About the MWMO

“Mission Statement: to lead, and to foster stewardship of the watershed with actions that promote civic ownership and responsibility and through measures that achieve diverse and functional ecosystems.”

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization works to protect and improve water quality, habitat and natural resources in an urban watershed that drains directly into the Mississippi River. We are a joint-powers local government unit and one of approximately three dozen watershed organizations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Our member communities include Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, Lauderdale, Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, St. Anthony Village and Saint Paul.

The MWMO encompasses 25,543 acres (39.9 square miles) of fully developed urban lands and waters. We partner with our member communities to invest in green infrastructure that captures, cleans and reuses stormwater runoff. Our team monitors and tracks water quality in the watershed and conducts education and outreach to promote active environmental stewardship among residents.

See a map of our watershed boundaries: (Google Maps Version) (PDF Version)


16-20 employees, depending on season


$1.8 million operating, $2.7 million capital improvement (five-year averages)


The MWMO is a joint powers watershed under Minnesota Statutes 103B and Minnesota Rules 8410.

Six Areas of Excellence

1. Water Quality Monitoring

The MWMO monitors pollution levels in the Mississippi River to ensure that water quality standards are met and that illicit discharges are discovered and cleaned up. We monitor water quality in stormdrain outfalls as well as the river itself.

2. Capital Improvement Projects

The majority of the MWMO’s funding goes toward capital improvement projects (also known as member grants) that control pollution and improve water quality in the watershed. These projects implement stormwater management solutions on a large scale.

3. Stewardship Fund Grants

Our Stewardship Fund Grants are designed to support efforts by the community to protect and improve water quality. Three different grant types are available, funding everything from raingardens to community cleanup days.

4. Education and Outreach

The MWMO provides opportunities for youth, adults and professionals to learn how to be better stewards of our water resources. Our Stormwater Park and Learning Center serves as an educational and interpretive facility.

5. Watershed Assessment

The MWMO conducts assessments of the watershed to create a scientific base of knowledge to aid in decision-making. Physical, chemical, cultural, historic, biological, social, economic and other aspects are all studied and documented.

6. Planning

The MWMO’s planning efforts provide direction to our activities and help us be strategic about our investments. Planning allows us to implement our goals, mission and vision while complying with legal requirements.

Member Communities

The MWMO’s member communities include Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, Lauderdale, Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, St. Anthony Village and Saint Paul.

Member City/Organization Percent Area of MWMO Square Miles within MWMO
Columbia Heights 7.92 percent 3.16
Fridley 9.51 percent 3.80
Hilltop 0.32 percent 0.13
Lauderdale 0.16 percent 0.06
Minneapolis 73.26 percent 29.27
MPRB 5.42 percent 2.17
St. Anthony Village 2.55 percent 1.02
St. Paul 0.85 percent 0.34