Make a Difference

People from across the Minnesota River Basin are making a difference when it comes to improving and protecting water quality.  This effort is a result of individual citizens, farmers, recreational users, nonprofit organizations, local groups and projects, government agencies and many more.  Be part of this ongoing movement to make the Minnesota River swimmable and fishable today and for future generations. For inspiration on what you can do or what your organization can accomplish, check out the Success Stories/Restoration Efforts section highlighting a wide range of projects, best management practices, programs, initiatives and other activities. Depending on if you live in an urban area or out on the farm / rural setting a person can become involved with improving water quality by installing both small and large conservation practices. 

Why not volunteer if you have the desire and the time?  There are many different ways a person can make a difference when it comes to volunteering.  Some are as easy as taking water clarity readings and others a little more labor intensive like keeping a waterbody clean.  Go to the Contact section for information on nonprofit organizations, government agencies (local, regional, state and federal), watershed projects and more. 

Water Storage
Water storage is a central strategy for Minnesota River water quality improvement and regional sustainability. Learn more from researchers and local conservation partners who spoke at the Water Storage Forum. You can learn about the diverse types of water storage practices and their multiple benefits by exploring the water storage website.  

Restoration Efforts
Water quality in the Minnesota River has shown many signs of improvement since 1992 when Governor Arne Carlson said he wanted it swimmable and fishable in ten years.  Even though we haven’t reached that milestone yet, there has been a lot of progress across the basin.  Here is a collection of success stories and restoration efforts providing a picture on what has been accomplished.  Look for ideas that might inspire you to continue this conservation legacy.

Get Involved - Volunteer Opportunities
Be part of the ongoing effort to improve and protect water quality in the Minnesota River Basin by volunteering to help with a community clean-up through the Friends of the Minnesota Valley or learn about wonderful world of mussels with the River Ranger program or work with the Chippewa River Watershed Project to install a rain garden on your property.  Citizen involvement plays a key role in creating a place where people can enjoy the beauty of the natural environment.  There are literally hundreds of opportunities for citizens of all ages to get involved.  We have divided them up into specific sections to help you identify which one might fit you best.

Do you have a question or need assistance?  Click on the Contact section to find out information on the various organizations, agencies, groups, and others working on water quality issues in the Minnesota River Basin. Please update the contact information by sending an email  to the Water Resources Center at Minnesota State University Mankato.

The community and the individual are not mutually exclusive; they are symbiotic.  Just as constrictions of form enable creative expression, so the constraints of community stimulate individualism.  Communities, by the same token, thrive on diversity; to the extent that communities suppress variability they lose vitality.  The more totalitarian a society is, the more severely it represses individuality.  The freer it is, the more toleration it can afford. – Paul Gruchow, Grass Roots – the Universe of Home