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Advocacy

Senate budget bill approved; Fully funds FMR priorities

The Minnesota Senate voted 39 to 24 in favor of the Senate Omnibus Finance Bill on Thursday, April 28. The bill includes several of FMR's top environmental initiatives, including The Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program and funding for the Forever Green Initiative.

May 3

Making the most of the Governor's Water Summit

Governor Dayton opening the first ever MN Water Summit

Gov. Mark Dayton delivers the opening remarks of Minnesota's first-ever Governor's Water Summit.

When over 800 Minnesotans gather in a windowless basement on the first beautiful spring-like day, there must be a compelling reason. In this case the reason was water. Residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes showed up in droves to show their care and concern at the Governor's Water Summit. Among them, of course, were staff from FMR and our fellow water protection colleagues, plus 30 volunteer FMR River Protectors. Together, we made sure our top priorities for clean waters were heard loud and clear. Next up: Turning these basement conversations into noticeable improvements for Minnesotans' waters, communities and wildlife.

March 1

You're invited! Governor's Water Summit Briefing

The Governor's Water Summit is just around the corner. If you're planning to attend, in-person or online, please let us know! (We'd like to invite you to a pre-summit briefing, complete with beer and snacks in downtown St. Paul.)

February 15

Dayton's water quality summit a go. Help set the agenda!

Mid-January, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will host the Governor's Water Summit in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 27th. FMR and our conservation partners are working with the administration to help shape the summit and provide a much-needed focus on ideas that can help address agricultural water pollution, the largest source of pollution to the Mississippi River. Summit registration has closed, but you can still play a role and help set its agenda by taking the Governor's Clean Water Summit Survey.

January 17

Saint Paul reveals exciting plans for river balcony park

Saint Paul River Balcony rendering from the Great River Passage Plan

A rendering of the proposed Saint Paul River Balcony from the Great River Passage Plan.

On September 24, Saint Paul Mayor Coleman presented the city's latest vision to improve the connections between the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul while improving the parkland and connections along the river between the Science Museum and the Union Depot.

October 12

Clean water rules! We hope the courts agree.

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Rule, an update to the Clean Water Act of 1972, went into effect on August 28, 2015. Before the rule was finalized, North Dakota led 13 states in challenging the legality of the rule, exempting them from the rule until the courts make a decision. Now others are questioning whether enforcement of the rule in all states should halt while the courts decide its legality.

September 11

The good, the bad and the dirty: The environment and the 2015 special session

Following the chaotic end of the 2015 regular legislative session, the conservation community rallied to build public support for a veto of a highly controversial environmental bill: the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill.

While Governor Dayton is to be commended for his veto of the original bill, a renegotiated bill surfaced during the recent legislative special session and was passed with many of the same dirty water provisions that were in the original bill.

Overall, the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill remains one of the most anti-clean-water measures to come out of the state legislature in recent memory, and includes an especially egregious repeal of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board.

June 15

Oversized development downsized at Mississippi and Minnesota River confluence

Last month, FMR appealed the Saint Paul Planning Commission decision to grant a height variance in the confluence area because we believed it would greatly impact this significant portion of the river corridor. We are pleased that the Saint Paul City Council decreased the building height variance to allow a 60 foot building instead of a 73.5 foot building — a 13.5 foot decrease.

June 12

FMR and allies urge Governor Dayton to veto Environment Budget Bill

Send Governor Dayton a message asking him to veto the Environment budget Bill.

Following a disappointing and chaotic end to the 2015 legislative session, the conservation community is asking Governor Dayton to veto a highly controversial environmental bill. The bill makes deep cuts to environmental spending (24.3%), contains numerous rollbacks to environmental policies, and includes last-minute language violating a universal agreement on biofuels policy.

While the legislature's compromise on a modest stream buffer proposal was among several positive outcomes this year, funding for both the buffer initiative and UofM Forever Green cover crop research failed to pass before the clock ran out. As a result, a special session is almost certain to be scheduled in the coming weeks.

May 20

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