For the Jensen sisters, conservation is part of their family farming tradition. Their parents believed strongly in being good stewards of the land, and that legacy lives on in their daughters. The Jensen farm has used buffers to slow erosion and benefit water quality through the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Buffer Program, which provides critical support in advancing the state’s goals to protect and improve water quality, protect and enhance wildlife habitat, and reduce flooding. Read the story here.
Wilkin County’s Manston Slough was once a lush, 2,500 acre shallow wetland complex, home to waterfowl and aquatic species. That all began to change in the late 1800s with construction of State Ditch 15, which began to drain the area. After ditch construction was completed, over 75% of the historic wetland basin was converted to cropland and remained that way through the 20th century. Learn about the project that changed all that here.
Healthy soil is foundational to life as we know it, so keeping soil healthy, and keeping it on the land, are important priorities. One of the greatest threats to our soil is erosion, which happens across all kinds of landscapes, and can be moved by a variety of methods including water, wind and human activity. The Measuring Conservation Outcomes project, funded by the LCCMR and managed by BWSR, developed a new soil erosion model that produces estimates of soil erosion across Minnesota’s agricultural landscape. Read the story here.
The debate over the value of wetlands, and their resulting drainage, has been a significant water issue since Minnesota gained statehood in 1858. Today, most wetlands are afforded some level of protection under State or Federal law. Those laws recognize that there are some instances where unavoidable wetland impacts occur, and make sure that when this happens the wetland losses are replaced by the establishment of other wetland areas of at least equal public value (aka “mitigation”). On paper it sounds relatively easy, but the reality is that e successful restoration and creation of wetlands is very difficult. Read the story here.
Valued for its vibrant yellow flowers and soft leaves, Black eyed Susan also plays many important ecological roles. It can establish on nutrient poor sites making it well suited for reclamation projects, roadsides and other disturbed areas. Another pollinator-friendly plant, it’s especially valuable for native bees, beetles and flies. Learn more here.
Read past stories
May 19, 2015
Training news and updates, including BWSR training, partners' training, and news.
April 23, 2015
BWSR recognizes 60th Soil and Water Stewardship Week
St. Paul, Minn. – For over 70 years, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) have been hard at work for Minnesota’s soil, water, and wildlife. Locally, these districts manage programs that work toward conservation and healthy use and development of our natural resources. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) honors and celebrates that work as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 26 – May 3, 2015. Read the release here.
March 23, 2015
BWSR issues $2.2 million in flood relief grants
St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) today announced $2.2 million in disaster relief funding grants to help counties continue their flood recovery efforts.
To read the press release, click here. To see a list of counties receiving funds today, click here.
March 19, 2015
Demand High for RIM Wetlands Easement Program
St. Paul, Minn. - Conservation easements have been an important and popular tool in Minnesota’s efforts to conserve and protect our water, wildlife, and soil resources. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today the results of our 2015 ReInvest in Minnesota (RIM) Wetlands program sign-up, which continues that tradition. Read the release here.
March 12, 2015
Governor Proposes Buffer Initiative to Protect, Improve Water Quality
ST. PAUL, MN – The Land of 10,000 Lakes may soon establish 125,000 acres of water quality buffer strips statewide; that is, if a proposal from Governor Mark Dayton becomes law this session. The legislation, introduced March 9, would require at least 50 feet of perennial vegetation – otherwise known as water quality buffer strips – to surround Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke joined Governor Dayton and other agency commissioners today for a press conference on the bill. You can read the release here. For more information about the Buffer Initiative, please visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/buffers/.
March 2, 2015
2015 Clean Water Fund Report to the Legislature now available
The 2015 Clean Water Fund annual report is now available. The report includes 2015 competitive grant information, as well as highlights from BWSR’s other Clean Water Fund programs. Check out the report here.
January 28, 2015
Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) Report to the Legislature
Each year BWSR is required to prepare and submit to the Legislature by February 1st a report describing the performance of the local water management entities for which BWSR has oversight responsibility. To read the 2015 PRAP Report please click here.
January 28, 2015
Board of Water and Soil Resources awards $14 million in Clean Water Fund grants
St. Paul, Minn.— In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to, among other things, natural resource protection and improvements. Since then, much work has been done to protect and restore our state’s vital natural resources. Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced this fiscal year’s Clean Water Fund grant awards, more than $14 million to help local governments accelerate their work improving water quality in Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.
Read the news release or visit the Clean Water Fund page for more project-specific information.
January 2, 2015
BWSR highlights 2014 progress for state’s soil and water
St. Paul, Minn. – The mission of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. In 2014, those partnerships resulted in projects that are making a difference for Minnesota’s natural resources. Read the press release here.
December 16, 2014
$5.4 million in Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program grants
St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources announced today the second round of grants for its Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program, funded through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment’s Clean Water Fund. A new approach to addressing water pollution, the program focuses funding on watersheds where actions needed for water quality improvement are known and can be achieved in a four-year window of time. Read the release here.
December 14, 2014
BWSR salutes outstanding 2014 conservation work
As 2014 comes to a close, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) took time to recognize outstanding work done at the local level to advance Minnesota conservation. Read the press release here.
December 11, 2014
Recognizing excellence in conservation
BWSR is pleased to announce the 2014 outstanding conservation award winners.
2014 Outstanding Watershed Employee of the Year
Bruce Albright, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District
2014 Outstanding District Employee of the Year
Pam Tomevi, Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District
2014 County Conservation Award
Otter Tail County Buffer Initiative
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.
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 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.