Last year, CURE was the first out of the gate to spread the news when Governor Mark Dayton announced his buffer initiative in Minnesota. CURE Communications connected with more than 30,000 people within a day of the governor’s announcement.
Our thinking was that Minnesotans overwhelmingly favored the governor’s plan, and we guessed right. The public strongly supported the governor’s move to force compliance of existing buffer laws and expand buffer protections to more of Minnesota’s waterways. Our members and donors agreed and were quick to support CURE’s 2015 Buffers Now Campaign – contributing more than $5,000 to support our work during the 2015 legislative session.
Today’s decision by the governor shows how difficult it is to get powerful interests to align with most Minnesotans when it comes to protecting our waters.
In today’s announcement, the governor stated, “I am deeply disappointed by this, because we should require all Minnesotans to take responsibility for the quality of the water that they pass on to their fellow citizens. I thought that we had achieved a modest agreement in the last legislative session about the urgent need to improve the quality of Minnesota’s waters by limiting their pollution from runoffs from private and public ditches. I consider this fierce opposition by the House Republican leadership, as evidence that we are a very long ways from bipartisan agreements even on the severity of our state’s water quality problems, much less on the need to take serious steps to improve it.”
CURE at the Governor’s Water Summit
This year, the governor has already begun to act on his pledge to protect and restore Minnesota’s water quality, starting with the Governor’s Water Summit – a forum and listening session slated for Saturday, February 27th, in St Paul, MN. If you haven’t already, please take the governor’s Water Survey here.
The summit aims to focus public attention on the serious challenges facing Minnesota waters. By bringing stakeholders together – water quality experts, legislators and regulators, agricultural and mining interests, and most importantly, everyday citizens – we have a chance to propose meaningful solutions to address persistent threats to Minnesota’s greatest natural resource.
CURE will insist on being a part of the ongoing conversation, supporting the governor when we agree, and letting him know where his proposed actions fall short.
“The governor needs our help to move the needle on water,” said Duane Ninneman, CURE Executive Director. “Shining a light on the polluters and obstructionists is paramount for us in 2016. We will prioritize our focus on addressing pollution to our state’s surface waters and groundwater, squarely targeting the greatest contributors to water degradation and aquifer depletion in the Minnesota River Basin: unsustainable land use and unsustainable agriculture practices.”
After the Governor’s Water Summit was announced, more than 600 available seats were claimed in just a couple days. CURE secured a place for over 40 members who, along with other partners, like the Land Stewardship Project, will turn up the volume of our citizen voices to demand real and meaningful action – demanding that polluters be held responsible and accountable, that real solutions to our water challenges be put in place and protected from retraction.
We have launched our 2016 water campaign, Act on Minnesota Water, to support this work – empowering those CURE members who are stepping up to speak and act to restore and protect Minnesota waters. We, CURE’s members and donors, will fund training and support for our fellow members attending the summit, and pay for lodging, meals, and travel. Your donation to CURE’s Act on Minnesota Waters Campaign, will go directly to support this member led action, and there’s more…
We need to raise $10,000 for this year’s campaign. With the Minnesota legislative session starting only 10 days after the Governor’s Water Summit, we need to be ready to support policies that will address pollution to our state’s surface waters and groundwater and prevent further rollbacks to clean water policy.
“I will not cease my efforts to impress upon all legislators and all Minnesotans the hard facts about the overall deterioration of our state’s water quality, and what we must do to reverse it.” – Governor Mark Dayton
Make your special contribution here, and join us to Act on Minnesota Waters!