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Announcements Archive

2017

January 12, 2017

Governor Dayton to sign CREP agreement

Join Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith on Tuesday, January 17th at 3:00 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda for a historic signing ceremony with US Department of Agriculture to establish the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in Minnesota. Reception to follow in L’Etoile Du Nord Vault (Capitol Lower Level).

2016

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.

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.

2015

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

2014

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

November 18, 2014

BWSR Initiates Stakeholder Focus Groups for the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Update Project
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will begin work next month to update and modernize the 23-year old Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM). The first step in that process is holding stakeholder focus groups in key areas of the state. These meetings will draw on diverse user perspectives to help shape improvements to the manual. To learn more about the times and locations of these focus groups, read the announcement here.

October 15, 2014

BWSR 2012-2013 Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature
On October 15, 2014, BWSR submitted the Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature. You may read the report or view past reports by visiting our Legislative Resources page.

September 29, 2014

Notice to Adopt Metropolitan Water Planning Rule Amendment
The Board of Water and Soil Resources is accepting comments and hearing request until November 10, 2014, on a proposed amendment to Minnesota rules Chapter 8410. Read the Notice here. The draft amendment, current rule, and a summary of proposed changes can be found here. Read the news release.

September 23, 2014

Clean Water Roadmap rolled out at agency meetings
The seven state agencies responsible for implementing the Clean Water Fund have completed "Minnesota's Clean Water Roadmap." The roadmap articulates high-level goals for the 25 years of the Clean Water Legacy investment. The roadmap will be posted on the agencies' Clean Water Legacy web pages. Agencies will be presenting the roadmap at a series of upcoming meetings, including:

You can view the Roadmap here.

September 17, 2014

Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Update

For the first time since it was published in 1991, the Board of Water and Soil Resources has begun work on updating the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM). Read the announcement.

September 2, 2014

FY15 Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program Response

From July 14, 2014 through August 29, 2014, BWSR held the second Request for Interest for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. To read a summary of the responses to this phase of the application process, please click here.

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 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 http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/grants/apply/index.html.

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 http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/grants/apply/index.html.

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.

April 15, 2014

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan

The draft Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan is now available for review. Deadline for comments is May 2.

March 17, 2014

BWSR Begins Accepting FY 2016-17 BBRs

Beginning Monday, March 17, 2014 the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will begin accepting Biennial Budget Requests (BBR). The last day to submit a BBR is Friday, May 2, 2014. The BBR is requesting information on targeted local actions already identified in existing water resource management plans that local governments and citizens will implement to protect and restore priority waters. The BBR information and process will support the development of the State biennial budget and support local government budgets and their projects and activities.   The BBR spreadsheet and guidance documents are available by clicking here.

February 18, 2014

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 103F Soil Erosion Law: History, Perspectives and Recommendations

This paper was intended to frame questions and comments in relation to the Minnesota’s present soil erosion law. Click here for the discussion paper.

February 10, 2014

BWSR seeks interest in One Watershed, One Plan Pilot Watersheds

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is seeking nominations for the purpose of selecting One Watershed, One Plan Program pilot watershed areas in 2014. Complete Request for Information can be found by clicking here.

February 3, 2014

Notice of Request for Proposals for Update of the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) requests proposals from qualified vendors to update and web-publish the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM) and the associated Understanding Minnesota Public Drainage Law – 2002 Overview for Decision-makers (UMPDL) and conduct outreach with the updated documents. To download a copy of the RPF, please click here.

February 3, 2014

2014 Clean Water Fund Performance Report

The 2014 report is now available, please click here. This interagency report tracks progress on Clean Water Fund expenditures through reporting on investments, actions, and outcomes for 25 difference measures.

January 23, 2014

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 2014 PRAP Report please click here.

January 22, 2014

Board of Water and Soil Resources awards $14 million in Clean Water Fund grants

St. Paul, Minn.— Water. It’s so essential to Minnesota’s identity that our state’s very name comes from a Dakota word for the same and caring for it has become a statewide priority. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) awarded more than $14 million in grants today to its local government partners that will help protect and restore Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.

Read the news release or visit the Clean Water Fund page for more project-specific information.

