As much as lakes are a central part of our state’s identity, the trees that line so many of those lakes are just as important. When we think about water quality, many conservation practices come to mind, but for many of us, forest management isn’t one we’d naturally think about. Read the story here.
Governor Dayton proclaimed April 17-23rd Water Action Week in Minnesota. Throughout the week, the governor and leadership from many state agencies visited classrooms, project sites, farms, and research facilities to highlight the work being done to address Minnesota’s water quality challenges. At the Board of Water and Soil Resources, it was an opportunity to highlight the work being done by local governments and private landowners across the state to restore and protect Minnesota’s water resources. Read the story here.
It has been almost a decade since a statewide tillage survey has been conducted in the state of Minnesota. Now, thanks to funding received last year, the Board of Water and Soil Resources and The University of Minnesota are working to make these surveys more efficient and cost-effective by utilizing new technological practices. Read the story here.
Wetlands are protected by federal, state and sometimes local laws and regulations. In Minnesota, the primary state wetland protection law is the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). WCA was passed by the legislature in 1991 to protect wetlands and the benefits they provide, part of the legislature’s larger goal of achieving no-net-loss of wetland quantity, quality, and biological diversity. Read the story here.
Plantings along roadsides help create pollinator habitat and the plants used can have a variety of uses. Black chokeberry is the only species of Aronia native to Minnesota. Valued in landscaping for its three seasons of color, the berries are high in antioxidants and are used to make jellies and fruit drinks. Learn more about the featured plant here.
Read past stories
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.
April 18, 2016
Governor Dayton Declares Water Action Week
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed April 17 – 23, 2016, to be Water Action Week in Minnesota. Throughout the week, Governor Dayton and members of his Administration will visit school classrooms, water treatment facilities, research institutions, and farms to encourage Minnesotans to learn more about the challenges facing Minnesota’s waters, and empower every individual to take actions in their own lives to be part of the solution. Learn about how you can be involved here.
April 4, 2016
BWSR Seeks Comments on Buffer, Soil Loss Program Implementation
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 currently seeking public comment on key components of its Buffer and Excessive Soil Loss programs. Read the news 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 24, 2016
BWSR Seeks Comments on One Watershed, One Plan Transition Plan
ST.PAUL, MN — The Board of Water and Soil Resources is accepting comments until May 4, 2016 on the proposed One Watershed, One Plan Transition Plan. The Plan can be found here. Comments and questions should be sent to Melissa Lewis.
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.
February 1, 2016
BWSR Seeks Nominations for Eligible Watersheds for Targeted Watershed Program
ST.PAUL, MN —
The Board of Water and Soil Resources is seeking nominations for eligible watersheds to participate in the Targeted Watershed Program. This program awards grants to local government units organized for the management of water in a watershed or subwatershed where multiyear plans that will result in a significant reduction in water pollution in a selected subwatershed are in place.
This nomination period will run from February 1 through March 9, with the BWSR Board selecting watersheds at their May 25, 2016 meeting (proposed). Please visit the Apply for BWSR Grants page for additional information.
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.
December 30, 2015
BWSR tracks 2015 progress for state's soil and water
ST.PAUL, MN — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) works, in partnership with local governments and private landowners, year-round to make a difference for Minnesota’s natural resources. Through Clean Water Fund grants, conservation easement programs, disaster relief, and more, BWSR helps local conservation staff get projects on the ground that are cleaning up and protecting our waters and our soil. Read the press release here.
December 16, 2015
$11.7 million awarded to accelerate work toward cleaner Minnesota waters
ST.PAUL, MN — Restored shorelines, blooming raingardens, clearer lakes – throughout Minnesota these projects speak to the work being done to improve and protect our state’s natural resources thanks to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced another wave of Clean Water Fund grants, more than $11 million to help local governments put more projects in the ground that benefit Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. Read the release here.
December 15, 2015
Governor Dayton Pursues $795 Million in Funding for Clean Water, Wildlife Habitat
ST. PAUL, MN – Continuing his work to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, Governor Mark Dayton today 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. Funding provided through CREP would provide additional financial support for farmers and landowners as Minnesota works to implement bipartisan buffer legislation enacted last session. Read the release here.
December 9, 2015
Recognizing excellence in conservation
BWSR is pleased to announce the 2015 outstanding conservation award winners.
2015 Outstanding Watershed Employee of the Year
Dan Wilkens, Sand Hill River Watershed District
2015 Outstanding District Employees of the Year
Brad Mergens, West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District Darren Newville, East Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District
2015 County Conservation Award
Lake of the Woods County, Improved Targeting and Public Value of Wetland Mitigation
October 28, 2015
DNR provides buffer mapping project details
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is providing a timeline and other details about its production of maps for the state’s new law requiring vegetative buffers around bodies of water. Read the press 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 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.