Today our primary focus continues to be on increasing public awareness and engagement, and advocating for policies and practices, in two main areas: nonpoint pollution and groundwater. Our primary scope is Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, but we keep a close eye on water issues around the world.
Programs begun decades ago continue, joined by new ones as needs arise. More than 400 lake associations have benefited from the Healthy Lakes and Rivers Partnership. The Master Water Stewards program is graduating its sixth class and supporting more than 250 alumni working around the state to boost water protection. Our free public lecture series, The Moos Lecture Series, inspires hundreds each year. Our early focus on road salt has evolved to include not only an annual symposium, but also development of chloride management plans for municipalities and a model Snow and Ice Management Policy. And our biennial State of Water Conference brings local water professionals together for practical advice on making their waters better.
While we continue to keep our feet wet with research to better understand surface and groundwater systems, emphasis today is on communicating, convening, connecting and catalyzing. We are laser-focused on helping citizens and policy-makers become aware of our common dependence on freshwater and the need to actively protect groundwater and surface waters alike for our own use, for future generations, and for the many systems that sustain life. The key messages today are those that have endured through the decades: We all need clean water. We all play a role in keeping water healthy. And the best way to do so is to work together.
Looking forward, we see new challenges: climate change, urbanization, the emergence of legacy pollutants. But we also see new opportunities: growing interest by farmers to take care of of water resources, a demand to expand Master Water Stewards statewide, enhanced connections and value to policy-makers who proactively reach out for guidance and counsel. With 15 years of Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funding remaining, it’s all hands on deck to ensure that Minnesota makes the most of this opportunity to set into place systems to protect our waters for generations to come.
As we celebrate 50 years of support and advocacy for freshwater, we look back with gratitude at the legacy of Dick Gray and all those who have gone before. And we look forward to continuing the work in the decades to come, so that future generations might also enjoy the priceless and irreplaceable benefits of abundant, clean and healthy water.
to inspire and empower people to value and preserve our freshwater resources.
- ensure the sustainability of groundwater
- prevent polluted run-off from harming lakes and rivers
- help citizens and community leaders take their next steps for healthy water.