January 6, 2014

1W1P Request for Comments Open

BWSR requests comments on the One Watershed, One Plan Draft Suggested Boundary Map, which outlines future planning areas for initiating and developing plans through the One Watershed, One Plan program. Comment period is open until February 28, 2014. For more details: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/planning/1W1P/index.html


2013

December 20, 2013

Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program

BWSR held the first "Request for Interest" process for the Clean Water Funded Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program and the numbers are in. Response was overwhelming with over $46 million in requests. Read more about the response the next steps for the program.

December 17, 2013

December offers us a time to reflect on the past year's activities and accomplishments - including the annual outstanding conservation awards. BWSR is pleased to announce the 2013 winners!

2013 Outstanding SWCD Employee of the Year:
Jerad Bach, Blue Earth SWCD

2013 Outstanding Watershed District Employee of the Year:
Cliff Aichinger, Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District

2013 Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) County Conservation Award:
Washington County's "LAND AND WATER LEGACY PROGRAM"

November 8, 2013

Telling the Story: Crow Wing County Lakes Celebrating Five-Year Anniversary of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Passage

Crow Wing County is home to 416 lakes and Melissa Barrick believes all of them need to be protected, some sooner rather than later.  Find out how Clean Water Funds helped.  Read here.

November 7, 2013

Telling the Story:  Brown’s Creek Celebrating Five-Year Anniversary of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Passage

Golfers who played Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater this summer may have noticed the course looked different than in 2012.  Find out why and how Clean Water Funds played a role.  Read here.

November 6, 2013

Telling the Story:  LeSueur Celebrating Five-Year Anniversary of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Passage

To some people, living on a high bluff overlooking the LeSueur River may seem like a dream come true, but residents in Blue Earth County might tell you otherwise. In 2003, the landowners of “Bluff 3” on the LeSueur River called their local soil and water conservation district (SWCD) to report a problem.  Read about how the program addressed this issue.

November 1, 2013

Five year anniversary of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passage marks investments, environmental improvements in Minnesota

Communities across Minnesota are marking the 5 year anniversary of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, approved by Minnesota voters in 2008, by taking note of improvements to the state’s water and soil resources that have been achieved through state investments and local actions.  Read the news release.

October 31, 2013

Conservation Priorities for the Farm Bill

Minnesota has a major stake in the federal Farm Bill. Farm Bill conservation programs are the biggest single source of funding for conservation on privately owned lands, and Minnesota is among the top recipients. State and local conservation delivery partners leverage this funding in conjunction with Minnesota’s Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment objectives and funding.  Read more about the state agencies’ priority recommendations.

October 17, 2013

Clean Water Fund RFP application numbers

From Sept. 3 to Oct. 4, 2013, BWSR held the first of two Clean Water Fund competitive grant application processes. Local governments were encouraged to apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities, connecting their proposals to priorities from local water management plans. The response was overwhelming 244 applications were received, totaling more than $51 million. Read more here.

June 11, 2013

Four pilot watersheds announced in Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program

This legislative update includes information on the primary bills important to BWSR - the Environment Budget/Policy bill, the Legacy bill, and the Tax bill. Read the update here.

June 10, 2013

New eLINK now available

The new eLINK is now complete and available for your use. Log in on the eLINK page. Training sessions are being offered around the state.

May 20, 2013

Final legislative update

This legislative update includes information on the primary bills important to BWSR - the Environment Budget/Policy bill, the Legacy bill, and the Tax bill. Read the update here.


May 15, 2013

New Board Members appointed

Governor Mark Dayton announced the following appointments to the Board of Water and Soil Resources: Christy Fogarty (Farmington), Tom Loveall (Winnebago), Judy Ohly (Rochester) and Thomas Schulz (Sebeka). Click here to see the official announcement and click here to learn more about the Board.

May 1, 2013

New septic estimator now available

The University of Minnesota, through a grant from BWSR and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust fund, developed a new spreadsheet-based model that calculates annual pollutant loads from problematic septic systems and accounts for the benefits of a range of septic system improvements, educational efforts and programs to identify the problematic systems. Local conservation partners can utilize this tool to report estimated improvements in pollution removals including Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), fecal coliform bacteria, phosphorus and nitrogen. Check out the new tool: Septic System Improvement Estimator and the Septic System Improvement Estimator Users Guide.

