four photos of natural areas

BWSR’s mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. Core functions include implementing the state's soil and water conservation policy, comprehensive local water management, and the Wetland Conservation Act as it relates to the 41.7 million acres of private land in Minnesota. 

BWSR's mission is implemented through the following core functions

  • To function as the state soil conservation agency. (M.S. 103B.101)
  • To direct private land soil and water conservation programs through the action of SWCDs, counties, cities, townships, watershed districts, and water management organizations. (M.S. 103C, 103D, 103F)
  • To link water resource planning with comprehensive land use planning. (M.S. 103B)
  • To provide resolution of water policy conflicts and issues. (M.S. 103A.211, 103A.305, 103A.315, 103A.311)
  • To implement the comprehensive local water management acts. (M.S. 103B.201, 103B.255, 103B.301)
  • To provide the forum (through the board) for local issues, priorities, and opportunities to be incorporated into state public policy. (M.S. 103B.101)
  • To administer for the Wetland Conservation Act. (M.S. 103G)
  • To coordinate state and federal resources to realize local priorities.

BWSR Legislative Summary 2023

Before adjourning on May 22, 2023, the legislature passed bills containing a number of BWSR-related budget and policy provisions.

This 2023 Legislative Summary (pdf) provides a comprehensive overview of 2023 legislation impacting BWSR’s work – including the work of our external partners statewide.

Soil and Water Conservation District Aid

The Board of Water and Soil Resources certified Soil and Water Conservation District Aid amounts to the Commissioner of Revenue on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

This recently-enacted aid begins with payments this year. The payable-year 2023 $15 million in aid has been calculated and apportioned to each jurisdiction based on three factors that are outlined in statute:

  1. 80% of the appropriation is split evenly between all soil and water conservation districts
  2. 10% is apportioned based on a soil and water conservation district’s share of nonpublic lands
  3. 10% is based on each soil and water conservation district’s share of adjusted state population

This spreadsheet shows the amount calculated for each district.


Information developed for the 2023 legislative session

2024-2025 Governor's CWF Budget

FY24-25 Governor's CWF budget fact sheet (pdf)

Clean Water Council Funding recommendations

FY24-25 Clean Water fund and Policy Recommendations Report (pdf)

2023 Capital Investment Priorities

Local Government Roads Wetland Replacement Program (pdf)

Minnesota CREP Capital Investment (pdf)

2023 Legislative Priorities

BWSR Update Provisions (pdf)

BWSR Provisions Summary (pdf)

Climate Initiatives

Soil Health Practices

Establishes a voluntary and locally‐driven Soil Health Practices Program to set practices on sensitive lands to slow water and nutrient movement. Mitigates climate change impacts through carbon sequestration. ($27.16M)

Building Healthy Soil fact sheet (pdf)

Accelerated Water Storage

Acquire, design, and construct projects to control water volume and rate to adapt to changing climate and weather patterns. ($17M)

Water Storage and Treatment fact sheet (pdf)

Habitat Enhancement Landscape Programs

Encourage individual actions that increase carbon storage and establish landscapes to conserve and enhance biodiversity. ($9M)

Habitat Friendly Utilities Program fact sheet (pdf)

HELP Pilot Program fact Sheet (pdf)

Lawns to Legumes Program fact Sheet (pdf)

Private Grasslands and Working Lands Easements

Restore privately‐owned grasslands and working lands to sequester and store carbon in grasslands, wetlands, and other landscapes with
high conservation value. ($22M)

Grasslands, Working Lands fact sheet (pdf)

Peatland Restoration Easements

Protect existing peatlands and other wetlands, and restore drained, farmed, or pastured peatlands and wetlands to increase carbon
storage. ($15M)

Private Lands Peatland Restoration fact sheet (pdf)

RIM Easement Enhancements for Climate Mitigation and Resiliency

Inspect aging easement infrastructure and make repairs and improvements to practices on existing conservation easements so they will be
more resilient to climate change. ($7.1M)

RIM Easement Program Enhancements fact sheet (pdf)

Strengthening Partnerships

Permanent Funding for Agency Tribal Liaison

This action aligns with recent laws enacted that codify government‐to‐government relations and consultation between Minnesota state agencies and Tribal Nations. ($265K)

Clarify Ability to Work With Tribal Governments

Clarification will extend more opportunities for collaboration to partners outside of BWSR’s traditional clientele of local governments.

Natural Resource Block Grant Funding Restoration

These grants are available to Minnesota Counties to implement programs designed to protect and improve water resources via conservation practices such as shoreland restoration and wetland mitigation and enhancement. ($2.5M)

Support Soil and Water Conservation District Aid

Support Department of Revenue’s Proposal to provide direct and specific funding to the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts.




Andrea Fish
Assistant Director for Strategy & Operations
John Jaschke
Executive Director
Michael Nelson
Legislative Coordinator