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Here you'll find info, surveys, and updates related to VLAWMO's upcoming 2027-2036 Watershed Management Plan. 


At the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO), we’re currently engaged in updating our 10-year Watershed Management Plan (Plan). The year of 2024 starts by gathering feedback that will be incorporated into the next generation plan. The planning phase starts in January to allow time to hear from our many stakeholders, convene multiple types of engagement activities, and incorporate what we hear. The new plan will guide our projects and programs from 2027-2036.

Your support is important in helping us understand and focus priorities for improving our local water resources.

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Be Involved

Our goal is to make participation accessible and convenient. Those who live, work, and visit the watershed are invited to contribute.  Check back here throughout the two-year planning process for updates such as talks and presentations that provide updates on the planning process as well as results of the community input. 

Public survey:

Watershed Mgmt Plan Public Survey: "A New Chapter in the Watershed"

Check out our watershed map to be familiar with the watershed boundary before taking the survey. 

Survey closes March 13 at 10 am.


Attend a virtual or in-person event to learn more and ask questions. Visit our web calendar to access the virtual meeting links and RSVP. 

  • Virtual Coffee Chats: Feb 13 (10 am), 20 (noon), 27 (6 pm) 
  • Initial Planning Meeting: April 24 - 6 pm, Vadnais Heights City Hall 

Hardcopy surveys and a brief Watershed Mgmt Plan discussion will be a part of the VLAWMO Grants Program 101 event on March 7th. 

Link to web calendar


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Hardcopy survey stations:

Three local survey stations are available Feb 5 - March 13 to take and submit a survey in hardcopy. These stations are unstaffed for questions but are generally supervised by facility staff. Surveys are submitted in a box on the table and VLAWMO staff will collect them every 2-3 days. Surveys may be taken anonymously with the option of leaving an email address to receive updates on the planning process. Call VLAWMO staff for questions at (651) 204-6070. 

  • Tamarack Nature Center
  • Ramsey County Library: Shoreview
  • Ramsey County Library: White Bear Lake

Why create a plan?

Read more

Watershed Management Plans are the result of consensus building across many agencies, organizations, businesses, and most importantly the public. VLAWMO is a local government agency that reports to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).

Organizations such as VLAWMO are required to create these plans by law, and BWSR serves as a supervisory agency in the process. The Minnesota Statutes and Rules that pertain to VLAWMO’s plan and work include:

  • Minn. Stat. § 103B.201: Metropolitan Area Surface Water Management Act
  • Minn. Stat. § 103B.211: Joint Powers Watershed Management Organization.
  • Minn. Stat. §103B: Watershed Planning and Project Implementation
  • Minn. Rules 8410: Metropolitan Water Management

The VLAWMO watershed consists of all or parts of the City of Gem Lake, the City of North Oaks, the City of Lino Lakes, the City of White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, and the City of Vadnais Heights. VLAWMO was created by a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with these member municipalities. An elected official from each municipality sits on VLAWMO’s Board of Directors (BOD). Each municipality also designates a representative for the VLAWMO Technical Commission (TEC).

VLAWMO’s member municipalities, the BOD, and the TEC will work together to form this upcoming Watershed Management Plan. But there’s one more essential ingredient – community and public input (that’s you!)

How does it impact me?

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The Watershed Management Plan provides a roadmap for 10 years of projects and programs to improve local water resources. The Watershed Plan facilitates connections with watershed residents and stakeholders, and provides clear goals and objectives for how VLAWMO uses valuable public funding to accomplish shared water resources goals.

The Plan is also a tool for protecting and improving local water resources. Examples include:

  • Groundwater conservation strategies
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) protocols
  • Wetland protection rules and regulations
  • Being accountable to larger regulatory agencies such as the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)
  • Surface water management including monitoring, project implementation, and maintenance
  • Water quality improvement and pollution prevention (salt, bacteria, nutrient pollution, etc.)
  • Surface water storage for flood control
  • Grants for residents and local organizations, and support for initiatives to build water-friendly landscape solutions (raingardens, native plantings, lo-mow turf, bee lawns, etc.)
  • Support for drinking water and recreational opportunities
  • Communication and education
  • Increasing climate resiliency


The upcoming 2027-2036 Watershed Management Plan will be VLAWMO’s third plan since the Minnesota Surface Water Management Act was enacted in 1982. Check out the following resources for more context on how Watershed Management Plans guide our work and in turn benefit the community.

2017-2026 Watershed Management Plan

2017-2026 Watershed Management Plan Summary

Appendix A

Appendix B