Insider: May 5, 2017

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Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Stepping Up for Our Great Outdoors

There’s a lot at stake for Minnesota’s land, air, and water this month, as our state’s Legislature enters the final days of its 2017 session. From bills that erode local input on tar sands oil pipelines, to proposals that raid the popular Legacy Amendment clean water funds for improper projects, the threats to our water are mounting up. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership’s coalition has worked hard to remind lawmakers that Minnesotans care about our natural treasures, and we are thrilled that so many citizens are joining together to take a stand. We were thrilled that so many of you joined us for Water Action Day on April 19th, which drew hundreds of people from around our state who care about our water. We thank all of you who have attended rallies, sent letters, and made calls.

The critical task of defending our environment this session isn’t over. Negotiations between the Legislature’s conference committees and Governor Dayton will begin soon, and the barrage of bad bills means that the Governor’s choice of what policies to hold firm on will greatly depend on the voices of regular Minnesotans. We need to tell Governor Dayton and legislative leaders that we will not stand for more pollution in the water we drink and cuts to programs that our land and air depend on.

A great way to start is by arming yourself with knowledge: visit MEP’s website to read about the bills that threaten our natural resources. Visit our Take Action page and check out for direct actions you can take to send a message to your lawmakers – read on for details. And if you can spare some time, check out our events below and on our calendar to find out how you can make yourself seen and heard supporting clean water.

     Advocacy and Events News                                                                              

Join us at Governor Dayton’s Residence for Water Action Daily! 

If you attended Water Action Day on April 19th at the State Capitol you know what a big success it was. Whether you made it or not, we want to offer you a chance to join the push to protect our environment. We need Governor Dayton to insist that legislation he signs this year protects our environment and clean water. You are invited to show your support for the environment by joining like minded people in front of the Governor’s Residence at 1006 Summit Avenue Saint Paul weekdays 430 pm to 630 pm and on Saturdays from 930 to 1130 am, May 8 through May 13. We hope to see you there! Click here to learn more and sign up!

#KeepMNClean Daily Action Website Launched

With the Minnesota Legislature’s session heading toward final negotiations between lawmakers and Governor Dayton, the launch of is timely indeed. Created by public affairs group Apparatus, #KeepMNClean posts brief daily actions that you can take to tell lawmakers to stand up for Minnesota’s Great Outdoors. Visit the website to learn how you can make an impact for our natural resources, and check out KeepMNClean on Twitter and Facebook!

Transportation Forward to Rally Transit Allies to the State Capitol Station

The Transportation Forward Coalition will lead a rally on the evening of May 16 to stand up for Minnesota’s transit systems in the face of threatened cuts from the legislature. The detrimental cuts and fare increases will hurt commuters and the air quality of Minnesota. This would have a devastating impact on the elderly, low-income workers, communities of color, people with disabilities, and all who depend on transit to get around. To voice your support for good transit in our communities, sign up to rally together here!

Featured Editorial                                                                                                 

Major state companies need to disavow Chamber’s harmful environmental agenda

(From Star Tribune, by Peter Gove, FMR founder, and Ron Sternal, MCEA board member) – Minnesotans like to brag about our quality of life. Our state’s reputation for outstanding environmental quality — clean water and air, abundant wildlife and numerous parks and trails — has made Minnesota an attractive place to live and work. Business leaders tout that same environmental quality as one reason so many successful companies are located here.That’s why we are surprised to see the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the statewide voice for business, leading an all-out attack at the Legislature on Minnesota’s 45-year-old heritage of environmental protection.
>>Read More.



Clean up of Great Lakes hot spots may get one-year reprieve, but supporters fear longterm cuts

(From Great Lakes Echo) While Congress recently restored funding in a budget proposal for a popular Great Lakes restoration program, critics fear that President Trump will continue to try to defund it as he reorders the nation’s spending priorities.That could reduce 40 years of progress, according to those critics. Congressional leaders last week agreed to continue funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for at least one more year after Trump zeroed it out of his budget proposal. >>Read More.

photo credit: DNR
Is Minnesota Legislature serious about clean water? Then do these 3 things.

(From Star Tribune, by Julie Arnold, a Water Action Day speaker) — I farm in Lindstrom, Minn., on the land where I grew up. I farm because I love being on the land and want to provide healthy food for my community and take part in the development of a healthy rural economy. One thing has become clear to me in recent years: When it comes to water quality, farming is part of the problem — but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, given how much land in Minnesota is farmed, agriculture is going to have to be integral to the clean-water solution. >>Read More.


Saint Paul student project aims to help save bees

Middle school students at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School are stepping up to help give Minnesota’s pollinators a boost. Last year, they started the Bee Kind MN website, which began as a school  but has grown into a multi-city, long-term project to install bee houses around the Twin Cities. Bee houses are simple to build and maintain, and provide space for bees to flourish in our cities. Visit their website for more! Recently featured in the Pioneer Press.


Metro Transit: It’s not just about getting around

(From MinnPost, by Rev. G. Travis Norvell) –  Shortly after moving to Minneapolis, my family and I began biking and taking mass transit. Biking brought us new health and a geographic sense of the metro area. While taking mass transit opened our eyes and soul to depth and beauty of people of the metro area. As the Minnesota Legislature considers cutting funding for Metro Transit, please do not look at transit simply as a way to get from point A to point B. Instead, I ask my fellow Minnesotans to both support and view Metro Transit as something much more valuable then transportation: as vehicles for democracy. >>Read More.

Upcoming Environmental Events

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Program Associate | Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships – University of Minnesota Extension

RE-AMP Network Chief Network Officer Position | RE-AMP

Communications Coordinator | Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District

Development Officer | Friends of the Mississippi River

Regional Campaign and Sporting Organizer | Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Advancement Officer | Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Big River Farms Food Hub Intern | Minnesota Food Association/Big River Farms

Manager of Development & Member Engagement | Transit for Livable Communities / St. Paul Smart Trips Senior

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The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) is a coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy, and protection of our Great Outdoors.


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