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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

How the watershed program can help you

Watershed education around a conference table.

The watershed education program is a U of M Extension resource to assist communities with watershed education and planning.

Working with local leaders and experts, our program educators can:

  • Provide knowledge and tools to make informed water and land use decisions to protect and restore the integrity of Minnesota's lakes, rivers and wetlands.
  • Help communities develop a coordinated education and outreach plan to reach watershed citizens and stakeholders. 
  • Develop and deliver appropriate customized training. We help community leaders identify their community's specific learning needs, as well as develop and deliver the appropriate customized training.
  • Offer physical and biological science education and assistance with stakeholder involvement, planning and policy development.
  • Promote collaboration with other leaders and agencies with a watershed.

  • Work with municipalities, counties, nonprofit groups and natural resource professionals to assist in adoption of watershed based planning, policy and practices.

State and Federal agencies support a watershed approach for addressing water resource issues within areas bounded by geographic features such as topography rather than political boundaries such as county lines. The program takes the same approach when providing assistance to local community leaders by fostering an understanding of water resource issues on a systems level.

Extension educators are committed to working with community leaders to holistically address the issues specific to their watershed.

Specific topics offered include:

  • Basics of watershed hydrology.
  • Lake and river systems.
  • Urban and rural runoff.
  • Best management practices.
  • Aquatic invasive species.
  • Use of native plants to improve water quality.
  • The role of citizens in watershed planning and best management practices implementation.

Reviewed in 2018

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