December 16, 2015

Contact: Celi Haga

651-315-5082 (Cell)


St. Paul, Minn.— 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.


BWSR’s Executive Director, John Jaschke, said these projects are helping the state make progress toward its water quality goals.  “Using sound science and the expertise of local government conservation staff, these projects are prioritized and targeted to make the most effective use of Clean Water Fund dollars. This work, and the state, local and private landowner partnerships that supports it, will continue to move Minnesota forward.”


The Clean Water Legacy funds are used to both protect at-risk waters and target polluted waters throughout the state. Gully stabilizations, basins that slow down water, stormwater control, and raingardens are just some of the practices used in this year’s projects. This round includes six Multipurpose Drainage Management grants, new to the program this year, which focus on water quality improvements in public drainage systems.


BWSR funded 64 applications totaling $11.7 million dollars this round, but interest in this program continues to outpace available funding. 133 applications were received, totaling $31.4 million in requests.


Northern Minnesota projects include work to reduce runoff and pollutants from entering the Otter Tail River; sediment reduction to the Red Lake and Roseau Rivers, and installation of other conservation practices throughout the region’s lakes, rivers, and streams to improve water quality.


Some specific project examples are:

Pope County: Pope Soil and Water Conservation District, $287,500
This project will fund water and sediment control projects and shoreline and riparian restoration, reducing phosphorus to Lake Emily by 33%.


Red Lake County: Red Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, $194,000
This project will install agricultural best management practices in targeted areas entering the Red Lake River. The district estimates these practices will reduce keep 690 tons of sediment and 580 pounds of phosphorus from the Red Lake River annually.


Wilkin County: Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District, $135,000
This project will reduce phosphorus in Silver Lake through a variety of best management practices, structural water quality improvements, and retrofits. The District estimates these practices will keep 15 pounds of phosphorus from entering the lake, which is 40% of the current load.


See how the Legacy funds are affecting the land and waters important to you. For detailed project information and maps visit


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's mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners