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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Healthy soil: foundational to life

Soil. It’s just dirt, right? Actually, billions of organisms reside in soil, representing 25% of the biodiversity on planet Earth. The United Nations has declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil to our food security, ecosystem function, and very existence. Healthy soil means healthier plants, animals, and humans. Read the story here.

Wright County makes progress using Minnesota Filter

Ever seen a lake that’s bright green in color, or covered in algae? Too much phosphorus is likely the culprit. Phosphorus is one of the problem pollutants when it comes to the quality of our lakes, and there’s been a great deal of work done to try and minimize its impact on our water. One promising development involves the iron-enhanced sand filter or ‘Minnesota Filter,’ so nicknamed because it was developed by the University of Minnesota. Read the story here.

Rice County erosion project aims for flood prevention

Flooding has been a problem within Rice County’s Spring Creek watershed for the past several years. Heavy rains and resulting high waters have eroded gullies and washed away roads in Bridgewater Township, flooding houses all the way into Northfield, a few miles down the road. Using $35,000 in flood relief appropriations from the Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Rice Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Bridgewater Township, began work to address the issue. Read the story here.

What is AWQPIP?

These days, technology touches virtually every part of our lives, so it’s no surprise that technology is impacting conservation work. A 2014 Clean Water Fund Shared Services grant is helping a group of local governments use technology more effectively. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Showy Lady’s Slipper

Showy Lady’s Slipper, one of 43 orchids found in Minnesota, was named the state flower in 1902. When flowering, it can be easy to spot in fens, bogs, swamps and moist roadsides in northern Minnesota. A pollen source for leaf-cutter bees, the plant has been protected in the wild from collection since 1925. Learn more here.

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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

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.

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