through August 29. The complete Request for Interest can be found at

June 26, 2014

BWSR Launches Statewide Water Initiative

St. Paul, Minn. —The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) launched the One Watershed, One Plan pilot program today, allocating up to $900,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund five pilot projects to address water quality on a watershed basis. BWSR’s vision with this program is to align planning on major watershed boundaries with prioritized, targeted, and measurable watershed plans that will be developed and implemented locally. Read the news release.

June 6, 2014

BWSR 2014 Legislative Summary

The Minnesota Legislature officially adjourned its 2013-2014 Session on Friday, May 16. A lot of work was packed into a short amount of time. Click here for a summary of the key items affecting BWSR.

June 2, 2014

Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve Buffer Easement Program sign-up now available

St. Paul, Minn. — Partnering with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced the 2014 Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Riparian Buffer Easement Program sign-up is now open. Read the news release.

May 1, 2014

BWSR recognizes 59th Soil and Water Stewardship Week

St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) honors and celebrates the work of Soil and Water Conservation Districts as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 27 – May 4. Read the news release.

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.

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