A new report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says rivers in the southwestern part of the state are in bad shape because of increased erosion and runoff.
The report also says half the rivers and streams tested throughout the state have been altered in recent years, the result of measures taken to help improve drainage for both agriculture and city development.
The agency will use the data to help with watershed restoration projects, and to prevent some streams and rivers from becoming worse, said Steve Mikkelson, a public information officer for the agency.
"Even when a water course is in good shape protecting it, there are things you can do immediately that have immediate impact with restoration it can really take a long time," he said.
It's the first time the MPCA has done a report that takes data from multiple statewide surveys. Mikkelson said the report will act as a baseline when the MPCA does another survey in 2015.