Skip to content

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Tools for Success: BuffCAT

Minnesota’s Buffer Initiative was signed into law in June, 2015. In order to make sure the Buffer Initiative is implemented on a statewide level, Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are responsible for tracking progress towards compliance with the Buffer Law. To support those efforts, BWSR has developed a tool that helps both the districts and the agency more efficiently track progress. Read the story here.

Central High School Beautifies Campus While Protecting the Mississippi River

The vision to improve Central High School’s campus began to take shape in the fall of 2011 through a dedicated group of parents, students, and community members, known as the Transforming Central committee. In partnership with the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), the Transforming Central committee and Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) developed a conceptual design to collect and filter rainwater onsite while also improving aesthetics. Learn more about the project here.

Everyone Wins In Lincoln County

Working with landowners to implement smart drainage technology to improve water quantity and quality is a top priority in Lincoln County. Accomplishing these objectives while also improving agricultural production is the goal, and Lincoln County and the Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) are making steady progress toward its achievement. Read the story here.

Featured Plant: Red Maple

Valued for its brilliant fall color, red maple also provides a wide range wildlife benefits. It is an important early source of pollen and nectar for native bees and honeybees, it provides seeds for small mammals and is a home for cavity nesters including squirrels, woodpeckers, wood ducks, chickadees and nuthatches. Red maple is common along forested lakes, rivers and streams where its combination of a tap root and fibrous roots stabilize shorelines. Learn more here.

Hold your mouse over a story to pause.

Read past stories


November 3, 2016

The Updated Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Goes Live

Legacy Amendment logoST. PAUL, MN – 25 years after its original publication, the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM) has been updated and published in a wiki format on the Board of Water and Soil Resources website. The Minnesota Public Drainage Manual is a guidance document, not rule or law, and provides assistance to drainage authorities as they administrate Chapter 103E drainage systems. The Manual has multiple audiences: drainage authorities, their engineers, attorneys and inspectors; landowner’s; regulatory agencies; and other interested parties. The updating effort was funded through a Clean Water Fund appropriation. Thanks to the broad stakeholder community who served on the MPDM Project Advisory Committee for their many hours spent in review and comment, and to the project team including Houston Engineering, Inc., Rinke Noonan Attorneys at Law, and BWSR and MNIT project staff. Click here to enter the updated MPDM.

October 6, 2016

Innovative approach to water management takes next step

ST. PAUL, MN – Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more holistic, coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved seven new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program.  The August 26 board action allocates up to $1,700,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund seven planning projects to address water quality on a watershed basis.  Read the press release here.

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 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.

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.

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.

Buffer Program

Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit

Minnesota CREP

On December 15, 2015 Governor Dayton 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.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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 Technical Training page contains information on the Technical Training and Certification Strategy, program information, implementation details and programmatic updates.

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