Conservation Minnesota

Progress in 2013

This year, over 20,000 Minnesotans helped shape and guide our work by sharing their conservation priorities with us. By the end of May, members of our network contacted legislators and other officials more than 11,000 times. This outpouring of support strengthened our work, and the work of our partners, to achieve the following:

Lake Phalen in Maplewood. (Photo distributed under creative commons by Sharon Mollerus on Flickr.)

Lake Phalen in Maplewood. (Photo distributed under creative commons by Sharon Mollerus on Flickr.)

Protect Lakes & Rivers

  • The Clean Water Accountability Act – Provisions that improve accountability and clean up strategies for polluted waters were included in this year’s Legacy budget.
  • Protecting Shoreland – The DNR was authorized to create more protective guidelines for development along the Mississippi River and a new grant program provides incentives for local government to implement more protective shoreland standards.
  • Aquatic Invasive Species – Increased funding for enforcement, research, and prevention.
  • Conserving Groundwater – New funding to monitor groundwater supplies and help communities manage groundwater resources effectively.

Improve Recycling

  • Beverage Containers – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is required to convene stakeholders for a study to make recommendations to the Legislature for a Recycling Refund program that would achieve an 80% recycling rate.
  • Paint – Manufacturers are required to work with the state to design and implement a system to collect and recycle unused paint.

Increase Renewable Energy

  • Solar Standard – Large utilities are now required to get 1.5% of their energy from solar by 2020 with a state goal of reaching 10% by 2030.
  • Options for Homeowners – Changes to state law make it easier for individuals to realize savings from producing their own renewable energy.

 Remove Toxic Chemicals From Children’s Products

  • Bisphenol-A (BPA) – New state law bans the use of BPA in food packaging marketed for children under 3 years old, including infant formula and baby food.
  • Formaldehyde – Use of formaldehyde is banned in soaps, shampoo, lotions, and other personal care products marketed for children under 8 years old.
Bikers staying active on a trail at Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, a park protected by the Legacy Amendment.

Bikers staying active on a trail at Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, a park protected by the Legacy Amendment.

 Invest in Minnesota’s Great Outdoors

  • Protecting Legacy Amendment Funds – Preventing attempts to divert voter approved Legacy dollars or to use them as a substitute for conservation and arts programs’ traditional funding sources.
  • Citizen Recommendations Approved – All of the projects recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council were included in final appropriations from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

All of this happened because of the support of Minnesotans like you.  Your support today will allow us to build upon this foundation and create a healthy Minnesota for generations to come.