Dedicated to educating and inspiring people to value, conserve and protect all freshwater resources
2010 AT E R S O C
WATER IS LIFE www.freshwater.org
THE FRESHWATER SOCIETY: FOUR DECADES OF COMM The Freshwater Society is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that for more than 40 years has worked to educate and inspire people to value, conserve and protect all freshwater resources. Freshwater’s three main founders—Dick Gray, Dick Caldecott and Hibert Hill—were troubled by pollution they saw in lakes and rivers and a lack of research on its causes and cures. With the assistance of others, they raised more than $4 million to build a research laboratory on Lake Minnetonka and then donated the lab to the University of Minnesota. For 20 years, the Gray Freshwater Biological Institute conducted research, guided environmental policy makers and trained graduate students. In the mid-1990s, the university moved its water research to its Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses and returned the lab to the Freshwater Society. Since then, the Freshwater Society has become a force for educating citizens on water issues, convening forums on threats facing water and partnering with other groups to explore problems and offer solutions to them.
Activities on Many Fronts
In 2009, the Freshwater Society worked on a number of fronts: • Partnering with the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center and federal and state agencies to convene sustainability workshops for groundwater professionals and write a guide for preparing water management plans. • Publishing its 32nd edition of the awardwinning Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar, and—in partnership with the Jeffers Foundation—distributing free curricula to 400 teachers who use the calendar in their classrooms. A new curriculum is being developed that will include more information on water conservation.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING State Sen. Sandy Rummel, chair of the Environment Subcommittee on Water
Strategic Renewal Under Way
Since late 2007, the Freshwater board has undertaken a rigorous restructuring process. That restructuring included hiring Gene Merriam, a former state senator and Department of Natural Resources commissioner, as president, and Joan Nephew, an experienced environmental manager, as executive director. With the assistance of an advisory group, the Guardianship Council, the Freshwater Society issued a 49-page report on the quality and sustainability of ground and surface water. The report, titled Water Is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource For Future Generations, was influential in the 2009 Minnesota Legislature’s decisions on spending millions of dollars in water-protection funds.
“The Freshwater Society deserves our gratitude for its 2008 report Water Is Life. I continually refer to it. The report’s value lies, first, in its accessibility—presenting complex science about water in terms a layperson can understand. Second, it provides a compelling argument for a Minnesota focus on the sustainability of groundwater and the nonpoint source pollution of surface waters, supporting its argument with data and case analysis. Finally, the report provides policymakers with indicators of success we can use to judge the effectiveness of our work.”
ITMENT TO WATER QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY • Disseminating accurate, sophisticated information on water issues through its newsletter, blog and web site.
• Assisting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in sponsoring “Waterosity,” an artistic and educational exhibit.
• Sponsoring an annual Road Salt Symposium, examining chloride pollution from highway deicers.
• Joining the Minnesota Environmental Initiative in hosting a forum on protecting surface waters.
• Awarding $3,000 in scholarships to high school students in a water-themed art contest.
A Yearlong Celebration of Water
• Partnering with the League of Women Voters to sponsor forums on water pollution and sustainability. • Joining Conservation Minnesota in sponsoring Check My Lake, a search engine that allows users to look up current water-quality data on Minnesota Lakes.
For 2010, the Freshwater Society is organizing and leading citizens and community groups in a yearlong celebration, 2010 – The Year of Water. It will include a lecture series, co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences; a statewide effort to reduce phosphorus pollution in lakes and rivers; and a conservation exercise that will encourage children and adults to reduce household water consumption.
ABOUT THE FRESHWATER SOCIETY’S WORK Michael Kilgore, University of Minnesota professor of forest resources and a member of the Freshwater Society’s Guardianship Council
“The Guardianship Council’s role was to advise the Freshwater Society on priorities. We took a ‘30,000-foot’ look, assessing the major policies, programs and issues affecting Minnesota’s surface and groundwater resources. The Council’s Water Is Life report describes this assessment and our recommendations. I’ve had several policymakers tell me how much they appreciate the Freshwater Society’s leadership and how useful the report was in shaping state water policy and funding priorities.”
Deborah Swackhamer, co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center
“The UM Water Resources Center had a great opportunity to partner with the Freshwater Society in conducting two workshops on the sustainability of groundwater. We both recognized the need to identify what is known, and not known, about the balance of groundwater in the state, and so the first workshop hosted technical groundwater experts. The follow-up workshop included a broader spectrum of scientists, and helped us put together a guidance document for groundwater managers. The collaboration was very successful.”
