As part of the state’s commitment to protecting clean water, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released an interactive map to help Minnesotans understand the buffer requirements for Minnesota’s waterways in a visual way.

The Buffer Map shows landowners and local governments where protective borders of perennial vegetation are required, as approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015 and revised in 2016. More than 90,000 miles of shoreline in Minnesota require buffers or alternative water quality mitigation.

The GIS data of the buffer map are available via the Buffer Protection Map resource here on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons. The DNR encourages individuals who download the data to read the buffer metadata in order to better understand the content.

Read more about how the DNR developed the application on MN.IT's blog, and find answers to specific questions about Minnesota’s buffer mapping project on the Minnesota DNR Buffer Webpage.
Screen image of interactive buffer map viewer