More than 400 Minnesotans, including members of area lake associations and concerned residents, are expected to converge on the Capitol on Feb. 25, to ask legislators to make protection of Minnesota's lakes and streams a high priority this legislative session.
Protect Our Water Day is sponsored by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a coalition of more than 80 conservation and environmental groups. Citizens are invited to participate. Free bus transportation will be provided from the Brainerd area to the Capitol. Activities will include a legislative briefing, a rally at the Capitol, and pre-scheduled meetings with legislators.
"The Legislature needs to invest in restoring impaired lakes and rivers and protecting the quality of unimpaired waters so future generations can enjoy our waters," said Paula West, executive director of the Brainerd-based Minnesota Lakes Association.
MEP's legislative agenda includes a $157 million environmental bonding package that invests in Minnesota's state parks and forests, protects stream banks and lake shores from erosion, and funds the governor's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program initiative that sets aside 100,000 acres of marginal farmland to protect water quality in three vulnerable water basins.
A key component of MEP's legislative agenda is a statewide restriction on phosphorus-based lawn fertilizer -- legislation that was initiated by the Minnesota Lakes Association. Crow Wing County is one of only three rural counties that passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of phosphorus containing lawn fertilizer unless a soil test indicates the need for phosphorus or it is used on new turf.
Details of the MEP Protect Our Water legislative agenda are at www.ProtectOurWater.info. For more information or to sign up to attend and ride the bus, contact the Minnesota Lakes Association at 824-5565 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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