The Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM) began as a locally led alliance of land and water resource agencies that coordinates efforts to protect and improve water quality in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.

  • BALMM makes water quality restoration and protection in southeast Minnesota a top priority for decision-makers at all levels
  • The group coordinates efforts to protect and restore water quality in southeast Minnesota.

To fulfill those purposes, BALMM emphasizes land use practices to improve or protect water quality, particularly in the areas of watershed management, aquifer protection and floodplain management. The alliance has adopted the following strategies.

  • Perennial vegetation: Increase acreage of well-managed hay and pastureland, vegetative buffer strips, woodlands, etc. This will increase infiltration and reduce surface runoff following rain and snow melt events.
  • Wetland protection and restoration: Work with willing landowners to restore wetland functions in critical parts of the landscape.
  • Soil conservation on row-crop land: Promote conservation tillage, contour farming and install needed structures to keep erosion at or below the replacement rate of soil erosion.
  • Urban and rural-residential land management: Reduce impacts from urban stormwater and wastewater, while managing urban development.
  • Nutrient and pesticide management: Promote optimal use of fertilizer and chemicals to minimize runoff and leaching from farm fields and urban land.
  • Animal feedlot management: Support implementation of state feedlot rules to reduce feedlot runoff and improve manure management.
  • Aggregate mining activities management: Coordinate permitting and environmental review to minimize potential impacts on groundwater and surface water while maintaining local supplies at reasonable cost.

Meetings

BALMM meets every other month to discuss current issues and plan projects. Find BALMM meetings on the events calendar.

Upcoming meetings

Contact MPCA Watershed Project Manager Emily Zanon for the agenda and participation details.

Members

Publications

This Basin Plan Scoping Document was developed by BALMM participants in 2001. This document summarizes regional environmental goals and strategies for geographic management land use.

The BALMM nitrate memo summarizes regional needs related to information and tools that support BALMM partners in their on-going nitrate reduction efforts, focused on developing a deeper understanding of nitrate leaching loss and transport in the karst system. The memo also describes additional outreach resources that will support local government efforts to implement nitrate reduction work. In 2020, Area 7 MASWCD passed a resolution to support this memo. This highlights the regional support from 11 SE MN Soil & Water Conservation Districts.