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Policy Forum Series: Agricultural Lands, Legacy, and Accountability: A Clean Water Conversation

June 18, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 12:30 pm


In 2008 Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which infused hundreds of millions of dollars into programs to better understand, protect, and restore the state’s water resources. Thanks to increased monitoring efforts, we now know the majority of lakes, rivers, and streams in the largely agricultural southern part of the state are failing to meet water quality standards.

State agencies acknowledge current water funds, including Legacy Amendment investments, are not enough to ensure fishable and swimmable water statewide. In response, Governor Mark Dayton proposed changes to state law that would require at least 50 feet of perennial vegetation buffers around Minnesota’s waters.

The governor’s proposal sparked vigorous debate about the role of buffers as a tool for accelerating clean water outcomes in agricultural regions of the state. It also raised questions about how all levels of government and the private sector can cooperatively achieve—and be held accountable for—better water quality results.

During this forum, we’ll explore:

  • Outcomes of the 2015 legislative session related to agriculture and water quality,
  • How more robust information and new planning frameworks, as a result of Legacy funds, are changing our ability to identify and address the water quality impacts of agricultural production,
  • How stakeholders can work more effectively together to accelerate clean water outcomes on agricultural landscapes.


  • Warren Formo, Executive Director, Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center
  • John Jaschke, Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Peggy Knapp, Director of Programs, Freshwater Society
  • Dan Stoddard, Assistant Director, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture


Registration will remain open until Thursday, June 11, or as space allows. Need-based scholarships are available upon request.REGISTER »

Contact Meleah Houseknecht at 612-334-3388 ext. 104 with questions or to inquire about a scholarship.

Contact Sacha Seymour-Anderson at 651-308-4950 for questions about registration.


Plymouth Creek Center
14800 34th Avenue
Plymouth, MN United States
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