Lower St. Croix - Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan

Lower St. Croix Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan - Chisago County Approved!

On November 18, 2020, the Chisago County Board of Commissioners approved the new ten-year Lower St. Croix Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan and Chisago County Local Priorities Appendix!  The new plan will replace the former Chisago County Local Water Management Plan that was set to expire in September of 2023.  The Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District also approved the plan.  

Please click here to view the new Lower St. Croix Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan and Chisago County Appendix.

Please click here to view the interactive map of the Lower St. Croix watershed.

Please click here to view the Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan Factsheet.

Since 2017, 15 local government partners worked together through a “One Watershed, One Plan” process to develop the plan to protect and restore important, or priority natural resources in the Lower St. Croix watershed (PDF) over the next ten years.  

Map of Lower St. Croix Watershed.

  • Anoka Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Brown's Creek Watershed District
  • Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District
  • Chisago County
  • Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District
  • Isanti County
  • Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Middle St. Croix Watershed Management Organization
  • Pine County
  • Pine Soil and Water Conservation District
  • South Washington Watershed District
  • Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization
  • Washington County
  • Washington Soil and Water Conservation District

Participating fifteen local government partners working together in the 1W1P process.

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is like a funnel – collecting all water within the drainage area and channeling it into a stream, river or lake.  Even if your home is not next to a lake, river or wetland, you still live in a watershed and the rain and snowmelt from your property flows to area lakes and rivers.  In Chisago County, runoff water drains through many streams, lakes and rivers and eventually flows into the St. Croix River.  What we do in the Chisago County has an effect on the St. Croix River.  

What is One Watershed, One Plan?

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) is a program through the Board of Water and Soil Resources that helps local governments develop plans to manage our water resources.  

Through the Lower St. Croix 1W1P process, the fifteen partners worked together to combine their own water plans to create one new plan based on the boundary of the Lower St. Croix watershed, as the flow of water does not follow a county or a city boundary line.  Working together on projects benefits the entire watershed and saves money by maximizing staff efficiency.  The new plan is also eligible to receive targeted state funds to complete projects. 

What does the New Plan Include?

The Lower St. Croix watershed includes parts of Chisago, Isanti, Anoka, Pine and Washington counties. The area has 127 lakes, 152,000 acres of wetlands and more than 1,000 miles of rivers, streams and ditches.  

The new plan seeks to improve the numerous lakes and streams, the St. Croix River, and the quality of groundwater in the watershed.  It also strives to protect and restore upland and wetland habitat and provide technical assistance to landowners.

New Policy Committee Representatives

The Chisago County Board of Commissioners also approved the appointment of three representatives, and their alternates, to serve on the new Policy Committee for the plan.  They will work together with representatives from other government partners to oversee the new plan.  

The Policy Committee will continue the coordinated and collaborative planning, development, and implementation of the Plan and annual work plans with the participating local units of government.  Policy Committee members will serve as a liaison to their respective local governing boards.   A staff Advisory Committee will help provide support.  Chisago County Commissioner Chris DuBose will represent the County.  The new At-Large representatives are Lance Peterson and Mike Mergens.  Dawn White and Steve Paquay will serve as Alternates.

Please click here for more detailed information on the 1W1P planning process.

Please click here to view the new Lower St. Croix Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan and Chisago County Appendix.

Please click here to view the interactive map of the Lower St. Croix watershed.

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) Planning Process

On January 18, 2017, the Chisago County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to support a Lower St. Croix Watershed, One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) Implementation Framework Project. Through the 1W1P process, Counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Watershed Management Organizations within the Lower St. Croix watershed (PDF) worked together to develop a new watershed based management plan with basin-wide priorities and goals. Funding was available through the Minnesota Board of Soil & Water Resources to implement the priorities and goals identified in the plan.

In 2017, local entities within the Lower St. Croix Watershed developed a Work Plan, project budget and timeline to develop the new watershed based plan. There are several committees identified in the Work Plan that developed a draft plan and final plan recommendations. Over the next two years, the various committees met to develop the comprehensive watershed management plan for the Lower St. Croix Watershed.

In 2018, 1W1P held several public input workshops and provided an online survey to identify priority water-related issues for the Lower St. Croix watershed. The Steering, Advisory and Policy Committees developed seven priority issues statements based on public input, previously completed local plans and comments from government agencies.

In 2019, the 1W1P Committees developed prioritized, targeted and measurable strategies and goals to protect and restore the watershed.  The Committees incorporated these strategies and goals to develop Implementation Actions and Measurable Outputs for the comprehensive watershed management plan for the Lower St. Croix Watershed. 

In 2020, the 1W1P Committees refined the organizational arrangement and Lower St. Croix 1W1P watershed management plan for public comment and anticipated adoption by partnering agencies.

For more information on the 1W1P for the Lower St. Croix Watershed, please visit www.lsc1W1P.org View the 2017 1W1P Fact Sheet (PDF), 2018 1W1P Fact Sheet (PDF) and 2019 1W1P Fact Sheet (PDF) on the Lower St. Croix 1W1P. Or, contact Susanna Wilson Witkowski by calling 651-213-8370 or email Susanna.

Water Plan & Priority Concerns Scoping Attachments

Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District Resolution No. 2017-04-01 Attachment

Contact

  • Chisago County Government Center
    Department of Zoning / Environmental Services
    Attn: Susanna Wilson Witkowski
    Email Susanna
    313 N. Main St.
    Room 243
    Center City, MN 55012
    Phone: 651-213-8370

Thank you for your consideration and comments.