Wetlands Management Plan

What is the Plan?

The City of Bloomington finished its Wetland Protection and Management Plan in June 1997. The Plan is one of the first of its kind for cities in Minnesota. It presents a comprehensive inventory and study of the City's wetlands. The City prepared the Plan as a requirement of a larger plan they are currently working on, the Comprehensive Surface Water Management Plan. The City proposes to finish the Comprehensive Surface Water Management Plan by mid-1999. The overall goal of both plans is to provide a detailed framework to address the City's surface water issues.

Why was it needed?

Wetlands were a part of the landscape in Bloomington long before the first human being arrived in the area. They are part of a dynamic natural system that changes constantly. This system has changed much more rapidly due to human influences. Society has been slow to recognize the benefits that wetlands offer and the impact that centuries of human disturbance have had on wetlands and the larger ecosystem. This plan was prepared as a means of slowing or halting the wetland disturbances caused by human activity

This Wetland Protection and Management Plan meets the requirements of Minnesota Rules, Chapter 8420, part 8420.0650. The plan is consistent with the pertinent goals and policies of the watershed districts and the watershed management organization that have jurisdiction in portions of the City. It also addresses the requirements of Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council.

Why are wetlands important?

One must understand why it is important to preserve wetlands before one can see the need for the recommendations presented in this plan. A healthy wetland can perform many beneficial functions:

  • It can serve as a filter to absorb polluted surface water runoff before it enters lakes or creeks.
  • A wetland can store water; thus providing flood protection in times of heavy rainfall and a source of groundwater recharge.
  • It provides a home and a source of food for many types of native and migratory birds and wildlife.
  • Wetlands provide numerous recreational and educational opportunities.
  • In some cases, wetlands even provide commercial benefits, such as wild rice production.

The ability of a wetland to perform particular functions is often directly related to the degree of human influence on the tributary drainage area of a wetland.

What is in the Plan?

Wetland inventory

City staff inventoried approximately 300 wetlands in Bloomington. Wetlands located in or below the Minnesota River Valley were not included. The City ranked wetlands based on their functions and values, how they are managed, and their susceptibility to storm water and snow melt runoff. The plan recommends specific actions to be taken to provide for appropriate management of the wetlands in the future.  The Plan also explains the processes used to conduct the inventory and the City's wetland classification system.

History of Bloomington wetlands

The Plan presents a brief history of Bloomington wetlands. Human interference, including agriculture and development, has caused the disappearance and degradation of many of the City's wetlands over time. The status of wetlands in Bloomington from the time of Pre-European contact to the present is discussed.

Assessment of needs for each wetland

Each wetland was inventoried and studied to address specific needs. This was done on a sub-watershed, or drainage area, basis. The Plan provides a general description of each of the 20 sub-watersheds that have wetlands, along with an overview of wetland quality and a summary of recommendations. Specific recommendations for each wetland in a sub-watershed are presented in a tabular format.

Existing City policy/ordinances for Bloomington

The Plan reviews various City policies, ordinances and programs that already exist to address wetland issues. Recommendations for changes or the additions to these policies, ordinances or programs are discussed in order to facilitate implementation of the Wetland Protection and Management Plan.


The Plan discusses the recommendations for capital improvements and the reasons for them. The Recommendations section also discusses the need for operation and maintenance of infrastructure facilities.

Implementation Program

The Implementation section explains the prioritization of recommendations, the implementation schedule, and the estimated cost of each project or program. It also lists the divisions within the City that would be responsible for implementation of various portions of the plan and provides a list of possible funding sources for various plan components.

Where can I view the Plan?

PDF icon Wetland Protection and Management Plan

Copies of the City of Bloomington's Wetland Protection and Management Plan can also be found at:

  • Bloomington City Hall, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road
  • Public Works Building, 1700 W. 98th Street
  • Bloomington Public Libraries