Friends of Freshwater,
We are excited to announce that our own Jen Kader, Senior Program Manager, was appointed by Governor Walz to serve on the Clean Water Council!
About the Clean Water Council
The Clean Water Council advises the Legislature and Governor on how to invest state clean water funds to secure a clean and reliable water future for all Minnesotans. While the Council predates the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment (passed overwhelmingly by Minnesotans in 2008), it has focused since then on making recommendations for the Clean Water Fund, designated to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in our lakes, rivers, and streams, and to protect groundwater from degradation.
Over the last ten years, the Clean Water Fund has:
- Accelerated state water quality data collection across all of Minnesota’s watersheds
- Worked through local governments to install nearly 3,000 water-friendly projects
- Led to 46 lakes and streams being taken off the impaired waters list
- Leveraged nearly $200 million in federal funds between 2010-2017 alone, or 73 cents for every dollar invested in on-the-ground action for water protection and restoration
Locally-driven planning efforts also funded by the Clean Water Fund are occurring around the state, with nearly 50% of Minnesota’s watersheds either working to identify or address basin-level priorities. As more of these comprehensive watershed management plans are completed, local communities will have science and funds to support targeted action to improve water and natural resources around the state. (Explore how funds from the full Legacy Amendment have been used here.)
About Jen’s work with the Clean Water Fund
Over the last three years Jen’s work at Freshwater has focused on enhancing the outcomes of state clean water investments. As a lead convener and author of Freshwater’s Trajectory Project report (funded by the McKnight Foundation), she worked closely with representatives from the Clean Water Council, state agencies, and interest groups impacted by and interested in the use of the Clean Water Fund. Together, they identified recommendations to narrow the focus of Clean Water Fund spending, improve the staffing structure and budget-setting process, and clearly articulate a vision and measurable goals to build confidence that Minnesota will have a clean water future.
Since the Trajectory Report came out in early 2019, Jen has been shepherding the recommendations along, working with state agencies, the Council, legislators, and other environmental nonprofits. She has also directly implemented Clean Water Fund projects, including several One Watershed, One Plan processes, working with Soil and Water Conservation District staff to support producers as they increase conservation practices, and more.
Jen has been appointed as an Environmental Organization Representative, one of seventeen voting roles on the Council. Her term begins this Thursday, April 2, and will last until January 2023. We are super excited to see Jen’s hard work pay off as she begins serving as a liaison to other environmental organizations and directly weighing in on Council discussions.
Please join us in congratulating Jen on her appointment!