South Washington Watershed District

The South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) is located entirely in Washington County, MN and has a mission to reduce flooding and protect surface water quality in partnership with state and local government, and private landowners. The SWWD provides local leadership for climate adaptation and resiliency: for instance the SWWD is the only watershed district to create a Climate Resiliency Plan and are providing direct assistance to small cities that lack the capacity to do this type of work alone. They have successfully engaged city and county staff and leaders in climate resiliency planning without triggering political debate or resistance, and completed a number of large-scale flood mitigation and habitat restoration projects that provide multiple benefits for the community. In particular, while completing a 20-year project to provide a safe route for stormwater runoff to overflow from land-locked portions of Woodbury and Cottage Grove during 100-year storm events, the SWWD made sure to incorporate habitat restoration and green infrastructure on the site with traditional pipes and ponds capable of handling a large volume of runoff (most of which soaks into the ground to recharge groundwater aquifers). Through the vision and action of the SWWD (working with Great River Greening and community volunteers) to restore prairie and oak savanna as part of a flood mitigation project, the area will eventually become a welcoming city nature area with trails and outdoor gathering spaces

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