Skip to content

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Planting the seeds of conservation

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans head up Highway 169 to experience the beauty and recreational opportunities of northern Minnesota’s lakes and forests. Starting at Princeton, northbound drivers will see the environment change from high quality farm fields to beautiful forests and lakes. Managing these two environments has been a challenge for the Mille Lacs Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), but with a grant from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Fund, the SWCD found a way to meet the needs of those living in the forest and on the farm. Read the story here.

A project forty years in the making

Progress takes time. Sometimes, even when you know what the problem is, getting everyone needed to solve it to the table is a Herculean task in and of itself. High bare soil cliffs have been eroding into Fridley’s Oak Glen Creek since 1970, discharging several hundred tons of sediment into the Mississippi River annually just north of drinking water intakes for Minneapolis and St. Paul. It took 40 years, but the community finally has a long-term solution in place. Read the story here.

A team approach to wetland restoration in Norman County

Just east of the tiny town of Syre in Norman County, a group of neighbors, relatives, and friends were stumped. A piece of marginal farmland they had collectively tried to drain and farm wasn’t panning out, and floods kept destroying the crops. The group began looking for alternative uses for the land. With the help of the Norman County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited consultants and BWSR staff, they found a good fit. Read the story here.

The $393 million question

$393 million. It’s a big number, and it has statewide significance. If you’re a Jeopardy fan, the question you’re looking for here is “What is the value of conservation work local governments are prepared to undertake?” Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Grass-leaved Goldenrod

Creating a network of tough, underground roots, grass-leaved goldenrod is effective as stabilizing shorelines as well as slowing and filtering stormwater. It is an excellent species for riparian waterways as it can aggressively compete with weedy species and also provides important pollinator resources for native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles. Learn more here.

Hold your mouse over a story to pause.

Read past stories


January 28, 2015

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) Report to the Legislature

Each year BWSR is required to prepare and submit to the Legislature by February 1st a report describing the performance of the local water management entities for which BWSR has oversight responsibility. To read the 2015 PRAP Report please click here.

January 28, 2015

Board of Water and Soil Resources awards $14 million in Clean Water Fund grants
St. Paul, Minn.— In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to, among other things, natural resource protection and improvements. Since then, much work has been done to protect and restore our state’s vital natural resources. Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced this fiscal year’s Clean Water Fund grant awards, more than $14 million to help local governments accelerate their work improving water quality in Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.
Read the news release or visit the Clean Water Fund page for more project-specific information.

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

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.

BWSR Media Center

Connect With Us:

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Email Updates:


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