April 8, 2013

Jaschke to speak at Environmental Initiative Policy Forum

BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke will be speaking at Environmental Initiative’s Commissioners Forum on Friday, April 12. Jaschke joins the leadership of seven other state key environmental agencies, who will present their priorities for the next year and engage in a thoughtful discussion with a diverse audience from public, private, and nonprofit sectors. More information about the event can be found at Environmental Initiative.

March 15, 2013

Hydrologic Monitoring of Wetlands (Supplemental guidance from BWSR)

This is a new guidance document on wetland hydrologic monitoring. Its purpose is to give some practical guidance based on our years of collective experience at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). This guidance is meant to supplement existing publications of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The document can be found here.

March 1, 2013

BWSR Publishes 2013 Clean Water Fund Legislative Report

The 2013 Clean Water Fund annual report is now available, highlighting grants that were approved by the BWSR Board in December 2012, and projecting anticipated project outcomes. Check out the report here.

February 25, 2013

Request for Comments on Possible Amendment to Rules Governing Metropolitan Area Local Water Management, Minnesota Rules Chapter 8410

BWSR requests comments on the possible amendment to Minnesota Rules Chapter 8410 that govern local water management in the seven county metropolitan area. A rule advisory committee has developed draft rule amendments. Find the Request for Comments, draft rule amendments and more information on the right sidebar under "Metro Watershed Management Rule Revision" here.

February 13, 2013

OLA report on conservation easements released

On Feb. 12, 2013, the Office of the Legislative Auditor released its evaluation report on conservation easements. As the agency responsible for 83 percent of the state-conservation easements, BWSR values the thorough assessment accomplished in the report, and looks forward to working with legislative action to implement key recommendations. Read the report here.

January 2013

BWSR publishes 2013 Wetland Banker newsletter

Catch up on all of the latest in wetland banking news, including the 2013 road bank project solicitation and sign-up, a spotlight on bank owner Tom Mariska, and information on the agricultural bank. Read the newsletter here.

January 17, 2013

BWSR and DNR release Legacy Fund Restoration Evaluation Report

As required by M.L 2011, First Special Session, Ch 6, BWSR and DNR have jointly completed a report evaluating restoration projects funded through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Four Clean Water projects funded through BWSR were evaluated: Native Grass Cost Share and Incentives for Runoff Reduction (Scott WMO), Hopkins Streambank Stabilization and Habitat Restoration Project (Nine Mile Creek), Knife Lake Sediment Reduction BMP Implementation (St. Louis SWCD) and Watershed Best Management Practices (Pomme de Terre Joint Powers). Click here to read the report.

2012

December 18, 2012

BWSR releases report evaluating Wetland Conservation Policy

St. Paul, Minn. - In response to Governor Mark Dayton’s Executive Order 12-04 (Order), the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has released a report evaluating wetland regulation and conservation policy in Minnesota. The report identifies both issues and potential solutions for wetland policy.

Visit the Executive Order page to read the final report and view documents from throughout the process.

December 13, 2012

Board awards $18 Million in Clean Water Fund grants

St. Paul, Minn. - Cleaning up the Pomme de Terre River, treating urban stormwater in over 20 locations and protecting the City of Faribault’s drinking water supply are just a few of the projects that were selected to receive Clean Water Funding.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) awarded more than $18 million in grants to local governments on December 12th, for projects that will protect and restore Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater.

Read the press release or visit the Clean Water Fund page for more details.

December 7, 2012

Governor Dayton Recognizes 50 State Employees for Reforming State Government

Governor Mark Dayton recognized 50 state employees from 10 agencies for outstanding achievements in reforming government, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Marcey Westrick, BWSR Clean Water Specialist, was among those honored. Read more at the Governor's newsroom.

November 28, 2012

Minnesota Celebrates its new State Soil

Govenor Mark Dayton discusses the new state soil in his following blog post.

November 15, 2012

Draft Executive Order 12-04 Report

Comments are being solicited by stakeholders and our agency partners which will be accepted through 12 noon on Monday, November 26. This deadline is necessary as the BWSR Wetland Committee is meeting on Wednesday, November 28 and some time is required to prepare the comments for this meeting. At this meeting the Wetland Committee will be reviewing the draft report, considering the comments that are received, and making a recommendation to the Board. The Board will receive this recommendation on December 12, 2012.

Download this draft report and view other documents related to Executive Order 12-04.

