Safeguarding the Clean Water Fund

Three people wearing waders stand in ankle-deep water.

The Clean Water, Land & Legacy fund is critical to protecting and restoring Minnesota's natural resources, including streams like these. (Photo by FMR)

In 2008, a strong majority of Minnesotans voted to adopt the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. One-third of the state sales tax revenue derived through this Legacy Amendment is invested in clean water projects via the Clean Water Fund.

Every two years, Minnesota's nonpartisan Clean Water Council works with experts from across the state to craft detailed recommendations to the Legislature on how to best invest Clean Water Fund dollars.

FMR analyzes the Clean Water Council's recommendations, and typically works with lawmakers to ensure that these recommendations are reflected in the Legislature's final appropriations.

What we support

In general, we support investments that are: 

  • Programs vs Pork: Funds should remain program-based (e.g. for our statewide strategic stream monitoring program) rather than picking specific "pet projects" (e.g. extra monitoring in a specific legislative district).  
  • Avoid substitution: Clean Water Fund dollars can't be used as a substitute for traditional funding sources. That includes funding for Soil & Water Conservation Districts — which have historically been funded with general fund dollars.  
  • Catalytic changes: Small investments can make big impacts over time. Investments in programs such as Forever Green can lead to landscape-level transformation — the kind of change we need to achieve our clean water goals. 

Advocating for the council's 2023 recommendations

The council finalized its 2023 recommendations in December 2022. FMR appreciates the council's work to pursue an inclusive and transparent process by soliciting additional public input throughout the Clean Water Fund recommendation process. FMR has reviewed the recommendations in detail and looks forward to working with lawmakers in both parties to ensure these recommendations are reflected in the Legislature's final appropriations. 

Become a River Guardian

Sign up and we'll email you when important river issues arise. We make it quick and easy to contact decision-makers. River Guardians are also invited to special social hours and other events about legislative and metro river corridor issues.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Hastings Sand Coulee SNA, Hastings
Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis
Giveback Days all Sept. + visit FMR in-store Sept. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m.
Orvis - Miracle Mile, St. Louis Park
Ole Olson prairie, Mississippi River, Minneapolis skyline

Celebrate 30 years of FMR!

For our 30th anniversary, our wish is for you to join us in restoring, protecting and enhancing the Mississippi River.