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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Teaching Water Quality to the Next Generation

Learning about Minnesota’s waters and ways to protect these valuable resources is important at any age. Second grade teacher Adam Larson from Lonsdale Elementary School had a vision for a project to promote hands-on education for his students while also doing something good for the environment. A Clean Water Fund grant, funded through the Board of Water and Soil Resources Community Partners Conservation Program, helped make Larson’s vision a reality. Read the story here.

Wilkin County on track to make county drainage systems water quality-friendly

Drainage ditches are important in Wilkin County, but the reasons why vary depending on who you ask. The County Board relies on the drainage ditches to help reduce flood damage. The Wilkin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) wants ditches that help improve water quality. The Wilkin County engineering staff is concerned with the functionality of the drainage system as a whole. Three different goals. One major project. Read the story here.

Easement Year in Review

In 1986, Minnesota moved to protect soil and water quality and support fish and wildlife habitat through the Reinvest in Minnesota Resources Act. 28 years later, our Easement program is still hard at work putting land into permanent protection. In 2014, that meant closing 214 easements and protecting 10,486 acres of land throughout the state. Read the story here. Read the story here.

Making the Wetland Conservation Act Work

Since 1991, the City of Plymouth has had the responsibility of administering the state’s Wetland Conservation Act (WCA), using that role to work with its citizens and developers to shape growth. The Wetland Conservation Act was passed by legislation in 1991 to protect Minnesota’s wetlands from impacts that affect the number of wetlands, their quality and biological diversity, while allowing for replacement when there aren’t other options. Read the story here.

BWSR Academy: Applied Learning for Better Conservation

The 2014 BWSR Academy wrapped up on October 30, sending hundreds of conservation professionals from Minnesota back to their jobs with new ideas, skills and hopefully a refreshed determination to improve the water and soil resources of our state. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Purple Prairie Clover

With its fine textured, delicate appearance, one wouldn’t expect purple prairie clover to be such an ecological powerhouse, adding nitrogen to nutrient poor soils, stabilizing degraded, erodible lands with a deep taproot, and providing a rich source of nectar and pollen to honey bees and a variety of native pollinators. Due to its ecological and aesthetic properties purple prairie clover is widely used on the upper edge of raingarden, biofiltration, and lakeshore plantings, in pollinator gardens, and in mine reclamation projects. Learn more here.

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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.

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.

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.

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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 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