LET TER FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
Dear Friends of Freshwater, I have the great privilege, and greater responsibility, of serving as chair of the Freshwater Society Board of Directors at a pivotal time in the struggle to protect Minnesota’s water resources. We have made extraordinary progress over the last three years in working for the Freshwater Society’s mission of promoting the “conservation, protection and restoration of all freshwater resources.” That mission fits well with my personal values. I am family-oriented, and I often think about the Freshwater Society’s role in personal terms. My father was a child of the Depression, and he taught my sisters and me to conserve whatever we could. No one in our family ever thought it was OK to waste water just because it was cheap. When I celebrate the Freshwater Society’s work to ensure groundwater sustainability, I think of him. Second, there is my son, Calvin. When he was in the sixth grade, he built a science fair project demonstrating what happens to the rock salt we put on driveways and sidewalks. His project showed chloride pollution washing into lakes and trickling into aquifers. Parents viewing the project were shocked to see the salt’s spread. The Freshwater Society sometimes delivers that kind of shocking information—that our waters are threatened by pollution from near and far. Finally, there is Dick Gray, a dear friend and mentor, who led a far-sighted group of people who founded the Freshwater Society. Our work today is true to their vision of protecting water resources. I see the Freshwater Society working on two levels: • Through our web site, our high school art contest, the speaking engagements we accept and through educational events we sponsor, we provide accessible information on water issues to citizens. • We also help disseminate scientific knowledge through our annual Road Salt Conference, through the workshops we co-sponsored with the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center and through the detailed information on water issues we provide in our publications. Activities planned for 2010 – The Year of Water will be on both levels. We will have a water conservation exercise for fourth- and fifth-graders and for their parents. We are planning a series of clean-ups in which communities can fight the phosphorus pollution that threatens our lakes. And we are joining with the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences to host lectures by national experts on topics such as climate change and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Please join me in supporting the Freshwater Society’s important work.
Blyth Berg Brookman Board Chair
LET TER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Friends of Freshwater, Friends who know I work with the Freshwater Society sometimes ask what we do. If I have a few minutes, I begin by talking—not about water— but about smoking, or seatbelt use. It sounds strange, but there is a link in my mind between water and smoking, between water and routinely buckling up. Let me explain. I believe most of us have experienced a “cultural shift” in our attitudes on smoking and seatbelts over the last 40 years or so. Far fewer people smoke than once did. We now mostly share an understanding that it is no longer acceptable to inflict second-hand smoke on others, it is not OK to smoke in the office. Similarly, most of us accept that the inconvenience of wearing a seat belt is offset by the safety it provides. Sure there are laws that limit where it is permissible to smoke and laws that require seatbelt use. But the laws reflect and reinforce a change in values. I firmly believe that, right now, most people have not grasped that everything we do on the land around us affects the quality of water in lakes, streams and aquifers. My job and the mission of the Freshwater Society is to lead the kind of cultural shift that will lead people to understand, intellectually, that land uses of all kinds affect the quality of our water. Then we must move beyond that intellectual grasp to where people change their behavior to protect water. If we achieve that cultural shift it will make a real difference. It will make a difference in agriculture— what we grow, where we grow it and how we grow it. It will make a difference in how we landscape our homes and lakeshores, how we design our roads. Do I think we can change behavior just by changing attitudes? No. I think we have to figure out ways to require people to protect and conserve water. We have to do more to regulate what people do on the land. But I am optimistic that people are valuing water, that more people now realize our water supply is threatened by an ever-growing population and by pollution of all kinds. And I am convinced that in Minnesota the Freshwater Society is playing an important role in changing attitudes on water. The Water Is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource For Future Generations report we wrote made a difference. It got people talking about groundwater sustainability in a new, more serious way. I am proud of that. People still have not internalized that what we do on the land impacts the water. But their interest in water leads me to believe that, at some point, we’ll look back and see how much we have changed. Just as we changed with smoking and seatbelts. Gene Merriam President
A time for Minnesotans – young and old – to come The Freshwater Society, in partnership with community groups across Minnesota, is celebrating 2010 as The Year of Water.
policy decisions on water issues. Well-known national and regional speakers will discuss: pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds in water, climate change impacts on water resources, nonpoint source pollution ti and an water quality, and water resources in the next century. res
Activities throughout the year are intended to: Raise the awareness of citizens ns about water resource issues, motivate behavior change that will • A poster series uses eyeprotect water resources as an catching visuals to increase enduring legacy, inspire lifeknowledge about water long stewardship among young resources and encourage people and ignite passion in ES IE HW ggood stewardship. The postfuture leaders, create lasting AT E R S O C ers will be distributed for use partnerships among water resource urce schools, community and recin sch organizations and communities in reation centers, nature and environmental stewardship activities, and celebrate water as a learning centers and public spaces. natural resource that is essential to all life.
Jack Pichotta, the founder of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center and a member of the advisory group that recommended Freshwater sponsor the yearlong effort, explained the rationale: “Making 2010 Minnesota’s Year of Water will elevate awareness and concern to a level that should then become a standard. Water is essential, not only to our quality of life, but to life itself. It’s pretty simple: Without water there is no life. Everyone should care.” 2010 – The Year of Water is organized around six bimonthly themes: The Health of Our Waters; Land and Water Connections; Our Lakes, Rivers and Streams; Wise Use & Conservation; The Future of Water; and Water’s Caretaker - You! Features of The Year of Water include: • An engaging speaker series, co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, will explore current topics to attract diverse audiences and inform public
• An E-newsletter provides up-to-date information on water resources in Minnesota, describes opportunities for people of all ages to get involved and recounts success stories about projects that protect and conserve water. • A Year of Water web site provides water resource information for a broad audience. It features an interactive state map of water resource organizations, water quality information and water events. The site also includes educational posters, fact sheets and ways to take action. 2010 – The Year of Water features two major citizen and community engagement projects. Working with partners throughout Minnesota, the Freshwater Society is encouraging local organizations to conduct Community Cleanups for Water Quality. The clean-ups, which remove leaves and other organic debris from streets and storm sewer entrances in the spring and fall, are aimed at reducing phosphorus levels in rivers and lakes. Phosphorus is the most
together to celebrate, conserve and protect water serious source of pollution of rivers and lakes, causing excessive growth of aquatic plants and eutrophication. Just five bags of leaves can contain one pound of phosphorus, which can lead to the growth of up to 1,000 pounds of algae. To encourage community groups to host cleanups, the Freshwater Society has produced a toolkit that includes a DVD providing “how to” instructions for organizing a clean-up. Clean-up participants will document their impact and monitor the amount of phosphorus being removed from lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota on the 2010 – The Year of Water web site. The second citizen and community engagement effort is a conservation exercise focused on household water use. Most people do not know how much water they use in a day and
how that impacts the community and the environment. To get people thinking about their water use and learning about water conservation, the effort has two applications: one for people to learn how to conserve water in their homes, and one for engaging elementary school students and their families in tracking their home water use and learning ways to reduce it. The conservation exercise asks questions about how a family uses water at home, compares an individual household’s use to the American average, provides tips to reduce use and encourages participants to sign a pledge to take measurable steps to reduce water use. A free curriculum outlining the conservation exercise will be a resource for teachers to use in their classrooms.
A Friends of the Minnesota Valley volunteer cleans leaves from around a storm sewer in New Ulm. In 2010, the Freshwater Society is helping groups throughout the state organize similar Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality to fight phosphorus pollution in lakes and rivers.
GUARDIANSHIP COUNCIL SETS FRESHWATER COURSE Throughout 2008, a blueribbon advisory group—the Guardianship Council—studied and debated many of the threats facing water today and then recommended the Freshwater Society Board of Directors commit the society to work on three major issues: • Assuring the sustainability of groundwater, which furnishes all or part of the drinking water used by about 90 percent of Minnesota residents. • Protecting and restoring surface waters, which are vulnerable to pollution from everything we do on the land around them. • Protecting and restoring groundwater, which is susceptible to contamination from a variety of sources. In addition, the Guardianship Council urged the Freshwater Board to seek a serious policy discussion of the way water is valued and priced, to work aggressively to halt climate change and to encourage better environmental education for both children and adults.
College of Biological Sciences; Luella Gross Goldberg, board member of several large corporations; Dr. Michael Kilgore, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Environmental and Natural Resources Policy; Lonni McCauley, executive director of the League of Women Voters Minneapolis; Ronald Nargang, former director of the Minnesota Chapter, Nature Conservancy; Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy; Jack Pichotta, founder of the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center; and Paige Winebarger, member of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency board. Under the guidance of the Guardianship Council, the Freshwater staff produced a 49-page report on water in Minnesota: Water Is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource For Future Generations.
The Guardianship Council’s recommendations carried significant weight because of the credentials and commitment of the people who served as its members. They are:
WATER IS LIFE: PROTECTING A CRITICAL RESOURCE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Report to the Freshwater Society Board by the Freshwater Society Guardianship Council
Dr. Robert Elde, dean of the University of Minnesota
D id Zumeta of the Minnesota Forest Resources David Council, at event to release the Freshwater Society’s Water Is Life report.
