St. Paul, Minn. (Sept. 4, 2014) – The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, along with several member organizations, submitted a letter to the Clean Water Council Budget and Outcomes Committee urging them to include funding of at least $1 million a year for the Forever Green Initiative.
The Forever Green Initiative at the University of Minnesota provides for research to accelerate development of economically viable perennial and cover crop options that enhance farm prosperity, water quality and habitat. In the letter, MEP and its members encourage ongoing funding for the Forever Green Initiative.
According to the letter:
“[T]he Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report “Nitrogen in Minnesota Surface Waters” found high amounts of nitrates in much of Minnesota’s waters with 73% of nitrates coming from cropland. The report concludes that the development of more cover crops and perennial crops is critical to cleaning up our water. The Forever Green Initiative was established to address just this issue. Its focus is on the research and outreach to develop and improve cover crops and perennial crops that are profitable for farmers to grow and necessary to improve water quality.
“What has been missing is a commitment of ongoing funding to enable work that needs to take place over several growing seasons. For the Clean Water Council to include this funding in their final recommendations would be an important step in achieving this. We feel that $1 million a year is a modest sum in light of the dramatic potential for positive change in water quality this effort could yield over the long term.”
The organizations that signed onto the letter include:
- Minnesota Environmental Partnership
- Clean Up the River Environment
- Clean Water Action Minnesota
- Friends of the Mississippi River
- Land Stewardship Project
- Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy