In 2006, the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Board established stream classifications and buffer standards for the watershed. Based on scientific knowledge and best practices for water quality and habitat, the Board set the buffer standard for the most sensitive parts of the Vermillion River at 150 feet on both sides. See the stream classification and buffer standard.
After receiving a grant in 2008 from the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the County developed a plan with resident input to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and development practices along the Vermillion River Corridor. This plan, the Vermillion Corridor Plan, has the major goal of developing continuous corridor of perennial, native vegetation along the Vermillion River through individual landowner projects and buffer easements.
The land conservation program received grant funds from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the Outdoor Heritage Fund to implement the plan’s buffer goal — not only for the Vermillion River, but also for other water resources in Dakota County.
Beginning late in 2012, Dakota County invited landowners with property that includes rivers, streams, flood plains, lakeshore, wetlands and adjacent natural areas to consider participating in ShoreHolders. To find out more about the ShoreHolders Program, see the Frequently Asked Questions.