November 9, 2012

Environmental Congress Citizen Forums to convene in November and December 2012

In response to Governor Dayton's Executive Order 11-32, the Environmental Quality Board will be convening a series of Citizen Forums as part of the Minnesota Environmental Congress. Together, we will engage in a dialogue with Minnesotans about the current state of Minnesota's environment and the quality of life in Minnesota. The Citizen Forums are free and open to everyone, for more information on the congress, including dates and locations, click here.

October 26, 2012

BWSR 2010-2011 Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature

On October 15, 2012, BWSR submitted the Biennial Report to the Minnesota Legislature. You may read the report or view past reports by visiting our publications page.

October 16, 2012

State Cost Share and Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve Proposed Rulemaking Update

After several months of working with SWCD's and the MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts the rules that govern the Erosion Control and Water Management Program (commonly referred to as Cost-Share) and Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Programs (Rule Chapter 8400) is ready to proceed. The BWSR Grants Program and Policy Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, October 23 in St. Paul to consider and develop a recommendation for the proposed rule, and draft Erosion Control and Water Management Program Policy. The BWSR Board is currently scheduled to consider the Committee recommendation at its regular meeting on Wednesday, October 24. For more information, visit the Cost Share webpage.

October 12, 2012

New Prairie Plan takes aim at rebuilding grasslands, wetlands

St. Paul, Minn. - When Minnesota pheasant hunters go afield starting Saturday, they will head to prairie country, where tall native grasses provide food and shelter for this fast-flying and fine-tasting bird.

Unfortunately, Minnesota's prairie country isn't what it once was. Long ago, Minnesota had about 18 million acres of native prairie. Today, that number is closer to 235,000 acres. Much wild was lost as society found ways to tame the land in the name of a noble pursuit – growing food for America and the global community beyond our borders.
Read the news release.

October 11, 2012

BWSR accepting comments on Wetland Conservation Act until October 19, 2012

As part of Governor Mark Dayton's Executive Order 12-04 (Order), the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will accept comments regarding how to maintain no net loss of wetlands as a state goal under the Wetland Conservation Act and to further advance the long-term protection and enhancement of Minnesota's wetland resources. Please submit written comments to Dave Weirens by October 19, 2012.

For more information, visit the Executive Order webpage

September 27, 2012

FY 2013 Clean Water Fund Application Response

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) held a competitive grant application process from Aug. 1-Sept. 14, 2012. Local governments were encouraged to apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities. These funds are available as a result of the constitutional amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008, with the purpose of protecting, enhancing, and restoring water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams, and protecting ground water and drinking water sources from degradation. Click here to see the application response.

September 5, 2012

Comments sought on proposed budget for the Clean Water Fund

The Clean Water Council is seeking public comments on its proposed budget for the 2014-2015 biennium. The Council will make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December as part of its biennial legislative report. To find the Council's budget priorities and background information, visit the Council's website. To provide comments to the Council on its proposed budget, follow the link and respond by September 28, 2012: Provide comments on the Clean Water Fund proposed budget. For more information or questions, contact Jeff Risberg at 651-757-2670.

August 17, 2012

BWSR Board heads to southwestern Minnesota for annual tour

Marshall, Minn.- Flood control, road retention projects and wetland restoration sites are just a few of the stops along the way for a public tour in southwestern Minnesota next week.

Members of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Board will embark on its annual tour next week in Lyon and Lincoln counties, which will highlight the installation of conservation practices through dynamic partnerships between private landowners and federal, state and local governments. Read More

August 6, 2012

By the Numbers: How Clean Water Fund Dollars are Making a Difference, by Paul Austin (Executive Director, Conservation Minnesota)

Since 2008, nearly $45 million has been invested in "on-the-ground" projects through the Minnesota Board of Water Soil Resources (BWSR), where citizens and local governments are working together to install conservation practices that will improve the quality in our lakes, rivers and wetlands. These dollars are creating a huge impact in our local communities, touching virtually every part of Minnesota. Click here to read the rest of Paul Austin's blog about BWSR's Clean Water Fund programs.

August 1, 2012

Legacy dollars putting conservation on the ground

Have you been out fishing or hiking this summer and noticed that shorelines around your favorite lake have more plants? Or, as you are biking or driving around town, have you seen new rain gardens being installed? Environmental improvement projects are underway all across Minnesota, thanks to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. View the regional news releases.

