Watershed Management Plan

2020 Update

As of September 15, 2020

Capitol Region Watershed District (District) has completed its final draft 2021 – 2030 Watershed Management Plan (Plan). It was available for public review and comment through July 15, 2020. The District has compiled, reviewed and responded to nearly 200 comments on the draft Plan. The District responses to comments are available here. The final draft Plan reflects the response to the comments. A public hearing to present the draft plan and responses to comments was held during the Board of Managers meeting on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 6PM.

The plan will guide District actions in a coordinated, thoughtful, and effective manner over the period from 2021-2030. This Plan was developed over the past year and half in collaboration with District partners and community members who serve key roles in achieving District goals. Community engagement activities and findings are summarized in a two-page summary document.

Highlights of the Plan

This Plan carries forward many of the issues, goals, and themes included in the District’s 2010 Watershed Management Plan as well as offers new themes, programs and activities. It builds on a strong foundation of programs, projects, and partnerships to address the most immediate water resource management needs and increase the effectiveness of its efforts in the face of new and evolving challenges. The draft Plan is available using the links below. Overview summary:

Themes – During Plan development, stakeholders identified several recurring topics that affect a wide range of District operations, programs, and projects. These topics are included in this Plan as themes because it is anticipated that they will be considered and pervade every aspect of District work over the next 10 years.

Land and Water Resource Inventory– The Plan summarizes all land and water resources and their current conditions within the District to inform decisions about infrastructure, development, and resource management.

Priority Issues – Issues presented in the Plan include an evolution of existing issues and new issues and reflect the unique challenges applicable to diverse, highly urban watershed. Issues were identified by stakeholder engagement and staff feedback and prioritized by the Board of Managers.

Goals – The Plan establishes multiple measurable goals to address the issues. Many of the District’s goals address multiple issues, reinforcing the interconnection of water, natural resource, and land use management.

Implementation Plan – The District implementation plan includes the continuation of ongoing programs and activities as well as new activities to address emerging issues, new opportunities and changing priorities.

Cost – Estimated costs, year(s) of implementation, partners, priority level, and measurable outputs of each activity are presented in a table.

View the Draft Plan
View the Plan appendices including Land and Water Resources Inventory

View the Draft Plan Virtual Community Meeting

The Virtual Community Meeting on June 24, 2020 was recorded and is available below or on Vimeo. Administrator Mark Doneux introduces the meeting with a brief background of District and the importance of the Plan. The presentation by Anna Eleria, Planning, Projects and Grants Division Manager and WMP project lead, includes an overview of the draft Plan and the planning process, followed by public questions and comments.

Throughout the Plan update process, the District will be seeking input from stakeholders like you.

Engagement Summary

As part of the development of the Plan, the District engaged Plan stakeholders including residents, neighborhood organizations & community groups, state agencies, property & business owners, citizen advisory committee (CAC), a technical advisory committee (TAC) representing municipalities, State and regional agencies and major institutions, and adjacent watershed organizations.

From April through June 2019 community input with Plan stakeholders included participation at community events in the District, discussions with District Planning Councils, watershed community conversations, meetings with community leaders, and online surveys.

Key Outcomes of Engagement

Community members shared their thoughts on valuable community resources, citing recreations benefits and the importance of access to water and natural resources on their lives, and opportunities for resource improvement.

  • Strong emphasis on vegetation, green space, and a associated benefits for recreations and quality of life
  • Concerns about the impact of climate change on water resources and vegetation
  • Interest in community participation through rain gardens and other practices
  • Increase public awareness of local water resources and CRWD’s work to improve resource health
View Outreach Summary

Formal Plan Review

The Watershed Management Plan process is outlined in Minnesota Statutes 103B and Minnesota Rules 8410.

After the draft Plan is written, CRWD’s Board of Managers must submit the Plan for formal review as described in Minnesota Statutes 103B. The entire formal review process may take up to 9 months and includes several sequential steps. Below is an anticipated schedule, which is subject to change.

  • Submit Draft Plan for 60-day review (May 2020-July 2020)
  • Receive and compile comments (July 2020)
  • Distribute written responses to comments  (August 2020)
  • Hold a public hearing on the Plan (August 2020)
  • Resubmit Plan to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) for final approval (September 2020-October 2020)
  • Adopt the Plan (November 2020)