Protecting the Minnesota you love. That’s what Conservation Minnesota is all about. We’ve worked on a wide range of successful campaigns that are making a difference in the lives of Minnesotans every day. Whether it’s cleaner water, reducing waste, getting more power from wind, or protecting children from toxic chemicals, we work on practical solutions that make us all better off in the long run.
Progress in 2015
Minnesota’s 2015 legislative session was a complicated one, with a large number of important issues on the table. Conservation Minnesota worked with partner organizations and many lawmakers to make progress on a variety of issues ranging from clean water, to toxic chemical awareness, to recycling. This progress was possible through the work of our network that sent over 25,000 messages to legislators and other officials. Check out what we accomplished working with our partners and individual Minnesotans like you.
Safe Drinking Water
It seems like a no-brainer: we shouldn’t dump our garbage in places where it will pollute our drinking water. But until Conservation Minnesota partnered with Friends of Washington County in 2010, state landfill rules didn’t meet that simple standard. We convinced the legislature to send the Pollution Control Agency back to the drawing board, and new, improved rules were created.
Passing the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment
Conservation Minnesota played a lead role in passing the Legacy Amendment for more than four years. Our State Budget Analysis first revealed the fact that conservation spending had reached a 30 year low. We executed a broad public campaign to let Minnesotans know that 40% of our tested lakes don’t meet water standards. And our bi-partisan team advocated at the Capitol. After successful passage at the legislature, Conservation Minnesota worked to develop messaging, research, and voter data that were the centerpiece of a winning campaign strategy. The Legacy Amendment is both the largest state conservation measure and the largest state arts funding measure in United States history.
Protecting Children from Toxic Chemicals
Conservation Minnesota works with the Healthy Legacy coalition to protect the health of Minnesota families by removing toxic chemicals from children’s products. In 2009, the coalition’s work resulted in Minnesota becoming the first state to ban BPA (bisphenoy-A) from baby bottles and sippy cups. This was followed with success in 2013 banning formaldehyde in personal care products and removing BPA from food packaging marketed for children.
Less Coal, More Wind and Sun
Conservation Minnesota worked with allies to pass Minnesota’s nation leading Renewable Energy Standard in 2007. Today, all of Minnesota’s utilities are on track to meet the state’s goal of getting 25% of our electricity from clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2025. Despite this success, attempts to repeal the standard have been introduced every year. CM’s government affairs team has worked effectively with partners to block the repeal of this important law.
Protecting Lake Superior
Conservation Minnesota worked with several partners to make Minnesota the first state to endorse the Great Lakes Compact in 2007. Now approved by each of the eight Great Lakes states and Congress, the compact prevents diversion of water from this state treasure to other parts of the country and the world. Read more about the Great Lakes Compact .
A New Park and New Transit – Finding a Win-Win for Minnesota
In 2007, Governor Pawlenty announced a plan to acquire and establish Lake Vermillion State Park, preserving five miles of pristine shoreland and over 2,500 acres of rugged Minnesota wilderness. At the same time, the DFL-controlled Legislature announced a plan to begin construction of the Central Corridor Rail Line, the connecting spine of a region-wide transit network. Both proposals hit a snag when the Governor and Legislature couldn’t agree to support each other’s project.
Because both of these projects are vital to the future of Minnesota’s economic growth and outdoor way of life, Conservation Minnesota’s bi-partisan capitol team worked closely with both parks and transit advocates, urging lawmakers to stop playing politics and get the job done. In the final hours of the 2008 Legislative session, both the park and rail line passed with broad, bipartisan support.
Learn more about Lake Vermillion State Park, its history and opportunities for you and your family to visit it.
More to Come…
These are just a few examples of the ways Conservation Minnesota has helped protect the Minnesota you love. While there are new problems and issues to address each year, our approach to them remains the same: bring people together to find practical solutions, and make it simple for any Minnesotan to help make a difference!