Shoreland Management


Shoreland Regulations

Minnesota's Shoreland Management Program guides land development along Minnesota’s lakes and rivers to protect their ecological, recreational, and economic values. The state shoreland rules (MR 6120.2500 - 6120.3900 This link leads to an external site.) establish minimum standards to protect habitat and water quality and preserve property values. These standards are implemented through local shoreland ordinances.

Anyone who owns land along a lake or river should contact their local county, city, or township with questions about the standards and permit requirements that apply to their property.

The DNR’s role is to ensure that local shoreland ordinances comply with the state shoreland rules and to provide technical assistance and oversight to these local governments.

Local Government Administrative Resources

Model Shoreland Ordinance

Updated January 2017, the model serves as a tool for local governments to develop new or amend existing shoreland ordinances.

Shoreland Ordinance Review and Approval

The DNR must review and approve all local shoreland ordinances and amendments.

Variances in Shoreland, Floodplains and other DNR-protected Waterways

The DNR, League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Association of County Planning and Zoning Administrators developed resources for local governments to promote variance decisions that protect environmental resources, property values, and keep communities out of legal trouble.

Bluff and Slope Protections

Resources are available for development standards on or near bluffs and mitigation strategies to help local governments identify bluffs meeting the shoreland definition in their communities.

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 (MS 103F.48 This link leads to an external site.). Counties electing jurisdiction to enforce this law have a selection of implementation options and model language that is simple, consistent, and complies with state law on buffers, shorelands, and public ditches:

Additional Resources

Fact Sheets

Questions