Minnesota GreenCorps member Karyna Kloude joined Freshwater in September to support our newest program, Adopt a River. The focus of her service year is increasing the program’s sustainability, creating and revamping educational tools, and reaching new audiences.
At Freshwater, we have the privilege of reading public input from Minnesotans all over the state in our people-driven systems change work (like the One Watershed, One Plan efforts). Increasingly, we are reading public comments where people are noting that they have seen their weather change over the last decade, and these changes impact the health of their groundwater, surface waters, ecosystems, and wildlife.
If you really want to understand an environmental or water quality issue, it’s no secret that you have to get out from behind the computer screen once in a while and into the field. After years of editing technical reports, and writing factsheets and news releases for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, I decided to follow that advice.
As 2021 ends, I am sincerely grateful for the actions you, as Freshwater supporters, empowered this year. Whether you donated to one of our campaigns like our internship program, told your elected officials how important protecting and restoring clean and safe water is for our future, or shared your passion for water with friends and family, you made a real difference.
Today, Freshwater is participating in the national Imagine a Day without Water, sponsored by the U.S. Water Alliance. From a shower to morning coffee or tea, watering our plants and gardens to flushing our toilets, water is essential to our daily life. Our bodies are mostly water—78% as infants and 60% in adults. Safe and reliable water is essential to every one of us.
Minnesota’s water governance is considered some of the best in the country, and we’ve been hearing a lot about it since we began a year-long project in March 2021 to assess governance across six states and tribal nations within them: Groundwater Governance in the Great Lakes States.
We love and cherish water here in Minnesota, and we’re proud of our “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi heritage. The presence and quality of our lakes and rivers and abundant drinking water (mostly from our groundwater systems) is easy to take for granted. It seems like we Minnesotans are water rich, but is Minnesota a water-rich state for everyone who lives here?
Adopt a River is a new Freshwater program in the works for Spring 2022. It’s a revised version of a great idea that originated with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the 1980s, when the program evolved out of the environmental concerns and aimed to empower Minnesotans as stewards and ambassadors of the state’s public waters.
We had near-record sign up for our Earth Day Moos lecture delivered by Alistar Boxall, who holds a doctorate in ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry, from his home office in near the University of York in England.
Freshwater’s Carrie Jennings and some dedicated volunteer* scientists have spent several Fridays this spring collecting background data on soil in a conventionally farmed field that will be converted to regenerative practices.
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