As the Southeast Metro Community Coordinator with Conservation Minnesota, I work on a wide range of issues, events, opportunities, and actions throughout my region. From Conservation Meet and Greets with your state legislators to volunteer stewardship events – there is never a dull moment. Now there is a new initiative we are working on that I’m very excited about. Be on the lookout this summer and fall for community water meetings that we will be hosting throughout the state to discuss your visions, concerns, and ideas for addressing our water quality issues here in Minnesota. We will be submitting our discussions from these water meetings to help the Governor’s new water goal of reducing water pollution in the state 25% by 2025. They want feedback and ideas from all Minnesotans on how we can achieve this goal. The idea is to encourage local communities, citizens, farmers, businesses, and our agencies to work together to achieve further reductions in pollution by a set deadline.
You might be asking yourself, didn’t the legislature pass a buffer law to address water quality and isn’t that enough? The buffer initiative is one tool to address a growing concern of water degradation in our state. Buffers will be a big help in achieving this goal but buffers alone will not solve all of our water problems. We need to continue to find new ways to protect our water for future generations to enjoy.
Some of the major problems that we still face here in Minnesota include recent increase in groundwater pumping, aging water infrastructure, high levels of nitrates in public and private wells, and threats to our lakes and rivers from invasive species. As you can see there are still major challenges we face that buffers alone cannot fix but Minnesotans are good at problem solving. Some ways that we can come together to reduce water pollution by 25% is for everyone to work harder on conserving water, increasing conservation friendly farming practices, green infrastructure in new developments, and protecting our most pristine waters from threats. These are not insurmountable problems. We are a unique state with a unique character and if anyone can get the job done right, it’s Minnesotans.
If you live in the southeast metro and would like to help us organize and host 25 by 25 Community Water Meetings, please do contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.