Watershed Protection

Governor’s 2017 bonding proposal: $270 million for clean water & habitat

On January 4th, Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith announced their 2017 bonding proposal. Dubbed the “Jobs Bill,” the proposed $1.5 billion package includes much-needed investments in the Minnesota’s water resources, including drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for communities across the state. Here are some of FMR's top bonding or funding priorities. 

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New fuel standards could help river

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the nation’s renewable fuel requirements. While we were disappointed to see an increase in traditional corn-based ethanol, we’re pleased to see a raise in production goals for cellulosic biofuel in 2017.

This creates a powerful market incentive for farmers to grow perennial crops, supporting FMR’s work towards market-based solutions to reduce agricultural water pollution.

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Perennial grasses for biofuels
Recommended reading: 'Danger Downstream'

The Star Tribune’s recent series on threats to Minnesota’s rivers – including our own Upper Mississippi – beautifully illustrates many of the challenges and opportunities facing our surface waters. Each article by veteran reporter Josephine Marcotty explores a different aspect of how land use and water interact, with inevitable consequences for surface water, groundwater, habitat and public health. Together, these three articles tell a powerful story of Minnesota’s water resources. They also illustrate and reinforce many of the key lessons of the FMR-National Park Service State of the River Report.

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The greatest river in North America begins in Minnesota. But our pristine stretch of the Mississippi faces mounting environmental threats.
City of Elk River earns Blue Star Award

Congratulations to the City of Elk River for earning the Blue Star Award for Excellence in Stormwater Management!

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Minnesota's waters need a special session

Following a hectic end to the 2016 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned with some important work left undone. Legislative efforts to pass a transportation bill and a bonding bill failed, while a surprise $100 million wording error in a tax bill earned that piece of legislation a pocket-veto from Governor Dayton.

While the Governor has expressed support for a special session, the likelihood of such a session remains uncertain. FMR and our allies strongly encourage Governor Dayton and state legislators to reconvene to complete their work, which includes much-needed funding to protect Minnesota's water resources.

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Conjunction dysfunction: A $100 million typo may lead to a special session

After Gov. Mark Dayton's pocket veto of the tax bill, a special session appears more likely this month. The governor chose not to sign the bill as it contained a $100 million wording error (an "or" instead of an "and"), letting the clock run out and preventing it from becoming law. A June special session will be needed to correct and re-pass the essential bill, making it likely the Minnesota Legislature will also tackle important transportation and bonding business left undone, including vital funding for state water quality improvements.

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, August 27, 2022 - 9:00am to Saturday, December 31, 2022 - 11:00am
Rice Creek Watershed District
Monday, April 25, 2022 - 12:00am to Saturday, October 15, 2022 - 11:45pm
St. Paul
Saturday, October 29, 2022 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area at the Flint Hills Resources property