Watershed Protection

Watershed Protection
Opponents of Minnesota's buffer law claim it's an unconstitutional taking. It's not.

Legislators and testifiers opposed to Minnesota's buffer law continue to claim that the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes a government taking of private property without just compensation to the property owner. These claims are incorrect and misleading. The law would only be unconstitutional if it denied property owners every and all reasonable use of their land.

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Our 2017 legislative priorities

Water issues will once again be a hot topic during this year's legislative session. While Gov. Mark Dayton has made water a priority, House and Senate majority parties have signaled intentions to roll back policies and funding essential to protecting Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and streams.

Without a doubt, defending against these rollbacks and securing much-needed funding for critical water infrastructure will be our top priorities during the 2017 legislative session. 

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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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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights