Minnesota’s geography and culture are defined by water. There are over 10,000 lakes, 69,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 13 million acres of surface water in our state, nearly all of which originate within our borders.
As extensive as our state’s water resources are, they are also fragile. That is why protecting our state’s most precious natural resource has been central to our work for so long.
With the help of more than 20,000 members, as well as lake associations, COLAs, watershed districts, and other citizen groups throughout Minnesota, we have:
- Worked with Friends of Washington County in 2010 to have the Pollution Control Agency write improved rules and protections for landfills in the area, preventing significant pollution to local groundwater.
- Teamed up with partners to make Minnesota the first state in the nation to sign the Great Lakes Compact of 2007.
- Created provisions in the Clean Water Accountability Act that improve accountability and cleanup strategies for polluted waters; funds were included in the 2013 Legacy budget.
- Gave the DNR authority to create more protective guidelines for development along the Mississippi River and a new grant program providing incentives for local governments to implement more protective shoreland standards.
- Increased funding for enforcement, improved enforcement software, research, and prevention.
- Added new funding to 2013’s budget to monitor groundwater supplies and help communities manage groundwater resources effectively.
Going into the future, we intend to build on the accomplishments we have made so far. In working with people like you all across the state, we can ensure that our lakes, rivers, and all our water can be enjoyed for generations to come.