A recent study by the Pollution Control Agency found that of the 93 streams in Southwest Minnesota, only 3 were considered fishable and swimmable. This report highlighted that too many of our rivers and streams are polluted with excess sediment and nutrient run-off.
To help solve this problem, Governor Dayton has proposed a plan to protect our water from excessive phosphorus and sediments by improving the state’s requirement for a 50-foot buffer on all rivers and streams. Buffers are a proven best management practice for protecting our water, and the Governor’s proposal is a common sense plan for creating these buffers while still allowing for needed flexibility.
Bills enacting the Governor’s proposal have been introduced and Conservation Minnesota is working to support this critical water quality program through the legislative process.
We are also working to phase out plastic microbeads. Synthetic microbeads are tiny plastic particles that have been increasingly added to toothpaste and facial scrubs in recent years. Unfortunately, they do not dissolve in water. They end up in our lakes and rivers, where they absorb toxins such as dioxins and PCBs and fish mistake them for food. Scientists are increasingly concerned about the possibility that microbeads are introducing toxic chemicals into the food chain.
Bipartisan bills have now passed in both the House and Senate committees, and are headed for final votes on the House and Senate floor. Conservation Minnesota will be working to have both bills adopt the stronger Senate language, which ensures that any alternative products used by manufacturers do not create the same problems in Minnesota’s water.
Conservation Minnesota members like you are playing an important part in moving these bills and other issues forward at the Capitol. Thank you to the thousands of people in our network who have called, emailed, and sent postcards to their legislators and the Governor. To date over 13,500 actions have been sent. Your support is critical to our success.
Together, we can protect the Minnesota you love!
P.S. For the latest news on these bills and other conservation votes visit CheckMyLegislator.org.