Minnesota Conservation Volunteers Protecting the Land and Waters

Minnesota Conservation VolunteersMinnesota conservation volunteers are men and women who aim to preserve the fish and other local wildlife that make their home in the state. Through their efforts, they also help to ensure that plants of various species which are endemic to Minnesota will survive for many years to come. Without a conscious effort made to reduce the harmful impact of environmental changes, some of the local flora and fauna will cease to exist as time passes.

Protecting Rivers and Lakes for Fishermen and the Wider Community
Rivers and lakes are rich with wildlife and serve as a source of food for humans and other animals within and outside of Minnesota. People who are involved in conservation efforts partner with local businesses, the government and other members of the community in order to ensure that fish are managed in a way that protects the population. Over fishing leads to a loss in the future ability of rivers and lakes in Minnesota to produce adequate numbers of catfish and other species.

The impact of overfishing and the addition of harmful pollutants has already been seen in the state. Many years ago, tributaries would be full of fish. Fishermen would enjoy all that the Minnesota River had to offer. Then, after a time, the water started to foam and this was a direct impact of pollutants such as sediment and ammonia. With these substances present in the water, fish and other aquatic organisms were not able to thrive.

Minnesota conservation volunteers worked with businesses and the community to cut down on the amount of sediment, phosphorous and other pollutants that entered the water. As a result, the river has become a much healthier place for fish to live. Humans can also fish without worrying so much about mercury and other poisons being accumulated in the various forms of seafood that live in the river.

Educating the Community
People who work to protect the environment know that it takes both positive reinforcement and punitive measures to stop habits that cause environmental deterioration. For this reason, they host field trips and seminars which educate people in the community about ways in which they can cut down on the type of pollutants that they produce. Grasslands and wetlands are important natural resources and their health even affects Minnesotans who live in city areas.

Consumers in Minnesota may often think of big businesses first, when they consider the environment. However, there is something that every person can do to make a difference. Everyone needs clean sources of water and Minnesota Conservation volunteers work to show members of the community that all residents benefits by taking action to protect water resources in the state.

Developing Laws that Protect the Environment
By developing laws that protect the environment, concerned parties in Minnesota can force residents and busienss owners to be careful about the chemicals that they use every day. They can also require fishermen to use rivers and lakes in a more responsible way. This is how Minnesota Conservation volunteers help to protect the state and encourage everyone to make better decisions for their family and community.

Recycling Refund: A Proposal that Makes Cents

Two lawmakers are proposing a Recycling Refund for Minnesota.  It would make every pop can and water bottle worth 10 cents, and it would dramatically increase the amount of recycling in our state.  Here’s how it works.

Its Convenient…If you use curbside recycling right now, you don’t have to change a thing.  The company that takes your recyclables will be able to cash in the deposit, reducing the costs of waste disposal for you and your community.  If you don’t use curbside, or you want to return your bottles and cans for cash, reverse vending machines will make redeeming simple at your local supermarket or convenience store.

It is common sense conservation….and it works!
With our curbside programs, Minnesota residents only recycle 35% of beverage containers.  Adding the Recycling Refund as an option for consumers will more than double our recycling rate.   More recycling means less litter in our lakes and rivers and less trash on our roadsides. And it saves energy.  In fact, recycling aluminum cans uses 95% less energy than manufacturing new cans.

Find out more and help make it happen by visitingwww.RecyclingRefund.org.

2009 Scorecard Available

The Conservation Minnesota Voter Center helps you hold state leaders accountable for their decisions. Most people don’t have time to keep track of everything that happens at the Capitol. But you can count on the Voter Center to track the important decisions made in St. Paul and to be your partner in evaluating the performance of your elected officials on conservation issues.

Published and posted online our annual Legislative Scorecard measures the performance of your lawmakers, enabling you to see how your State Representative and Senator voted, and how the Governor and Minnesota Legislature as a whole performed on key conservation issues.

9th Annual Conservation Leadership Awards

Each year, Conservation Minnesota honors a few conservation champions.  We not only highlight their work in the past year, but celebrate their dedication to these important issues throughout their careers.

The 2010 Award Winners were:
Representative Julie Bunn
Senator Kathy Saltzman
Senator Dennis Frederickson
Dann Siems
Eureka Recycling