Your watershed neighborhood

It’s there to see but we don’t recognize it for what it is… a watershed. We know the neighborhood and community where we live. Do you know your watershed neighborhood? A watershed is the area where rain and snow-melt flows-off the land collecting in surface water bodies (e.g. Rum River, Coon Creek, Rice Creek, etc.).

A watershed is based on a natural, rather than a politically-defined area. Where is your creek or river? Where does it come from and where does it go? What’s on the land that could end up in the creek, river or lake?

Water resources are managed by watershed management organizations to maintain clean healthy water bodies. Watersheds Management Organizations are special local government entities that monitor and protect water. All areas of Anoka County are within one of the seven (7) watershed management organizations:

  • Coon Creek Watershed District (CCWD) 763-755-0975
  • Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) 763-398-3070
    • Includes Circle Pines, Lexington and portions of Blaine, Columbus, Columbia Heights.  The RCWD is developing its next 10-year Watershed Management Plan. Residents of the District are invited to submit comments about their priorities and concerns to the Board of Managers. Comments should be submitted to before December 31, 2018.
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) 612-746-4970
    • Include the Cities of Columbia Heights, Fridley and Hilltop.
    • The Mississippi WMO plan sets out goals, strategies and implementation actions based on past studies and current data on the watershed. Go to the Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) for more information.
  • Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization (LRRWMO)
    • Includes the Cities of Ramsey, Anoka, and portions of Andover.
    • The third generation LRRWMO Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) is being implemented.
  • Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization (URRWMO)
    • Includes the Cities of St. Francis, Oak Grove, Nowthen, Bethel, and portions of East Bethel.
    • The URRWMO is updating its Watershed Management plan. Residents are encouraged to participate in guiding the URRWMO. Contact Chairman John West (612-414-3513, for more information.
  • Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization (SRWMO) 763-434-2030 x12 Jamie Schurbon
    • Includes Linwood Township and portions of Columbus, East Bethel, and Ham Lake.
    • The SRWMO is updating its Watershed Management Plan setting priorities, measurable goals, a schedule of work, and expected expenditures. The expected completion of the new Plan is December 2019. To learn more or provide input, please visit the Watershed Plan (webpage link). For more information contact Jamie Schurbon (763-434-2030
  • Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization (VLAWMO) 651-204-6070
    • Includes a portion of Lino Lakes.
    • The VLAWMO Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) was updated 2016. The Plan includes management standards and procedures for surface water, wetland, and groundwater issues. The Plan identifies goals, policies, priority concerns, and implementation activities for the Watershed for 2017-2026.

Keep your neighborhood in good shape and the water clean by participating in your watershed management organization’s programs and even serving on a citizen advisory or technical advisory committee.

The Watershed Approach (video series)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed a four-part series on the “Watershed Approach” a relatively new process for gauging the health of Minnesota’s waters and taking action to protect or restore them. The series includes:

This series is a great way to learn how local watersheds work.

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