Shoreland and river-related training and education

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Shoreland Management Basics

This course covers how shoreland standards protect water quality, habitat and shoreland/rural character. Topics include fundamentals of the shoreland program including lake and river classifications, covered waterbodies, and key regulations as well as tips and tricks for program administration. Special topics, including PUDs, identifying bluffs, Environmental Review, and other topics are available depending on time and participant interest. Recommended for anyone new to shoreland regulations or those wanting a refresher.

Watch the online training presented by Dan Petrik and Matt Bauman. Recorded 2/1/2023. Future live trainings to be scheduled. 


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Shoreland Variances

Making decisions on variances to shoreland standards that protect Minnesota’s water resources and habitat is one of the most important jobs of boards of adjustment and the planning staff advising them. Learn how to apply Minnesota’s statutory variance criteria through a shoreland lens and write better variance findings that stand up to potential appeals. Using relevant variance examples, the course walks through each of the five variance criteria and explores ways to make better decisions, including conditions of approval. Recommended for local planning staff and boards of adjustment members. Watch the online training, presented by Dan Petrik and Matt Bauman. Recorded 2/9/2022. Future live trainings to be scheduled.



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Shoreland Higher Standards

Learn how other cities and counties are taking shoreland protection to the next level. This course explores regulatory and administrative innovations in using shoreland classifications, land uses and performance standards to protect both shoreland and aquatic resources. Course includes a variety of considerations in determining where, how, and which higher standards might be most successful. Recommended for staff interested in higher standards ideas and how to promote them. Watch the online training, presented by Dan Petrik and Matt Bauman. Recorded 3/20/2023. Future live trainings to be scheduled.


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Shoreland Bluffs

This on-demand video training explains why we have bluff regulations and what those regulations are. Training also works through sample elevation data to determine if a bluff exists using the bluff-related definitions. Recommended for planning and zoning staff who administer bluff-related regulations for land use applications. Watch the online training, presented by Dan Petrik, Lake and River Shoreland Program manager. Recorded August 2023.


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MRCCA Basics

This course covers the basics of administering the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) ordinance. This training reviews key requirements and performance standards, identifying bluffs, and how to evaluate impacts to primary conservation areas and public river corridor views for variances and conditional use permits. The session also covers special standards for nonconformities, subdivisions and relationship to the MRCCA plan. Recommended for anyone administering MRCCA standards for the 25 cities and townships within the MRCAA (7-county metro area). Watch the online training presented by Dan Petrik. Recorded 12/12/2023.


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MRCCA Viewshed Analysis with Google Earth Pro

Within the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) local ordinances require evaluations of potential impacts to Public River Corridor Views prior to permitting certain types of development and activities. This online training video explains how to conduct a visual analysis of how a proposed structure could impact scenic views using Google Earth Pro.


Custom shoreland and river-related training

DNR shoreland and river-related program staff delivers virtual training to elected and/or appointed officials and planning staff in your community together in one or multiple training sessions. Standard training topics are customized to address development issues and administrative concerns specific to your community. All sessions include discussion questions and/or other methods to encourage participation. Standard sessions are about an hour and include 15 minutes of discussion. The DNR Area Hydrologist and/or local planning staff provide personal on-site facilitation. For more information and to schedule a training session, contact Dan Petrik at [email protected]


For more information, please contact Dan Petrik, MN DNR Shoreland and River Programs Manager.

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