We all know Minnesota’s landscape is changing. But how much it’s changing may be a surprise. 40% of Minnesota lakes fail to meet basic clean water standards, according to tests done by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Minnesota’s population is growing faster than any other state in the Midwest. If we don’t conserve while we grow, over 1 million acres of natural areas and farmland could be lost over the next 25 years.
Twin Cities waters are under increasing pressure each passing year. We live in the fastest growing state in the Midwest. Our increasing population will use more resources with more need for clean drinking water, more people on our rivers, and more people fishing our lakes. It is a sad reality that, today, the fish caught in our lakes are often uneatable. Most lakes in the metro have fishing advisories. This means that because of contamination by mercury or another pollutant, you should limit your monthly intake of these fish, or not eat them at all, depending on the lake.
Our metropolitan area offers an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Our citizens get to choose from such great destinations like Lakes Calhoun, Phalen, Isles, Cedar, Harriet and Nokomis. Sadly, not one of these lakes is free from both fish and swimming advisories. This mirrors conditions statewide, where four out of ten of our tested lakes are polluted. This is unacceptable for the Land of Sky Blue Waters. We must invest in these waters before it is too late.
This November, voters will have a chance to tackle this problem. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will provide long-term funding for clean water; fish, game and wildlife habitat; arts access and our parks and trails system. The amendment will provide a lasting legacy by cleaning up our polluted waters, expanding and maintaining our world-class parks and trails system, and protecting vital fish and wildlife habitat
There is nothing more important than having clean water for the citizens of our metro. Many of our friends and neighbors fish for both pleasure and sustenance. On November 4th, we have the chance to clean up our polluted lakes and rivers by voting yes on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
Our kids and grandkids will thank us if we make this investment.