Minnesotans treasure our lakes and rivers. Every year, millions of people enjoy Minnesota’s waters by fishing, boating, and swimming. There are over 11,000 lakes, 104,000 miles of rivers and streams1, and 13 million acres of surface water in our state2.
As extensive as our state’s water resources are, they are also fragile. Roughly half of our lakes and streams have been tested for pollution; of those, 40% do not meet basic water quality standards3 . Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) have spread to an alarming number of Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Overuse, pollution, and waste are now threatening the drinking water supply that many communities rely on.
Minnesota’s lakes and rivers are our most vital natural resources. They define our history, our livelihoods, and our future. Through simple, everyday actions, we are able to not only help improve water quality, but our quality of life as well.
Our Minnesota Waters project aims to build and maintain a network of lake associations, river groups, and individual members focused on protecting our lakes, rivers, and streams. We engage members across the state in water policy and create educational opportunities.
Our program is built on the idea that we can all make a difference, and be a part of protecting Minnesota’s most precious resources for generations to come.
1 “Surface Water.” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
2 “Lakes, rivers, and wetlands facts.” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
3 “Clean Water Roadmap.” Clean Water Fund. 2014.