About the Blue Star Program

The Blue Star Program is a certification and award program that offers municipalities that excel in stormwater management the positive public recognition that they deserve.

This Blue Star Assessment allows cities to conduct a fast and easy-to-use self-assessment on key stormwater indicators like development codes, site-design guidelines and post-construction stormwater management standards. Cities that score high enough will earn the Blue Star Award and receive well-earned positive public recognition for their commitment helping keep Minnesota’s waters clean.

Answers to common inquiries on the Blue Star Program can be found in the Blue Star FAQ [PDF].

Recognition Duration

The Blue Star Award lasts for five years from the date of recognition. After five years, a community will be asked to conduct the assessment again to maintain their award certification. By regularly amending the Blue Star assessment to incorporate advancements in municipal stormwater management, the Blue Star Program can continue to encourage cities to improve their overall stormwater management performance in order to maintain Blue Star Award certification over time.

Assessment Components

The Blue Star Assessment is a fast and simple self-assessment designed to provide a transparent and robust evaluation of a community’s efforts to address stormwater runoff.

The Blue Star Program recognizes that all cities cannot be assessed in the same way. Population, geography, MS4 permit status, and other factors must be taken into account when examining a community’s approach to stormwater management.

As the self-assessment is completed, users will notice that the assessment has been designed to offer maximum flexibility. Because a wide variety of policies, practices and program can boost Blue Star scores, users will have many different paths to achieving the Blue Star Award.

The Blue Star Assessment addresses a number of topics, including:

  • Section One: Planning and Preservation
    • Part A: Water Friendly Development Patterns
    • Part B: Natural Resource Preservation & Management
    • Part C: Stormwater Management Funding & Incentives
    • Bonus Questions
  • Section Two: Stormwater Management Standards and Practices.
    • Part D: Impervious Cover Management
    • Part E: Stormwater Management Polices
    • Part F: Green Streets For Cleaner Water
    • Bonus Questions
  • Section Three: Stormwater Pollution Prevention
    • Part G: Education & Community Programs
    • Part H: Inspection & Enforcement
    • Part I: Source Control
    • Bonus Questions


Blue Star Assessment scores are based on percentage, as some questions do not apply to all community types. To earn the Blue Star Award:

  • MS4 Communities must earn at least 60% of all possible assessment points
  • Non-MS4 Communities (cities and townships) must earn at least 50% of all possible assessment points

Partners & Sponsors

The Blue Star Program is brought to you by Friends of the Mississippi River in partnership with Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. Program support generously provided by the Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation, the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.

The Blue Star Program wishes to thank staff from the following organizations for their guidance and technical assistance in the development of the Blue Star Assessment:

  • Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • The Minnesota Green Step Cities Program
  • Project NEMO (Non-point Education for Municipal Officials)
  • The City of Blaine
  • The City of Woodbury
  • The City of Lino Lakes
  • The City of Inver Grove Heights

For More Information

Alicia Uzarek
Blue Star Award Program Coordinator
Friends of the Mississippi River
360 North Robert Street, Suite #400
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-222-2193, ext. 29
Email: auzarek@fmr.org