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Watershed Protection

A small metro-area town has a big drinking water problem 


Emblematic of challenges facing many rural communities, up to 55 percent of the private wells in the town of Coates in Dakota County exceed safe levels for nitrates. 



Sandy soils and porous limestone can allow fertilizers, the most common source of nitrates, as well as pesticides from both yards and farm fields to soak into the underlying aquifers that supply the county's 150 municipal and 8,000 private wells.

August 17

Why we need the Groundwater Protection Rule

About 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from public and private wells. Many of these wells are susceptible to nitrate contamination from cropland fertilizers, which can make the water unsafe to drink.

Today, at least 537 public water supply wells across the state have elevated nitrate levels. About 10% of private wells in vulnerable areas exceed the Health Risk Limit (HRL), including some townships where 30% to 40% or more of private wells are unsafe to drink from!

August 1

Minnesota Governor Candidate Forum

Meet the candidates who want to be your Governor and let them know you care about the water we drink, the air we breathe, the land we live on and enjoy, and the legacy we leave behind.

This event is free but capacity is limited and early registration is highly recommended. >>

It’s time to put our waters on a low-salt diet

Road salt truck

We use salt to manage snow and ice in Minnesota, but too much can irreparably harm our lakes and streams. It's time for Minnesota to go on a low-salt diet. (Photo Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.)

Just 1 teaspoon of salt is enough to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Chloride pollution to Minnesota’s waters has made headlines recently, and it's time for new strategies to protect our water. Learn how you can help, both long-term and this winter as you shovel (or sweep!) your walk. >>

December 7

Neighboring suburbs helped dry up White Bear Lake

White Bear Lake is known for shrinking during low-precipitation years.

Water levels in White Bear Lake have fallen due to excessive pumping of the aquifer below it.

As reported by the Star Tribune, new state agency findings are helping us understand the relationship between unsustainable groundwater use and White Bear Lake, one of many lakes known for "shrinking" in Minnesota.

Combined with a recent related ruling, we hope the new report will push us towards real progress to protect the Land of 10,000 Lakes' vital water resources. >>

November 14

Oct. 18 get 20% off and learn about river-conscious shopping at Patagonia!

Come out to Patagonia’s St. Paul location and enjoy a special 20-percent discount extended to our valued FMR members. 

In addition to enjoying storewide savings, learn more about Patagonia’s emerging research, efforts and products to help reduce water pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles. Learn what you can do to reduce microplastics in our waterways and make eco-conscious decisions as we begin the holiday shopping season.

If you're not a member yet, you can contribute at any giving level to help protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and enjoy our member benefits throughout the year ahead. 

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