Regulating Use of Shoreland

The Minnesota Legislature has delegated responsibility to local governments, including Blue Earth County, to regulate the subdivision, use and development of shorelands of public waters to preserve our natural resources and water quality. Shoreland includes land located within the following distances from public waters:

  • 1,000 feet from the ordinary high water level of a lake, pond, or flowage; and,
  • 300 feet from a river or stream; or,
  • The landward extension of a designated flood plain, whichever is greater

Minnesota’s Shoreland Management Program

Blue Earth County administers Minnesota’s Shoreland Management Program. This program from the Department of Natural Resources provides for the orderly development and protection of Minnesota’s shorelands, including rivers, lakes and streams.

As a part of adhering to the standards of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s Shoreland Management Program, permits may be required for construction activities, intended use, topographical alterations, ice ridge repair, and vegetation removal activities.

The single most important thing you can do is maintain and/or restore natural vegetation along your shoreline. Natural vegetation:

  • Holds soil in place protecting shorelines from increasingly intensive rain events and rising water levels.
  • Slows runoff and stores moisture.
  • Filters out nutrients, which along with rising lake temperatures, accelerates algae blooms.
  • Provides habitat.

Watch this animated video (link to YouTube) about lakeshore restoration and stewardship created in collaboration with the Anoka County Water Resource Outreach Collaborative.

Resources - Fact Sheets from the DNR:

For More Information

Please contact the Blue Earth County Property and Environmental Resources Department at (507) 304-4251 for information specific to your property or before doing any vegetative alterations or earthwork in shoreland areas.