Minnesota, the land of “Sky Blue Waters” is adding more than 300 lakes, rivers and streams to its list of lakes and streams that are impaired. The story from MPR is here.
About two-thirds of Minnesota watersheds have been tested and 40 percent of Minnesota rivers and lakes have been found to be impaired by farm runoff, bacteria, mercury or other pollutants.
The below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, and the EPA, and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
1 .Be conservative with your water use.
2. Recycle as much as you can with the 4 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. And….NEVER burn trash.
3. Curb Yard Pollution. Put your lawn on a chemical-free diet!!
4. Stop aquatic invasives by cleaning plants and animals off your boat.
5. Plant native plants, and reduce turf grass.
6. Plant native trees According to Audubon, oak trees are the best for attracting insects and birds.
7. Install a rain barrel
8. Create an energy-efficient home.
9. Bring hazardous waste to waste collection sites.
10. Love our lakes!
I would add several more:
1. Rain gardens are excellent for capturing harmful water runoff.
2. Keep leaves and trash out of streets and storm drains-Adopt a storm drain!
Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!
3. Never use cleaning products or hand sanitizer with triclosan.
4. Reduce all plastic use–If you must use plastic bags and bottles, be sure you recycle them. 5. Pick up all liter.
Living in the land of Ten Thousand Lakes and having a love affair with Lake Superior, I know first hand that clean water is important! I think of the West Coast of the United States and their severe drought every time I turn on the faucet. Below are water saving ideas from me and The World Wildlife Federation. This is serious. Water will be the next “most valuable resource,” and our survival as a people depends on adequate sources of clean water.
Ideas to help you protect the earth’s fresh water:
My List (doing one thing can make a difference!)
1. Reduce or eliminate all your use of chemicals in cleaning agents, and lawn and garden products. Tough I know, Read on…
9. Purchase products made from recycled materials. Recycled paper uses 60-70% less energy than virgin pulp and 55% less water.
10. Pick up after your dog, and never use salt on your sidewalk.
And from The World Wildlife Federation:
We all can do something to help fresh water. This World Water Day, March 22, you too can take action. Here’s how:
Raise a Glass…and Awareness
Express appreciation of fresh water by making a toast, taking a picture, and sharing it across social networks with #ToastToWater.
Crowdsource Scientific Data
Next time you’re near a river, stream or lake, take and pictures of the freshwater fish you encounter and upload them for conservation scientists around the world.
Adopt a Freshwater Species
Make a donation to symbolically adopt a freshwater species, such as a pink river dolphin or hellbender salamander.
Build a Rain Barrel
The average roof collects 600 gallons of water for every inch of rain. Capture some of that stormwater and help protect freshwater resources by building a rain barrel.
Learn about Unseen Water
Water is in almost everything. Take your average cotton t-shirt as an example: it can take 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt. While it’s important to fix leaky taps and buy efficient washing machines, we need to also be conscious of the unseen or “virtual water” we consume every day.