“We have a shared responsibility to protect Minnesota’s precious lakes, rivers, and streams for future generations. That starts with fostering an ethic of water conservation in our communities,” said Governor Dayton. “Throughout the next year, we must raise awareness of the challenges facing Minnesota’s waters and highlight ways that Minnesotans can take action.”
At Lake Itasca, where the Mississippi River begins its 2,350 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Mark Dayton kicked off a “Year of Water Action” in Minnesota urging businesses, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, communities, and families to take action to conserve and improve water quality.
Throughout the next 12 months, Governor Dayton will visit school classrooms, water treatment facilities, research institutions, and farms to encourage Minnesotans to learn more about the challenges facing our waters, including:
- Despite the state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, groundwater and streams, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are currently listed as impaired or polluted.
- Damaging aquatic invasive species have infested more than 550 lakes statewide.
- The water treatment plants and clean drinking water systems that make Minnesotans’ water safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in, are also in serious disrepair.
- And initial testing that indicates 60 percent of the home/cabin wells in Central Minnesota may not provide safe drinking water.
Government plays an important role in protecting and conserving water quality. But it can’t do it alone. It’s up to Minnesota families and private industry to lead the way with most land privately-owned and private water usage comprising the majority of consumption in the state. Locally-led efforts of soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, civic groups, and individual landowners are essential to protecting and conserving water quality.
Make a difference in your community by volunteering:
- Anoka County Master Gardeners (763-755-1280) learn and share your knowledge
- Anoka County Parks & Recreation join the volunteer team
- Adopt-A-Boat Launch at an Anoka County Park facility
- Anoka County Master Recycler/Composter email or call 763-323-5730
- Anoka Conservation District (763-434-2030) learn about conservation opportunities
- Coon Creek Watershed District (763-755-0975) education & protection opportunities
- Rice Creek Watershed District (763-398-3070) water quality monitoring
- Become a Minnesota Master Naturalist leader (UofM & MN Dept of Natural Resources)
- Become a Lake Level Monitor volunteer 651-296-6157 (MN Dept of Natural Resources)
- Become a lake or stream Water Quality Monitor (MN Pollution Control Agency)
- Adopt a River or a section of a stream, lake, wetland or ditch (MN DNR)