Area residents created the Cannon River Watershed Partnership in 1990 to address river pollution and flooding issues in the Cannon River Watershed. The Cannon River Watershed is an area of about a million acres of cropland, grassland, forests and small cities in southeastern Minnesota. Prominent communities include Owatonna, Faribault, Northfield, Cannon Falls, and Red Wing.

Early in its history, CRWP worked with local and county governments to help them work together to address river problems at the “watershed” level, since rivers don’t pay attention to city or county boundaries.

In the past decade, CRWP has operated in three main areas: Community Engagement, Conservation, and Wastewater. Our Community Engagement programs educate the public about how they can take action individually, and through their elected officials to clean and protect our rivers, lakes, and drinking water supplies.

Our Conservation program works with farmers and rural landowners to help them use conservation practices that keep their soil healthy and productive while at the same time keeping our rivers and lakes cleaner.

Our wastewater program works with small communities to help them plan and install upgraded community septic systems to reduce the pollution from older or failing septic systems.

CRWP also sponsors or takes part in several annual community events, including the Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP (third Saturday in September) at 10 locations in the watershed, the Downstream Environmental Film Festival (February), Northfield Earth Day (April), and the Cannon River Art & Water Festival (May). Watch the events page for more details about these upcoming events.