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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Minnesota, USDA sign new CREP agreement

Almost 180 conservation leaders, media, elected officials and farmers joined Governor Dayton in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, January 17 as he signed a new Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. The agreement, which came after two years of work and deliberations between the USDA and BWSR, will target 60,000 acres in areas of southern and western Minnesota facing significant water quality challenges, to protect and improve our natural resources for future generations. Read the Story here.

It starts with partnership: Conservation in the Le Sueur County Lakes region

In 2002, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed Lake Volney, a regional jewel, as impaired for aquatic recreation because of excess nutrients. Since then, Le Sueur County, Le Sueur County Soil and Water Conservation District, Lake Volney Association, Cordova and Lexington Townships, Minnesota State University, Mankato-Water Resources Center, and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership have worked tirelessly helping the lake and its resources. Read the story here.

Staying on track for success

The first five One Watershed, One Plan plans are a significant leap forward in the evolution of watershed planning and management in Minnesota. As with any pilot process, there are lessons learned and adjustments to be made to smooth the process for the next round of plan development. BWSR took feedback from the five pilot programs and invested in a number of new trainings for BWSR staff and LGU partners to enhance our collective skillsets. Read the story here.

Featured Plant: Red Raspberry

Native and cultivated raspberries are appreciated for their abundant fruit, but they provide many other landscape functions. Their open flowers make them accessible to a wide range of native pollinators and they can colonize and stabilize soils in many disturbed conditions. Wild Red Raspberry has seeds that are widely spread by birds and animals and can last in the soil up to 100 years. Due to the plant’s adaptability it is found in many habitats including roadsides, abandoned pastures, woodland edges and wetlands. Learn more here.

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February 7, 2017

BWSR Seeks Comments on Soil Loss Rulemaking

Following changes to State law in 2015, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is beginning the process to update the rules governing soil erosion. The agency is seeking public comments that will be considered as rule amendments are developed. Read the Request for Comments notice here.

January 19, 2017

Governor Dayton Signs CREP agreement

Governor Dayton signing 2017 CREP Agreement

Almost 180 conservation leaders, media, elected officials and farmers joined Governor Dayton in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, January 17 as he signed a new Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. A great day for conservation, you can read the Governor’s press release here. To learn more about CREP, click here.

January 3, 2017

Notification of Wetland Bank Service Area Closure

Effective February 2, 2017, Bank Service Area 9 – Minnesota River - will be closed and until further notice, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will not provide wetland replacement for Local Road Wetland Replacement Program (LRWRP) eligible road projects due to a lack of available wetland replacement credit. The closure of Wetland Bank Service Area 9 is in addition to the closure of Bank Service Area 4 – Upper Red River – and Bank Service Area 6 – St. Croix River - that went into effect December 2, 2016. Read the full notice here.

Planning Grants Available for One Watershed, One Plan

St. Paul, Minn. – Up to $1.5 million in Clean Water Funds is now available for planning grants under the One Watershed, One Plan program. These grants are for partnerships of eligilble local groups to use a systematic, science-based approach to watershed management to develop plans that provide the greatest environmental benefits to each watershed. The deadline for submittal of grant proposals is April 19, 2017. To view the request for proposals, click here.

December 22, 2016

Minnesota Approves First-Ever Comprehensive Watershed Management Plans for Yellow Medicine and Root Rivers

St. Paul, Minn. – Marking a new era in Minnesota water planning, on December 14 the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved the Root River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan and the Yellow Medicine River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. These are the first two plans completed through BWSR’s One Watershed, One Plan program. Read the press release here.

December 14, 2016

$13.4 million awarded to improve Minnesota's water quality

St. Paul, Minn. – Cleaner, clearer water. Healthier lakes, rivers, and streams. Today, Minnesota took another step forward toward its water quality goals thanks to funding support provided by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved more than $13 million in 2017 Clean Water Fund grants at its December meeting for local government projects benefiting Minnesota’s streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. Read the press release here. For project information and maps, click here.

December 12, 2016

BWSR Seeks Comments on Buffer Law 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 currently seeking public comment on key components of its Buffer program. Read the release here.

December 7, 2016

Recognizing excellence in conservation

BWSR is pleased to announce the 2016 outstanding conservation award winners.

2016 Outstanding Watershed Employee of the Year
Myron Jesme, Red Lake Watershed District

2016 Outstanding District Employee of the Year
Melissa Barrick, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District

2016 AMC/BWSR County Conservation Award
Lake and Cook Counties

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.

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

In January 2017 Governor Mark Dayton signed a $500 million Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. This federal, state, and local partnership will work with farmers and other landowners across 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota who choose to voluntarily implement conservation practices on up to 60,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality and enhance habitat.

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.

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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 Review and Assistance Program (PRAP)

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) -- Through the 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 Maps and Apps Portal contains maps and interactive web map applications 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