The 2014 Minnesota State Legislative session ended in May, and we wanted to share with you what we’ve accomplished with your support. We made great progress toward protecting our clean water, preserving natural habitat, and combatting Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), among other things. Before you go outside to enjoy the summer weather, take a moment to appreciate what we have worked together to achieve.
This has been a great legislative session for conservation in Minnesota. Here are just a few of the highlights.
-Protecting Minnesota’s clean water. The bonding bill passed by the legislature included $6 million for conservation easements that reduce run-off into lakes and rivers, and over $40 million for wastewater treatment and storm water reduction projects.
-Combatting the spread of AIS. The Legislature granted $8.7 million for AIS and bee research, $4.04 million for projects to develop and evaluate innovative new strategies in AIS prevention, and $1.2 million for projects to combat AIS such as new technologies to block the spread of invasive carp.
-Making Minnesota a safer place for kids and families. After January 1, 2017, the sale of consumer products containing triclosan will be banned in Minnesota. Triclosan, a chemical often used in soap, gets into our lakes and rivers and, when exposed to sunlight, creates cancer-causing compounds called “dioxins.”
-Increasing recycling and reducing waste. The metro area recycling rate goal has been increased to 75% by 2030. In addition, the Legislature increased funding for local recycling programs and directed that a portion of the new funding be used to support organics recycling.
-Preserving native Minnesota habitat. The legislature approved $140 million for water quality, parks, trails, and habitat in the bonding bill; $109 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund for wildlife habitat, prairies, wetlands, and forests; and $29 million in lottery funds for projects to protect and enhance Minnesota’s environment.
-Growing our clean energy economy. Utilities will now share their long term plans beyond the 15 years currently required in statute, enabling them to more realistically plan for ways to achieve the state’s carbon emissions reduction goals. And, new rules make it easier for wind projects to be built in Minnesota.
All of this happened because of you. Thank you! You are the key to Conservation Minnesota’s success. With your help, Conservation Minnesota will continue to protect the Minnesota you love for future generations.