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The Land and Water Connection: A Healthy Lake Depends on a Healthy Watershed

March 26, 2019

Woman by shoreline restoration plantAre you planning to work on your lake or streambank property this year? While we are waiting for the snow to melt and the ice to thaw, now is a good time to do your homework on what you need to consider if you are making changes to your waterfront property.  Doing your research before you begin work will save you time and money and help protect the water that you live on or near.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) is known for its quality lakes, streams, and wetlands. The health of these water resources are impacted by the land that drains to them. What you and your neighbors do on your shoreland property and surrounding watershed can have a significant impact on the quality of a lake or stream. It is especially important to protect the shoreland zone – the land within 1,000 feet of a lake and 300 feet of a river or stream plus the nearby shore waters. This shoreland zone is the lake’s first line of defense to filter pollutants and provides critical habitat to fish and wildlife. 

If you have shoreline on your property (lake or stream) and are planning to do work on your property, the MCWD permitting staff are always ready and willing to answer your questions. We have information on rules related to shoreline stabilization, streambank stabilization, and floodplain alteration and other valuable information on our website.

As you begin planning, please check to see if you need a permit from MCWD or your city, review the rules, and communicate with MCWD and your city early in your planning process. Communicating your plans to MCWD and the city early results in a shorter permitting process and protects the lakes and streams you love.

For questions, you can contact MCWD permitting staff at 952-641-4532 or