Lake home and cabin owners have an unmatched passion for Minnesota’s lakes. Collectively they volunteer 1.2 million hours towards lake protection.
But there is one action that many have not yet taken and it is critically important. Become an advocate for lakes.
Said Jeff Forester, Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, “What happens in Saint Paul impacts each of us out on our docks, often to our detriment. There are hundreds of thousands of lake home and cabin owners in Minnesota. They have a commitment to the health of Minnesota’s lakes, but their voices were not heard because they were not organized.”
Beginning in 2012, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates has been lake associations’ members’ voice at the State Capitol. Forester and Judy Corrigan, who runs the MLR office, and the volunteer MLR Board, set out to build the largest and most active grassroots conservation group in Minnesota.
Their strategy is to build a grassroots base to impact water related policy in Minnesota, to push media stories about the issues, lobby for legislative changes, and promote, energize and support local efforts. Said Forester, “Water is a totally non-partisan issue. Concern for our lakes and rivers crosses party lines and unites Minnesotans.”
Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates provides:
? Full time lobbying at the State Capitol to change laws, push pro-water initiatives, and direct funds towards local lake and river projects, including aquatic invasive species,
? A steady drumbeat of pro-water news stories in press, television and radio to educate citizens and politicians on water issues,
? Support for local partnerships that build lake association capacity and give local water advocates a seat at the table,
? Support funding for world class science to identify issues and discover on-the-ground solutions to our water problems.
Lake associations and their members have never been organized in a unified voice before. Already this effort is generating benefits for lakes and support for the people that work to protect them.
One MLR member wrote, “I have been receiving your email updates for awhile now. After reading through your purpose and hearing about the action you are taking, my family has decided to join…. While we only have 90 feet of shoreline, we believe we’re doing what we can to keep our lake healthy. As we continue to see reports of area lakes being infested with various AIS, it is more important to us than ever to help reduce this spread. We hope that our donation will help to keep our lakes and rivers healthy, and perhaps there will be opportunities for us to become more involved as well. I have been learning a lot from the content on your website (thanks for your work with respect to property taxes!)”
Thousands of lake home and cabin owners across the state are building a grassroots constituency to protect lakes from runoff pollution, aquatic invasive species, poor fisheries management, loss of lake habitat. Membership contributions for Minnesota Lakes and Rivers are set by the members. People contribute what they can, with the average being about $7 a month, slightly more than a fancy coffee drink at Starbucks. This small investment in their lake is having a huge impact.
Said Forester, “No other group of people is better positioned to advocate for water protection and the local economic and lifestyle benefits our waters provide to our communities and state than lake home and cabin owners. By organizing this large grassroots constituency, we will be able to advance legislation and secure funding to ensure we leave a healthy lake legacy for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”
To learn more, and to join, go to www.mnlakesandrivers.org.
Consider being a sustaining member to maximise your contribution. Or call 952-854-1317 for more information.
MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates ~ PO Box 22262 ~ St. Paul, MN 55122
www.mnlakesandrivers.org ~ 952-854-1317 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org