Shoreland Management Program

Division of Ecological and Water Resources

Shoreland Management Program

Program Purpose

Minnesota Rules 6120.2500 - 3900

This program provides the backbone of statewide standards that local governmental units must adopt into their own land use controls to provide for the orderly development and protection of Minnesota's shorelands (both rivers and lakes). The DNR provides technical assistance to local governmental units in the adoption and administration of their shoreland controls. This involves planning and zoning assistance to local governmental units by DNR Area Hydrologists and Shoreland Management staff.

Model Buffer Language and Guidance

The DNR and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) have developed model ordinance language and guidance for implementing the buffer law. Counties will have a selection of implementation options and model language that is simple, consistent, and complies with state law on buffers, shorelands, and public ditches:

Shoreland Model Ordinance

In January 2017, the DNR updated the Shoreland Model Ordinance. The model is intended to be used by local units of government as a reference when developing new shoreland ordinances or amending existing ordinances.

Shoreland Management Resources

Lake Improvement District Program

Minnesota Statutes 103B.501 - 103B.581

Minnesota Statutes allow local citizen initiatives to petition counties to create lake improvement districts in order to address specific concerns within a lake watershed that cannot be addressed under normal governmental actions. Citizens and local governments willing to undertake such initiatives benefit from greater local involvement in the management of their own lakes. DNR provides oversight and assistance.


Kathleen Metzker, Land Use Hydrologist, 651-259-5694

Shoreland Stewardship: Tips for Landowners



Dan Petrik, Land Use Specialist, 651-259-5697