Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA)

The MRCCA program is a joint state, regional and local program that provides coordinated land use planning and zoning regulations for the 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River through the 7-county metropolitan area covering 54,000 acres of land in 30 local jurisdictions. The MRCCA was designated a state critical area in 1976 to protect its natural, cultural and scenic resources. These resources are protected through development standards administered through local government land use plans and zoning ordinances.

The MRCCA contains a diverse mix of residential, commercial, industrial and recreational uses, as well as river-related industry and transportation. Though the river corridor has been extensively developed, many intact and remnant natural areas remain, including:

  • Bluffs
  • Islands
  • Floodplains
  • Wetlands
  • Riparian zones
  • Native aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna

The MRCCA is cooperatively managed by:

  • Cities, townships, and some counties through their MRCCA plans and zoning regulations that comply with state rules
  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through review and approval of local plans and regulations for consistency with state rules, and also by commenting on local development applications
  • Metropolitan Council by reviewing MRCCA plans and sharing comments with the DNR
  • National Park Service by providing funding assistance to local governments and encouraging them to incorporate voluntary MNRRA policies into plans

More information on the MRRCA program found on the DNR MRRCA page.

MRRCA Property Owner Resources

An MRCCA permit is required for the construction of any new structure, building(s) or building additions, including:

  • Decks
  • Retaining walls
  • Signs
  • The installation and/or alteration of sewage treatment systems
  • Vegetation removal

Check out the Property Owner Guides on this page to ensure compliance with city code requirements.