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Disabled Veterans Eligible for Free Hunting Licenses

Posted on October 09, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Categories: Veterans, Environment

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Minnesota resident military veterans with service-connected permanent disability, as defined by the U.S. Veterans Administration, may obtain an application online at




Lt. Governor's Visit Highlights New Efforts to Protect Our Natural Resources

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Categories: Environment, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and Senior Policy Advisor Will Seuffert

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and senior policy advisor, Will Seuffert, spent time on Isle Royale reviewing efforts to address aquatic invasive species.

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon visited Isle Royale, Michigan. The island is located in the northwestern corner of Lake Superior – a two-hour ferry ride from Grand Portage, Minnesota. 
The 850 square-mile island’s isolated location provides one of the most unique ecosystems in North America. Isle Royale is home to only 18 mammal species, unlike the nearest mainland, which hosts more than 40 species. The island also houses the longest running large mammal predator-prey study on earth.
Unfortunately, this otherwise pristine wilderness is now grappling with aquatic invasive species such as spiny water fleas, sea lamprey, and zebra mussels. These water-based invaders can disrupt the natural ecosystem – pushing out native plants, fish, and animals.
During her visit, the Lieutenant Governor traveled aboard the Ranger III, a National Park Service lake boat, to review efforts to address invasive species on the island and in the waters surrounding it. Here in Minnesota, we also have made new efforts to address aquatic invasive species.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) first began addressing aquatic invasive species in 1987. Since then, the DNR has developed a comprehensive program with more than 160 permanent and seasonal staff dedicated to quelling aquatic invasive species.


Celebrating Arbor Day in Minnesota

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Categories: Greater Minnesota, Environment, Outdoors

April 26th is Arbor Month in Minnesota.

Arbor Day - plant trees for a brighter MinnesotaGovernor Dayton has proclaimed today to be Arbor Day in Minnesota. Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of each April to celebrate the importance of trees worldwide. Today kicks off an entire month for celebrating trees in Minnesota that will continue for the entire month of May.

Trees and forests brighten Minnesota in a number of ways, from providing recreational setting and increasing property values, to making cities more beautiful and livable. Trees also bring communities together and reduce crime when they are planted. Minnesota’s trees are crucial to brightening the environment by improving air and water quality as well.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is leading this year’s Arbor Day initiative. This year’s theme for Arbor Day and Arbor Month is “Plant Trees for a Brighter Minnesota.” The DNR is encouraging Minnesotans to replace trees lost during the past year due to severe weather or any other reason. For information on how to get the DNR’s guide for Arbor Day and Arbor Month, check out their Arbor Month website here.


Four Minnesota Schools Recognized by U.S. Department of Education for Green Efforts

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Categories: Earth Day, Environment, Education

Blog-Four_Minnesota_Schools_RecognizedMinnesota is one of forty states with schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools. 

Today, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. Three Minnesota schools and one Minnesota district are among the 64 schools and 14 districts from across the nation to be honored for their efforts to cut utility costs, implement smart conservation strategies and cultivate healthy and productive classrooms.

“Minnesota has a rich environmental tradition and outdoor heritage embedded in our history, and it’s fitting that our schools play a significant role in carrying on that tradition,“ said Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “I’m so proud of the work these schools are doing. Not only are they teaching students to be better stewards of the earth, but they are putting those lessons into practice in their school buildings.” 

The recognized schools are: Jeffers Pond Elementary School in Prior Lake, Heritage E-STEM Middle School in West St. Paul, and the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. The entire Prior Lake-Savage Area School District was recognized for their green efforts. This is the first year districts were recognized in addition to individual schools.


Minnesota Stormwater Manual Now Available In Wiki Format

Posted on April 03, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Categories: Environment

Screenshot: Stormwater Manual Wiki 

Screenshot: PCA Stormwater Manual Wiki

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual that will serve as an invaluable reference for controlling urban stromwater pollution of lakes and streams.


State Agencies to Eliminate Use of Harmful Chemical

Posted on March 04, 2013 at 4:59 PM
Categories: Environment, Health

Minnesota state agencies are eliminating the use of a harmful chemical in their offices found in several household cleaning products. Through Executive Order by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in April, 2011, all state agencies will no longer purchase hand soaps and dish and laundry cleaning products that contain triclosan by June of this year. State agencies are required to implement plans to reduce pollution and toxics, increase energy efficiency, and conserve resources.

The Interagency Pollution Prevention Advisory Team (IPPAT) has the ability make changes to the Model Sustainability Plan within Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-13. The state recently developed contracts for hand soap and dish and laundry cleaning products that are triclosan-free. In some situations, uses of triclosan-containing products may be allowed in medical or other specific settings.

