December 16, 2015

Contact: Celi Haga



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 Sherburne County’s Birch Lake and the Mississippi River; well sealing in Crow Wing County, and installation of other conservation practices throughout the region’s lakes, rivers, and streams to improve water quality.


 Some specific project examples are:

·  Benton County, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, $300,000

This project will work with livestock producers to implement best management practices like vegetated filter strips, nutrient management, and feedlot pollution control to reduce runoff and improve water quality within the Mayhew and Big Elk Lake watersheds. The district estimates this will reduce phosphorus by 6,486 pounds a year and soil and sediment by 7,938 tons per year.

·   Crow Wing County: Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District, $310,000

This project will install practices that will keep 40 pounds of phosphorus and 40 tons of sediment per year from entering Big Trout Lake, helping reverse declining water clarity.

· Stearns County: Sauk River Watershed District, $95,500

This project will address bank erosion and plant vegetation along waterways that drain to the Eden Valley Chain of Lakes.  The district estimates that the practices will keep six tons of sediment and 20 pounds of phosphorus out of the chain.


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