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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Five years post 2012 Duluth Flood: Chester Creek restoration

Chester Creek has a 7.1 mile watershed and is home to some of the oldest volcanic rock on earth. Because of the watersheds unique topography, lush forests and cold water it has a rich history of providing recreational opportunities for the community. Read the Story here.

In Polk County, $7.6 million Sand Hill River project curbs soil erosion, helps fish habitat.

A Sand Hill River stabilization project along a 5-mile stretch between Fertile and Beltrami in western Polk County is on pace to cut in half the amount of sediment entering the channel, help farmers by curbing soil erosion and the cost of flood-damage, and improve habitat for fish – including sturgeon that spawn upstream. Read the story here.

Wright SWCD ditch work tackles water-quality, ag concerns

The North Fork Crow River feeds into the Mississippi River, which supplies drinking water to about 1 million Twin Citians. Those resources are impaired due to sediment and excess nutrients. A significant source of the impairments: sedimentation and erosion throughout the ditch system. Read the story here.

Storm clouds with silver linings: DRAP funds fix Rock County damage, reveal other needs

When the waters receded from Rock County farmlands in June 2014, they left in their wake nearly 600 flood-damaged or heavily eroded conservation practices. Three years later, Rock County Soil & Water Conservation District staff reflected on some of the unforeseen challenges and resulting improvements. Read more here.

Session in Review: News from the Capitol

The 2017 Minnesota legislative session – which included both a regular session and special session immediately following – came to a close in the wee hours of Friday, May 26, sending the state’s 2018-19 budget bills and other legislation to Governor Dayton. On May 30 the Governor signed bills which included funding appropriations and policy that directs the work of the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and local government partners. While a few legislative issues still need resolution, the funding and policy related to our work is now completed and signed into law. Read more here.

Featured Plant: Common Blue Violet

Widespread and flexible in its habitat needs, Common Blue Violet is an early nectar supply for pollinators and it leaves are relied on as a food source for Fritillary butterfly caterpillars. Common Blue Violet is native across Minnesota and spreads easily when given space, making it an attractive and low-maintenance ground cover for a variety of shady habitats. Flowers bloom early and often, and are even edible. Read more here.

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July 11, 2017

Local Governments Join Forces to Plan for Water Management

St. Paul, Minn. – Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more holistic, coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved six new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program. The June 28 board action allocates up to $1,500,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund six planning projects to address water quality and other water issues on a watershed basis. Read the press release here. One Watershed, One Plan map of participating watersheds.

July 10, 2017

Landowners have new options and a new website to help with Buffer law

St. Paul, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources announced two additional resources for landowners working to come into compliance with the state’s buffer law. The law, which was passed with bipartisan support in 2015 and signed into law by Governor Dayton, requires the implementation of a buffer strip on public waters by November 1, 2017 and a buffer on public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018. Read the press release here.

July 5, 2017

FY18 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant RFP Now Available

St. Paul, Minn. – The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is pleased to announce that local governments can apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities. The application period for the FY18 Clean Water Fund (CWF) Competitive Grants is open now through August 9, 2017. These funds are available as a result of the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.

The complete Request for Proposals can be found at A series of instructional videos regarding the FY2018 RFP have also been posted to this website.

May 8, 2017

BWSR Announces Expanded Buffer Law Alternative Practice Options

St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) released an additional common alternative practice today that expands options for water quality solutions that provide comparable benefits to a buffer strip. The updated Common Alternative Practices guidance now includes practices for public ditches located in Glacial Lake Plain areas. Read the press release here.

May 4, 2017

MN CREP sign-up kicks off May 15, 2017

St. Paul, Minn. – Landowners have a new option to protect their environmentally sensitive cropland with the introduction of the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP). The kick-off for the MN CREP continuous sign-up begins May 15, 2017. Read the press release here.

April 10, 2017

BWSR Seeking to Obtain Wetland Credits for the Local Road Wetland Replacement Program

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has available funds to purchase wetland replacement credits from established wetland banks to offset wetland impacts resulting from qualifying public road improvement/rehabilitation projects in Minnesota. The type and amount of wetland bank credits BWSR is seeking to obtain in each bank service area (BSA) is summarized in the RFP.

April 6, 2017

More Buffer Law Options Available for Minnesota Landowners

St. Paul, Minn. – Implementation of Minnesota’s buffer law is underway, and landowners around the state have already made good progress ahead of the first compliance date. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) released another set of tools today to help soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and landowners identify alternative options. The Common Alternative Practices guidance provides water quality solutions for common situations where practices other than buffers may make sense. Read the news release here. The guidance can be downloaded here.

March 16, 2017

Minnesota is Well On its Way to Full Compliance with Statewide, Bipartisan Water Quality Effort

St. Paul, MN – At a press conference this morning, Governor Dayton announced that nearly 74 percent of Minnesota’s counties are already 60–100 percent compliant with the state’s bipartisan water quality buffer initiative according to analysis from the Board of Water and Soil Resources. BWSR’s preliminary analysis comes as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the state’s water quality buffer protection map is now complete. Governor Dayton was joined by BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, and MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Dakota County Farmer Dave Legvold, and Cottonwood SWCD's Beck Alexander. Read the press release.

March 10, 2017

Notification of Wetland Bank Service Areas Opening

Effective March 11, 2017, the Board of Water and Soil Resources will provide wetland replacement statewide for eligible county, city, and township road projects under the Local Roads Wetland Replacement Program. The four wetland bank service areas that were previously closed or proposed to be closed are now open. Read the announcement here.

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.

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