The Cottage Grove Ravine Watershed Management Organization (WMO) was formed in 1984 to manage the resources of the watershed. This WMO was based on a joint powers agreement among the five cities in the watershed. The WMO was later disbanded, and, in 1993, the Cottage Grove Ravine Watershed District was formed as the 42nd watershed district in Minnesota. In 1995, the watershed district changed its name to the South Washington Watershed District (SWWD).
In April, 2003, the SWWD petitioned the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources to enlarge the boundary and include the East Mississippi Water Management Organization. The East Mississippi Water Management Organization included all or portions of Grey Cloud Island Township, Cottage Grove, Woodbury, St. Paul Park and Newport. The enlargement was completed as part of the recommendations from the Washington County Water Governance Study in1999. The enlargement petition was approved on May 28, 2003 by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.
In 2009, Washington County petitioned BWSR to enlarge SWWD’s boundary to include 4 of the 5 subwatersheds of the former Lower St. Croix Watershed Management Organization (LSCWMO), which had dissolved. BWSR approved the petition; however, later in 2009 they contracted SWWD’s boundary by moving 3 of the new subwatersheds to the Valley Branch Watershed District in approving a citizen petition. May 2010, the SWWD petitioned BWSR in response to a mediated agreement, with the support of all affected local municipalities and organizations, to again enlarge the boundary to include the 3 additional subwatersheds from the former LSCWMO, which lie in the Lower St. Croix River Basin. The enlargement petition was approved in September 2010 by BWSR.
The South Washington Watershed District (SWWD) is located entirely in Washington County and contains portions of ten cities and townships: Afton, Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Grey Cloud Island Township, Hastings, Lake Elmo, Newport, Oakdale, St. Paul Park and Woodbury. The watershed area and the relative portions of the watershed contained in each of the ten cities and townships are presented in Table 1-1.
Table 1-1. Area of member cities within the watershed *
* Based on legal boundaries
|Member City||Acreage||Square Miles||Percent of District|
|Grey Cloud Island||2,432||3.8||4|
|St. Paul Park||1,498||2.3||2|
Source: SWWD Watershed Management Plan, June 2007,
Houston Engineering, Inc.