Triclosan is antibiotic resistant and causes health and environmental problems. It is an ingredient in products such as hand soap, toothpaste, cleaning products, fabric, toys, kitchenware and industrial pesticides. There is no evidence that triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Triclosan-free products are readily available in many stores.

“By purchasing items without triclosan, state agencies are doing their part to keep this harmful chemical out of Minnesota waters,” said Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Environmental work drives economic growth, creates jobs

Posted on March 01, 2013 at 8:43 AM
Categories: Environment, Jobs

Rainwater garden at Maplewood Mall

One of the projects overseen by the MPCA was the construction of the Maplewood Mall stormwater system, which will contribute to the improvement in Kohlmann Lake’s water quality by preventing 50 pounds of phosphorus and five tons of sediment per year from entering the lake.

Some of the most innovative engineering projects undertaken in Minnesota in 2012 were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN) recently announced the winners of its 2013 Engineering Excellence awards. Several of the 29 award-winning projects were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The projects represent some of the most innovative engineering work undertaken in Minnesota in 2012. Some were directly funded or overseen by MPCA; others were initiated in response to the agency’s environmental work. Three of these environmental projects will compete for recognition at the national level.
One of the award-winning projects converted an Edina parking garage into a new drinking water treatment plant. When it was discovered that the city’s groundwater was contaminated with vinyl chloride, a new treatment system was needed to protect the quality of the water supply.
The MPCA provided financial support for the project’s design, while the city funded construction and ongoing operation of the facility. The unique project, designed by the engineering firm AECOM,  allowed the city to reuse an existing structure. This eliminated the need to use valuable green space for infrastructure improvements.
Another project recognized by ACEC/MN was an innovative stormwater management system at Maplewood Mall. The system, designed by Barr Engineering, will capture and treat 90% of the stormwater runoff at the site. It incorporates rain gardens, permeable pavement crosswalks, a cistern that captures roof runoff for irrigation, and some 200 trees.


Major Successes for Minnesota DNR in 2012: Agency made strides in protecting natural resources, improving outdoor recreation

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Categories: Outdoors, Jobs, Greater Minnesota, Environment

Source: DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tackled important issues in 2012 and accomplished major successes – achievements which touched the lives of Minnesotans across the state. From responding to historic flooding in east-central Minnesota and Duluth, to the destructive July winds in the state’s northern forests, to a drought which culminated in severe wildfire conditions, DNR staff worked with Minnesota communities to minimize impact, complete emergency infrastructure repairs and to respond to disasters as they were unfolding.

“Gov. Mark Dayton has directed all his agency commissioners, including me, to make Minnesota work for Minnesotans,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “DNR’s accomplishments in 2012 show what we can achieve when we collaborate with others and address hard issues.”


Results Minnesota: Cleaning up Minnesota’s Environment

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Transportation, Outdoors, Health, Environment, Education, Economy

Photo of two men equiping a pipe to their boat on the Minnesota River

Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing his efforts to build a Better Minnesota. The Dayton Administration is taking note of what has been accomplished so far while still considering the work that is yet to be done.

One important component of building a Better Minnesota is supporting a clean and healthy environment. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes and a state where people care about the health and integrity of our natural resources. A healthy environment is central to the quality of life that all Minnesotans enjoy, and a crucial component in the success of our economy. Governor Dayton is committed to protecting and improving our natural resources, and leaving a legacy of clean water, cleaner air, and better parks and trails for future generations of Minnesotans.

In the Spotlight

For years, the Minnesota River has been considered one of the most polluted rivers in the state. But collaborative efforts across agencies have made important progress toward improving the health of the river.

Recent testing from the Pollution Control Agency showed marked improvements in dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll levels. That means conditions have improved to support the health of fish and aquatic species populations in the river.

More work must be done to reduce sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and other contaminants in the river. But the work of over 40 wastewater treatment plants and other clean up efforts have put the Minnesota River on the path to recovery.


Minnesota Celebrates its New State Soil

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 3:45 PM
Categories: Environment


Photo by John A. Kelley, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

November is Soil Month in Minnesota, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources is seizing the opportunity to celebrate our new state soil, Lester. With Governor Mark Dayton’s declaration earlier this year, Lester joined the ranks of iconic Minnesota symbols like the loon, walleye and the pink and white lady’s slipper. Lester soils are found in 17 counties in south-central Minnesota, covering more than 500,000 acres. These soils formed under alternating prairie and forest vegetation and the majority is now in agricultural production. Lester soils are extremely productive and are of significant importance to the Minnesota economy.

BWSR works with landowners and other agencies to promote soil health and prevent erosion. Since 2003, BWSR has helped prevent nearly 700,000 tons of soil erosion each year.


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