The state of Minnesota works with landowners and local partners to reduce nutrient and sediment contamination through the Minnesota Buffer Law.

  • The 2015 Minnesota Buffer Law requires vegetation buffers along lakes, rivers, and streams and ditches in order to reduce run-off
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts in each county work with landowners to meet the law’s requirements.
  • As of 2019, the buffer law compliance rate is approximately 98% across the state.

What is a buffer?

A buffer is a vegetated segment of land adjacent to streams, rivers, ditches, and lakes. Buffers stabilize soils along riverbanks and protect riparian corridors in order to reduce nutrient and sediment impacts. Research by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows that buffers are critical to protecting and restoring water quality, natural stream functions, and aquatic habitat.

Estimated Percentage of Parcel Buffer Law Compliance on Public Wateways Only