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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
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332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

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Minnesota River Basin study finalized

Published March 27, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, announced today that the Minnesota River Basin Interagency Study is complete and available to the public. 

The study area spanned 16,770 square miles and 37 counties.

The intent of the study was to understand water, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus transport across large landscapes in order to evaluate hydrologic, sediment and nutrient runoff response to historic, existing and probable future conditions. Numerous federal, tribal, state, local, nonprofit and academic entities participated in the study.

The investigation evaluated hydrologic and ecological response to land cover change. The results were compared to Minnesota’s Minnesota River Basin water quality standards to understand how the state could achieve their water quality goals. These results proved the challenge of meeting water quality goals in the basin and emphasized that collaboration through watershed planning will be required to make improvements in the basin.

Recommendations for action in the report, titled “Our Minnesota River: Evaluating the Health of the River," are supported by the Minnesota River Basin Interagency Study modeling results. The study found that the most critical needs are for actions to store water on the landscape using best practices, build soil health and stabilize ravine erosion. Basin-wide improvements in soil health and water storage would require ongoing partnerships between landowners, governments and private organizations.

View and download the full report:

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Release no. 20-034