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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Fifteen Years Later, Restoration Stands up to the Test of Time

There is value in reflecting on past restoration projects – successes and failures – to learn what worked and what didn’t. The Black Rush Lake restoration, which occurred in the late 90s, was a complex project that required teamwork and commitment from multiple agencies and partners. Fifteen years after the project was completed, the restoration is still considered to be a big success. Read the story here.

Ditch Retrofits are Good News for the Red River

For many of us, ditches are a nondescript part of the landscape, but the reality is that ditches serve a vital drainage function on land throughout the state. While they do a great job in helping channel water off the land, sometimes they take sediment with them, which can cause problems. In Clay County, the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District is partnering with local landowners and using a Clean Water Fund grant to retrofit three of the county’s ditches to help keep that sediment on the land. Read the story here.

Database and Mapping Improvements in BWSR’s Easements Section

Since 1986, BWSR’s Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve conservation easement program has processed and recorded 6,915 easements totaling 260,931 acres. In the early days of this successful easement program, the intricate acquisition process—from application stage to agreement stage to easement stage to recorded easement—was tracked on paper with the assistance of a FoxPro database which utilized an MS-DOS user interface. Over the years, program requirements and processes evolved and a new database is now improving efficiency and accuracy for the agency. Read the story here.

The “Road Program”: Protecting Wetlands, Helping Local Partners

It’s road construction season in Minnesota. Orange barrels dot the landscape and travel times to the lake are sometimes longer than anticipated. Orange barrels don’t just impact your commute, they can also impact local wetlands. The Local Government Roads Wetland Replacement Program (LGRWRP), also called the” Road Program”, works to offset wetlands lost through public road improvement projects. Read the story here.

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan Approved

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has completed the first-ever Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan (NPFP) and it has been accepted by the BWSR Board at their June 25th meeting. Read more here.

Featured Plant of the month: Cow Parsnip

With a height around seven feet tall, a bright white flower head and leaves around two-feet wide cow parsnip is easy to spot in moist habitats across Minnesota. Used by caterpillars, pollinators and songbirds, it isn’t commonly planted, but can be an attractive addition to restoration projects. Read more here.

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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