What additional steps should be taken to keep our lakes and streams clean?

Dirty water

“No lakes and only a few streams in Minnesota’s southwest corner meet the state’s quality standards for fishing and swimming,” MPR News reported earlier this week.

That bleak assessment comes from a recently released Minnesota Pollution Control Agency study that blames high levels of bacteria, nitrates and sediment in the water.

The agency examined lakes and streams across the four watersheds in southwest Minnesota that are part of the Missouri River Basin. It looked at 93 of 181 streams and found only three that fully supported aquatic life and recreation.

Today’s Question: What additional steps should be taken to keep our lakes and streams clean?

  • Karen Johnston
    • Sue de Nim

      Better than cleaning up our mess is not making a mess in the first place. The most important part of pollution control is to keep pollutants out of the water. And the link you posted refers only to ridding the water of bacterial contaminants. It would do nothing to solve the problems in the article cited above (“nitrite/nitrates and chlorine”), nor would it do anything about the runoff from the proposed copper-nickel mines in NE MN.

      • Karen Johnston

        Thanks Sue,

        Be the change you wish to see. :o)

  • Pearly

    Hands up.

  • J-dawg

    When are we going to see this buffer strip propos we were promised in January? Come on governor…

  • John Dilligaf

    From the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website:

    Minnesota drainage laws require a minimum 16.5 foot (1 rod) buffer strip
    along public drainage ditches. (Individual counties may require a wider
    buffer.) Minnesota shoreland management rules require a minimum 50-foot
    wide buffer on agricultural land in shoreland areas adjacent to
    designated public waters. (Shoreland areas include land within 1,000
    feet of lakes or 300 feet of perennial rivers and streams.)

    Are we enforcing these laws?

    • J-dawg

      Enforcement is up to the county. Some are pretty good, many are terrible.

  • Suzanne Lindgren

    We need to contact legislators and ask for an environmental impact statement on the quietly expanding network of pipelines and railways in the midwest used for oil transport. A spill could devastate Minnesota waterways. A leak in Line 61, for instance, could run into the headwaters of the St. Croix River or one of its tributaries, despoiling one of the cleanest rivers in the U.S., one that many people in eastern MN love and have taken pains to keep wild.