August 1, 2012

BWSR authorizes emergency haying and grazing of RIM acres for Minnesota counties

St. Paul, Minn. - The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today it will authorize emergency haying and grazing of Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) acres for seventy counties affected by drought conditions.

August 1, 2012

Cost-Share and Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve Rule Meeting

A meeting has been scheduled on August 27, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Stearns SWCD in St. Cloud to review the proposed Cost-Share and Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve Rules. BWSR staff will hear concerns with any of the rule changes and policy proposals, and work with local units of government to identify potential solutions to these concerns. To assist in meeting planning, please RSVP to Dave Weirens by Wednesday, August 15 if you will be attending this meeting. An agenda and additional materials will be sent out in advance to those attending the meeting.

July 31, 2012

BWSR FY13 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grants

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is pleased to announce that beginning August 1, 2012 local governments can apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities. These funds are available as a result of the constitutional amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008. For additional information and to apply for these grants, please visit the Apply for BWSR Grants page.

July 31, 2012

BWSR Guidance Concerning NRCS Developed Drainage Setback Tables

Guidance concerning the effect of a drain on wetland hydrology has been developed as a companion to the NRCS issued drainage setback tables and to complement Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Delineation Manuals in effect in Minnesota. Elements of the guidance include purpose and applicability, background, technical discussion, drainage setback tables and instructions for their use, references and duration of the guidance. Appendices concerning user-entered soils data and organic soils are also provided.

July 30, 2012

Minnesota conservation agencies and groups team up to protect and enhance state's prairies

A coalition of conservation groups and agencies, including the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), took a significant step forward in the protection, restoration and enhancement of the state's prairies, restored grasslands and prairie pothole wetlands. Click here to read the news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or here to read the full Memorandum of Understanding document.

May 21, 2012

BWSR Update

Read the latest BWSR Legislative Update for a summary of the BWSR budget, including appropriations from the Clean Water Fund, Outdoor Heritage Fund, and bonding. The update also contains summaries of policy legislation, including changes in requirements for the BWSR Board, a watershed approach to local water management, and the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). There is also an overview of Executive Order 12-04 and other statute and policy changes of interest.

May 10, 2012

Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules without a Public Hearing

The Conservation Cost-Share and RIM Reserve Rule Amendments (MN Rules Chapter 8400) are moving forward and the Notice of Intent to Adopt Without a Public Hearing was published in the State Register on Monday, May 7, 2012. The comment period will be open for 30 days, until Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

The proposed rule, draft statement of need and reasonableness (SONAR), and draft Conservation Cost Share Policy are posted on the Cost Share web site.

Comments made during the 30 day comment period can result in changes to the rule and SWCDs and other interested persons are encouraged to provide comments. In addition, a public hearing will be held if 25 or more persons request one before the end of the comment period.

If the Rule amendments are adopted as proposed, the intention is for the Board to adopt the final rule on June 27, 2012. Following the completion of additional rulemaking steps, the rule would be effective in August 2012. Finally, if this schedule is met, the FY2013 Conservation Cost-Share Grants will comply with the revised rule and new Board adopted policy.

March 14, 2012

BWSR Clean Water Fund Legislative Report

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources has prepared a report that outlines the comprehensive strategy used to implement the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation from the Clean Water Fund. This report meets the requirements of the Laws of Minnesota 2011, 1st Special Session, Chapter 6, Article 2, Section 7.

January 17, 2012

Governor Dayton, USDA Secretary Vilsack and EPA Administrator Jackson team up on groundbreaking water quality certification program 




2011

December 14, 2011

BWSR Board Approves Grants for Fiscal Year 2012

Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced over $16 million dollars in grants to 130 local governments for projects across Minnesota to achieve cleaner water. The Clean Water Legacy funds are targeting polluted and at-risk waters throughout the state. Read the Press Release and then visit our Clean Water Fund page to see recipients and learn more about the funds.

July 21, 2011

BWSR Update

Read the latest BWSR Update for a summary of the BWSR budget, including appropriations from the General Fund, Clean Water Fund, Outdoor Heritage Fund, Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and bonding. The update also contains summaries of policy changes for aquatic invasive species control, Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) administration, and other policy changes that relate to BWSR and partner organizations.

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

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