Minnesota Waters, a statewide 501c3 non profit organization focused on promoting responsible stewardship of Minnesota’s water resources by engaging citizens, local and state policymakers, and other partners in the protection and restoration of lakes and rivers will be ceasing operations on May 19, 2012. The membership organization has been providing training, connections, and support to empower citizen-led groups to be active, effective advocates for Minnesota’s unique waterscape since 2006 when the Rivers Council of Minnesota and Minnesota Lakes Association merged to form Minnesota Waters.
Chairman Kenzie Phelps, “The last several years have demonstrated increasing difficulty to financially sustain the high quality programs for which Minnesota Waters has become known. Although we are a membership organization, members have not been our primary source of funding. We’ve felt the blows of contraction of foundation funding and foundations redirecting their strategies, as well as the impact of contraction of state agencies funding.”
After exploring all other options, including partnerships with similar focused organizations, the Board of Directors has taken action to place the organization in a dormant state which allows the retention of its corporate identity.
“We will undertake this move to dormancy in an orderly manner wherein the operations of our clients will be minimally disrupted and our obligations will be met. Active programs involved in this transition are watershed association initiatives, lake management plan development, water quality improvement workshops, water protection programs (aquatic invasive species services) such as lake service provider training, AIS citizen monitoring, policy advocacy (AIS, shoreland rules adoption, and clean water amendment funding), the new agricultural practices and water quality initiative, and producing the every two year Lakes & Rivers Conference” indicates Lois Sinn Lindquist, who accepted the Executive Director position last June. “Our remarkable MN Waters staff has been resilient and productive during these challenging times; each is sure to be an asset in their next position. I admire their dedication and their integrity.”
Geographic distribution of Minnesota Waters 30,000+ membership: Twin Cities - 27%, North Central MN – 19%, West Central MN – 17%; Central MN – 15%, NW MN – 5%, E Central MN – 5%, NE MN – 4%, SE MN – 3%, and SW MN – 2%.