Planning Assistance to States: Yellow Medicine River and Minnesota River Watersheds, Minnesota

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published March 16, 2017
Updated: March 29, 2022

The Yellow Medicine River and Minnesota River wetland project addresses three high priority concerns: (1) mitigate altered hydrology and minimize flooding; (2) minimize transport of excess nutrients, sediment and bacteria; and (3) preserve groundwater quantity and quality.


The Yellow Medicine River is a major tributary to the Minnesota River located in southwestern Minnesota. The study area for this project includes approximately 685 square miles of mostly agricultural lands across five counties.


The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources selected the Yellow Medicine River Watershed as one of five pilot area for the One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) program. This program allows counties to transition from county boundaries to watershed geographic boundaries for planning.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provide planning assistance. The Corps will assess and identify wetland restoration projects that have been recognized in the Yellow Medicine 1W1P to mitigate altered hydrology and minimize flooding. The Corps will use a geographic information system to analyze wetland restoration opportunities and prioritize using stakeholder input into the process.


A partnership agreement was executed in March 2017. In summer 2017, the sponsor requested to modify the agreement to expand the geographic scope of the study to include the entire Minnesota River Watershed and increase study costs. The sponsor is proposing to cost share the study through a combination of cash and work-in-kind services. The amendment to the agreement was executed in January 2018.

Study efforts for the Yellow Medicine River Watershed are underway. A kick-off meeting with Yellow Medicine River Watershed stakeholders was held in January 2018. The Corps has completed a number of the initial study tasks. Work for the Minnesota River watershed began in fall 2018. The overall study is expected to complete in at the end of fiscal year 2022.


Congress authorized Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93‒251), which authorized the Corps’ Planning Assistance to States (PAS) program.


The study follows the 50/50 cost share formula with the non-federal sponsor.

Total Study Cost                                                 $120,000

Total Federal Funds Allocated to Date              $60,000