Building a Clean Water Legacy
In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, dedicating funds to, among other things, protect and restore our lakes, rivers, and streams. Since then, much work has been done to protect and restore our state’s vital water resources. BWSR’s work is focused on making measurable progress toward local and state goals – partnering with local governments and other agencies to keep our state’s waters fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.
Mike and Mary Mueller own 360 acres in Bismark Township in Sibley County that are mostly protected in Perpetual Conservation Easements. In addition to farming and pasturing in small amounts, the Muellers have a solar project that meets their electric needs for the year, experiment with pollinators, serve as a resource by opening up their farm for schools and community programs, and volunteer at conservation and wildlife organizations. In short, the Muellers are conservation superstars.
Partnering for Efficiency and Effectiveness
Wetlands are so important that both state and federal agencies regulate activities within their boundaries. In Minnesota, state regulation falls under the Wetland Conservation Act (WCA), overseen by the Board of Water and Soil Resources. The Federal program is Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, administered by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers. While the programs operate in the public’s best interests, navigating the different rules can sometimes be a challenge for landowners and agencies alike.
Protecting Minnesota’s water resources
Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but lakes are just a part of Minnesota’s vast water resources. In fact, Minnesota contains a variety of surface water and ground water resources, and the discussion of how to best protect and manage those resources goes back to the late 1800s. There are more than 20,000 protected surface water bodies in Minnesota, and stretched end to end, the shorelines of our natural rivers and streams would circle the Earth more than twice.