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University of Minnesota Extension

Protect water quality

Information and assistance available

Many public agencies and organizations work in partnership with shoreland property owners, lake associations, public officials and private enterprises to protect water quality. Resources at the local, state and federal level are listed along with how they can help you protect and best manage your shoreland property.

These organizations offer help in different ways: 

  • Information and education on water quality issues.
  • Technical and planning consultation for your property.
  • Issuing permits, requirements, guidelines for developing your property.
  • Enforcement of regulations affecting the water quality of lakes and rivers.
  • Cost-share assistance and project funding for individual projects.
  • Testing and monitoring of water.

What to expect when contacting an agency

  • Time: Agency office hours are usually between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Fees: Some may require a fee for service; others may be available at no direct cost to the user.
  • Call ahead for an appointment: The person you want to speak with may be out of the office meeting with people or conducting site visits or inspections. It is best to call ahead for an appointment if you want to meet with a specific person. Leave your name, phone number and a specific message.
  • On some issues, you may be given several alternatives to help you make a decision. You may also need to be referred to a more appropriate agency.

Reviewed in 2020

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