The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved measures Dec. 1 to move the county toward membership in the Lower St. Croix One Watershed, One Plan, and a Lower St. Croix River comprehensive management plan.

The county and its partners have developed the collaborative and comprehensive Lower St. Croix One Watershed, One Plan to guide the protection and restoration of priority natural resources within the Lower St. Croix watershed. Fifteen units of government, including counties, watershed organizations, and soil and water conservation districts, have participated in the planning process. The state Board of Water and Soil Resources approved the final plan Oct. 28.

To include Washington County’s in the new watershed organization, the county had to withdraw from the original agreement that formed the organization, and approve a new Joint Powers Agreement for plan implementation and appoint a commissioner to the new policy committee. The County Board also adopted the approved comprehensive Lower St. Croix One Watershed, One Plan as a supplementary planning document to the county's Groundwater Plan.

The mission of One Watershed, One Plan is to work with partners to develop a collaborative and comprehensive plan to guide the protection and restoration of priority natural resources in the region over the next 10 years. The goal of the One Watershed, One Plan is to align local water planning on major watershed boundaries with state strategies toward prioritized, targeted and measurable implementation plans, and to foster collaboration between upstream and downstream neighbors. The Lower St. Croix plan encompasses the area of 15 local units of government, including several from Washington County, and the counties of Chisago, Pine and Isanti.

The County Board also appointed Commissioner Fran Miron, District 1, to serve as standing representative of Washington County on the Policy Committee of the organization.

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