The primary objective of this program is to determine the health of lakes and streams in Minnesota. Through funded projects, local partners collect surface water quality data used to identify lakes and streams that are in need of restoration or protection strategies. The MPCA focuses these strategies at the major watershed scale.
Eligible partners include soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, watershed management organizations, local governmental units (i.e., counties, cities, townships, lake associations, and lake improvement districts), American Indian tribal governments in Minnesota, Minnesota colleges and universities, and joint powers organizations. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations are eligible only as subcontractors.
SWAGs provide funding for staff hours, training, supplies and equipment, and lab analysis. Where possible, volunteers are encouraged to participate in coordination with local partners to assist with monitoring efforts.
Through Surface water assessment grants, local partners have provided water-quality data for lake and stream sites throughout the state. To date, the MPCA has awarded 215 grants and agreements totaling $11.5 million.
MPCA awarded 7 agreements totaling $375,000 for water quality monitoring over a two-year period (2023-2024).
Learn more about these and past SWAG projects on the Minnesota Legacy web site.
- Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District – Monitoring five stream sites and five lakes within the Pine River Watershed
- Hubbard Soil and Water Conservation District – Monitoring eight stream sites and 12 lakes within the Leech Lake River Watershed
- Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District – Monitoring 4 stream sites within the Lake of the Woods Watershed
- Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe – Monitoring one stream site and 16 lakes within the Leech Lake River Watershed
- Olmsted Soil and Water Conservation District – Partnered with Wabasha Soil and Water Conservation District, Goodhue Soil and Water Conservation District, and Dodge Co. Environmental Services Department to monitor 23 stream sites within the Zumbro River Watershed
- Red Lake Watershed District – Partnered with Pennington Soil and Water Conservation District to monitor 22 stream sites within the Grand Marais Creek and Red Lake River Watersheds
- Roseau Soil and Water Conservation District – Monitoring four stream sites within the Lake of the Woods Watershed