Wetland Regulation in Minnesota - Video

Three sets of wetland law apply in Minnesota. First is the MN Wetland Conservation Act which applies to all wetlands. It is administered by local units of government (cities, counties, townships, watershed organization Second are DNR rules which apply only to larger, generally open water, “public waters.” Third is the Army Corps of Engineers rules which apply to “navigable waters of the US” which can include smaller wetlands that seem “un-navigable” in common language. All apply regardless of whether the property is private or public. Permitting of all three sets of rules is generally coordinated through a single process.

On this web page, we focus mostly on the MN Wetland Conservation Act.It’s purpose is to achieve no net loss of Minnesota's wetlands and the benefits they provide. Minnesota Rule 8420.0105 defines the scope of activities that are regulated by WCA. It requires that people obtain Local Government Unit approval for activities that cause wetland impacts and requires the replacement of the impacted wetlands. Wetland impacts include draining or filling any wetland, and excavating within certain types of wetlands. The following excavation activities are regulated by WCA, regardless of wetland type.

Excavations: In type 3,4, and 5 wetlands. Draining: Wetland excavations that drain wetland areas.
Filling: Wetland excavations that place fill or deposit spoil within a wetland area, even temporarily.
Conversion to non-wetland: Wetland excavations that exceed 2 meters of typical water depth.

  • Administration +

    WCA is administered through WCA Local Government Units (LGUs). WCA

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  • No-loss and Exemptions +

    Minnesota Rules 8420.0410 to 8420.0420 identifies activities that result in

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  • Sequencing +

    Minnesota Rule 8420.0520 states that LGUs must not approve a

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  • Wetland Replacement +

    WCA requires the replacement of the lost public value caused

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  • Enforcement +

    Persons impacting wetlands without LGU approval are subject to enforcement

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  • Excavation +

    The scope of the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) includes

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