Beginning anew

I’m just beginning my third week at Freshwater, and I’m so excited for the “fresh” start at Freshwater. It’s an impressive organization, born 50 years ago by visionary Dick Gray and his idea of fostering innovative, science-based efforts to protect and restore our freshwater resources.

Allow me to introduce myself – John Linc Stine (my family and closest friends call me Linc). I’m recently retired from my career in state government. It was a remarkable journey – I learned about the value of a strong foundation laid by Minnesota and national policy makers to create a strong system of governing our incredible water resources. I began my career at the Department of Natural Resources (1978- 2005), where I worked on direct regulation of landowners, businesses, and communities, both protecting shorelines and guarding the withdrawal of water from groundwater and surface water. During my time at the Department of Health (2005-2011), I oversaw programs that assure safe drinking water for all Minnesotans, including municipal and private drinking water systems as well as private wells. Lastly, I served at Pollution Control Agency (as commissioner from 2012-2019), where I worked to assure clean water for all Minnesotans, including the assessment of water quality and regulation of wastewater treatment systems statewide.

I am a Minnesotan to the core – raised in Roseville, educated at the University of Minnesota, and living/working in Minnesota. I grew up swimming in Lake Josephine, fishing at Lake Owasso, and watching the major floods along the Mississippi River in St. Paul.

It seems almost too good to be true that I have this opportunity to work with Freshwater, our members, partners, and staff to create programs that inspire people to value water through education, science, and policy work. When asked to prioritize values that make living in Minnesota important for citizens, families, businesses, and communities, one response is top of mind – water. Our state is known by the indigenous people’s name for land of sky-tinted waters, and as a land of lakes and the beginnings of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. At Freshwater, it’s a privilege to continue promoting the value of water that is safe to drink, clean, and supportive of swimming, boating, and fishing.

I invite you to join with friends of Freshwater at our annual Ice Out, Loon In Gala on Saturday May 4 at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley. It’s a fun fundraising event, with special awards and recognition, a silent and live auction, and much more! And my special offer is this: If you register for this event, and mention Coffee with JLS, I will personally meet with you for coffee to share our Freshwater stories. I am delighted to join the Freshwater team and look forward to meeting as many Freshwater members and supporters as I can.

Check out this MPR story about John and his new position at Freshwater.

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