Every year, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources picks a different part of the state to tour. This year’s tour focused on northwest Minnesota, and the first stop, at the Grand Marais Creek Outlet Restoration, board members weren’t the only ones learning about the value of these conservation projects. Governor Mark Dayton stopped in to gain a better understanding of how this work is helping our address our state’s water quality challenges, too. Read the story here.
Collaboration among agencies, local government units, and landowners is often necessary to successfully restore drained and altered wetlands across Minnesota’s varied landscape. This was the case for a recently completed Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve project located just north of Morristown, MN in Rice County. Learn more about the project here.
Accelerated Implementation Grants (AIG) invest in building the capacity of local governments to accelerate on-the-ground projects that improve or protect water quality and perform above and beyond existing state standards for protecting and restoring water quality. The Middle St. Croix Watershed Management Organization is using an AIG to enhance community ordinances and building codes to improve water quality during new and redevelopment projects. Learn about their efforts here.
In a collaborative partnership with the Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Minnesota Association of Conservation District Employees, and the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District, BWSR created the Technical Training and Certification Program. This program is designed to develop and maintain a highly trained, technically skilled workforce of conservation professionals capable of meeting the conservation delivery needs of Minnesota. Read the story here.
With white flowers and vibrant fall color, the adaptable Nannyberry adds interest to gardens and native plantings in mesic to moist soils. This native shrub is a popular landscaping plant over most of Minnesota, used for soil stabilization, buffers and wildlife habitat. It is also a good option for replanting after buckthorn removal. Pollinators are attracted to the nectar and pollen and many birds and rodents eat the dark blue fruit - which have a wet wool odor in autumn. Learn more here.
Read past stories
August 29, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton issues Executive Order to reverse pollinator decline and restore pollinator health in Minnesota
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton has issued Executive Order 16-07, requiring the state to take specific actions to reverse the decline of bees and other pollinator populations that play a crucial role in agriculture and food production. Read more about the action steps outlined for state agencies to minimize negative impact on insect pollinators in the Governor’s press release and the Executive Order.
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.