Skip to content

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Cascading Success

South Branch Cascade Creek, once an erosion problem that sliced through a former golf course in Rochester, Minnesota, is being restored in a multi-year project that incorporates natural channel design and a planned floodplain. Read the Story here.

Improving water quality for multiple benefits

Is it possible to make a pretty nice downtown area even nicer, all while making the water cleaner? That’s just what a new study by The Riley – Purgatory – Bluff Creek Watershed District sets out to do. Read the story here.

Improved lakes, improved communities

The priority was simple: Keep the Chisago Chain of Lakes swimmable and fishable. Several of those lakes are impaired because of excess nutrients such as phosphorus. Many others within the Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes Watershed show increasing phosphorus levels, which could lead to impairment. Read the story here.

Featured Plant: Virginia Waterleaf

With an ability to spread after disturbance, Virginia Waterleaf helps stabilize soils and rebuild forest plant communities after the removal of buckthorn and other invasive plants. The species has attractive foliage and flowers that bloom early in the season when there can be a lack of floral resources for pollinators. The waterleaf cuckoo bee and Andrena bees are two species that rely on the flowers of Virginia Waterleaf. Read more here.

Hold your mouse over a story to pause.

Read past stories


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 28, 2017

St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is requesting public review and comment on a proposed policy and a draft Plan to support the implementation of Minnesota Statues 103F.48, relating to water resources riparian protection requirements on public waters and public drainage systems. There are: Policy 9: BWSR's Review of County and Watershed District Buffer Rules, Ordianances and Official Controls, Adminsitrative Penalty Order (APO) Plan for Buffer Law Implementation.
A notice of request for comments will be published in the State Register on Monday, April 3, 2017 and comments will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. on May 3, 2017. Click here for more information.

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 27, 2017

Public Meeting Notice - Minnesota Wetland Bank Program 2017

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District (Corps) are jointly conducting three outreach sessions to share information about the state and federal banking programs.Click here to read the Public Meeting Notice.

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.

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 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