Watershed Protection

Biofuels incentive program: Growing the crops of the future

FMR, in concert with a diverse group of allies, worked to help advance legislation to create a powerful new incentive for farmers to plant perennial crops right here in Minnesota!

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Making the most of the Governor's Water Summit

When over 800 Minnesotans gather in a windowless basement on the first beautiful spring-like day, there must be a compelling reason. In this case the reason was water. Residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes showed up in droves to show their care and concern at the Governor's Water Summit. Among them, of course, were staff from FMR and our fellow water protection colleagues, plus 30 volunteer FMR River Protectors. Together, we made sure our top priorities for clean waters were heard loud and clear. Next up: Turning these basement conversations into noticeable improvements for Minnesotans' waters, communities and wildlife.

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Governor Dayton opening the first ever MN Water Summit
You're invited! Governor's Water Summit Briefing

The Governor's Water Summit is just around the corner. If you're planning to attend, in-person or online, please let us know! (We'd like to invite you to a pre-summit briefing, complete with beer and snacks in downtown St. Paul.)

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Surprise buffer law rollbacks a major disappointment

Bowing to pressure from agribusiness groups and select lawmakers, Gov. Mark Dayton made statewide news with a surprise announcement in late-January: a major portion of the 2015 buffer bill is being rolled back. As a result, hundreds of miles of private ditches will be exempt from buffer requirements and will continue to carry polluted farm runoff into Minnesota's waters. 

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Water running off farm fields carries pollution into the nearest waterways.
The real costs of pumping up White Bear Lake

Recently the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released a much-anticipated report detailing cost estimates for pumping water from the Mississippi River to refill or "augment" shrinking White Bear Lake. The potential price tag?: $107 million, plus up to $4.1 million in annual operating costs. Given this, along with previous analyses casting doubt on such a system's potential effectiveness, FMR opposes any further state investment in such direct augmentation efforts.

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Declining water levels in White Bear Lake have been big news for the northeast metro area for some time.
Dayton's water quality summit a go. Help set the agenda!

Mid-January, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will host the Governor's Water Summit in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 27th. FMR and our conservation partners are working with the administration to help shape the summit and provide a much-needed focus on ideas that can help address agricultural water pollution, the largest source of pollution to the Mississippi River. Summit registration has closed, but you can still play a role and help set its agenda by taking the Governor's Clean Water Summit Survey.

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World's largest cellulosic ethanol plant opens in Iowa

DuPont recently announced the opening of the world's largest cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant, which uses corn stover (the stems, stalks, leaves and husks of the corn plant) to produce ethanol, aims to produce approximately 30 million gallons of fuel per year. And it might not be good news.

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DuPont's 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa

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