In 2015, Brown’s Creek Watershed District formally began the process of developing its next 10-year watershed management plan. Two of their first tasks? Public engagement and issue identification. District Administrator Karen Kill had led the process once before for the district, but this time she's taking a different approach. Read the story here.
Taking a watershed approach to conservation isn’t necessarily a new concept in resource management, but it’s something we’re hearing more and more of in Minnesota. In some parts of the state, it’s been an informal part of local conservation for generations. In the northwest part of the state, where the Sand Hill river cuts through the southern half of Polk County, a whole host of conservation professionals and agencies have been working together for years to turn around a river system that was largely diverted, ditched, and drained throughout the early 1900s. Read the story here.
Powerful pictures and descriptive narratives go a long way toward telling a conservation story, but little can make up for the opportunity to get up close and personal with projects on the ground. So every August, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Board takes the opportunity to get out in the field and see the local conservation delivery system in action. The annual board tour visits a different part of Minnesota every year so that board members get a chance to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota’s natural resources from the professionals in the field. Read the story here.
On Monday, September 14, more than 140 people joined Governor Dayton, agency leadership, conservation groups and others in Nicollet, Minnesota. The reason? Pheasants. Specifically, the Pheasant Summit Action Plan, which was developed to address concerns about the long-term health of the state’s pheasant population. Read the story here.
October’s Featured Plant is a prolific seed producing annual that develops an abundance of flowers in areas of disturbed soil such as shorelines or the base of ditches. It is good source of pollen and nectar for insects, and its seeds are used by a variety of songbirds. Learn more here.
Read past stories
October 6, 2015
2015 BWSR Academy Registration Now Closed
Registration for the BWSR Academy closed on Monday, October 5. We are looking forward to providing training opportunities to the 420 who have registered. BWSR Academy reached capacity for Tuesday and Wednesday and many of the sessions on Thursday. If you registered and are unable to attend, please contact Carla Swanson-Cullen at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have several who attempted to register before the October 5th deadline for registration and requested to be put on a waiting list. Visit the BWSR Training page for more information.
August 28, 2015
BWSR issues $5.6 million in flood relief grants
St. Paul, Minn. - In the year since heavy rains and flooding in the summer of 2014 devastated landscapes throughout the state of Minnesota, state and local governments have been hard at work on recovery. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today a second phase of flood relief funding to help counties impacted by those historic rains. Read the press release here. For a list of counties receiving funding, click here.
August 28, 2015
BWSR Board tours southeast Minnesota on annual tour
St. Paul, Minn. - Partnership was the word of the day on August 26, as private landowners and local, state, and federal staff came together to highlight successes in local conservation in southeast Minnesota as part of the 2015 Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Board Tour. The annual tour highlights our state's local conservation delivery system in action. Read the release here.
August 20, 2015
State Email Outage
Yesterday, August 19, 2015, the State of Minnesota - including BWSR - experienced an email outage for incoming messages. If you emailed a BWSR employee between the hours of 1:00am and 8:15pm on August 19, 2015, that message was not received.
The email outage has been resolved, and BWSR email is back up and running. Please re-send your message to its intended BWSR recipient. Thank you.
August 5, 2015
Drainage Records Modernization & GIS Database Project Seeks Input
The DRMGDP team is seeking user and other stakeholder perspectives related to the database template and portal, as well as Drainage Records Modernization Guidelines. You can complete the questionnaire here. All responses must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14.
For more information on the project, please visit the Drainage page.
July 13, 2015
Metro Water Management Rule Amendment becomes Effective
The Metropolitan Water Management Rule Amendment, Minnesota Rules Chapter 8410, became effective July 13, 2015. The rules pertain to cities, towns, watershed districts, and watershed management organizations in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Several changes are significant and may require action in the near future. Read the schedule for informational meetings here. Read the highlights of the rule changes here. Read the amended rule here.
July 6, 2015
FY16 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant RFP Now Available
The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is pleased to announce that local governments can apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities. The application period for the FY16 Clean Water Fund (CWF) Competitive Grants is open now through August 28, 2015. These funds are available as a result of the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008. The complete Request for Proposals can be found at http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/grants/apply/index.html.
June 19, 2015
Wetlands 101: What to Know Before You Work
St. Paul, Minn. - Minnesota's landscape includes roughly 10.6 million acres of wetlands. While many people think of wetlands as swampy, marshy areas with standing water and cattails, the reality is wetlands take on many forms. In addition to swampy, marshy areas, wetlands can vary from grassy meadows, to forested wetlands covered in trees and shrubs, to wet areas of cultivated farm fields. Many wetlands are actually dry for most of the year, with no standing water. Read the release here.
June 15, 2015
BWSR 2015 Legislative Summary
The Minnesota Legislature finished its 2014-15 legislative work on Saturday, June 13. Click here for a summary of the key items affecting BWSR.
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.
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/.
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.