The report, endorsed and promulgated by the Freshwater Society Board of Directors, contained a number of findings and recommendations. Its top recommendation was a call for a “scientifically rigorous study” of groundwater sustainability. Legislative Input
Freshwater Society President Gene Merriam and Dr. Osterholm were invited to testify about the report before four committees or subcommittees of the Minnesota Legislature. State Sen. Ellen Anderson, the chair of the Senate Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division, said the report was a significant factor in the 2009 Legislature’s decision to appropriate $750,000 for the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center to study the sustainability of water in Minnesota. Merriam and Freshwater Executive Director Joan Nephew were named to separate advisory groups for that study.
PUBLICATIONS, WEB SPREAD NEWS ON WATER Publications—in print and in electronic form—have always been a focus of the Freshwater Society and a major means by which it educates people about water and the threats facing water. The Society uses its web site, www.freshwater.org, to publish timely information about regional, national and international issues involving water and the environment. The web site is a first point of contact for people seeking information about the Society, advice on protecting their lakes, tips on water conservation, facts about water usage and links to other water resources.
available on the web site under the “Publications” tab. The Freshwater Society continues a long tradition of publishing a quarterly newsletter, “Facets of Freshwater,” which includes a column by Dick Gray, one of the founders of the Society.
Volume 33, No. 3
FACETS of Freshwater
A quarterly t l newsletter l tt ffor members and friends of the Freshwater Society September 2009
• Research on endocrine disrupting chemicals in rivers and lakes.
Research probes endocrine disruptor threat
ressed in waders, a life vest and surgical gloves, John Greene waded waist-deep into the Grindstone River, about two miles east of the Hinckley, Minn., sewage treatment plant, and carefully dipped water from the slow-moving stream into a plastic bottle. Greene, a U.S. Geological Survey technician, collected about 40 liters of water, upstream and downstream from the treatment plant and directly from the plant’s treated effluent as it entered the river. The water samples, packed in ice, were then shipped by overnight express to two USGS laboratories in Colorado. At the labs, the water was analyzed for tiny—parts-per billion and parts-per-trillion— quantities of 37 chemicals. The state-funded research, which is being conducted at 22 wastewater treatment plants across Minnesota, is aimed at one of the newest, least understood and most troubling types of water pollution: endocrine disrupting compounds, or EDCs, that interfere with the endocrine systems of fish and other animals. In the endocrine system, hormones produced in glands, such as the thyroid, pituitary, ovaries and testes, circulate through the blood and interact with cells to regulate bodily functions, such as metabolism, growth and reproduction. Research probes endocrine disruptor threat Continues on page 4
Volume 32, No. 2
ter shwa of Freengage students’ curiosity CETSin classrooms FACalendars
John Greene collects a sample from the Grindstone River.
Freshw ater Society rs and friends of the October 2008 newsle tter for membe A quarter ly Then Kalina instructs the class to look up the foreisa Kalina calls two of her second-grade students to
casted high for that day—the third day of the new school year—on a computer web site projected on a screen at the front of the classroom. Suddenly, the kids see that there is a thunderstorm predicted for the next day, and the room erupts with shouts from the second-graders about thunder and lightning they had seen the day before. strides through squeaks as Craig Otto dampagrass he After a couple minute of this, nthe class He settles down and Kalina spots a Chanhasse home. the lawntoofthe makes and explains students that every class will begin apart,day heads that are too far of sprinkler er that with kids looking at the calendar and recording thethe day’s He advises the homeown on his clipboard. proba note expected temperature on a is bulletin boardliability thermometer. her sidewalk a potential wetting oversprayAs the school year progresses, Kalina will teach her of water. well as aatwaste Jeffers Pond Elementary in and Priorpulls Lakeout thea Lisa Kalina and second-grade students Chloe Field and Ethan Schammel check lem, asstudents the soft turf into probe a he plunges Later, temperatures on the Minnesota Weatherguide Environmental Calendar. Calendars… Continues on page 3 down nearly a foot. show moisture extending down soil core. It shows water y, “if I am pulling “Now,” Otto asks rhetoricall what Michael Osterholm to speak on threats to groundwateronly got roots down to 4 inches, we’re to 11 inches, and we’ve The answer is, 7 inches? extranot with the Old groundwater is good. Newer groundwater that has entered aquifers over theI doing last 60 years? Probably so good. That’s a am good key message that Michael Osterholm—an infectious disease expertnot anddoing passionate good.” for protecting water resources— anyadvocate Michael Osterholm… Continues on page each will deliver in an Oct. 8 forum on groundwater quality and sustainability. year is lawns 11
the front of the classroom and asks them to find the day’s record high and low temperatures on the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar.
on Half of all the water put tion or overwatering, wasted through evapora mental Protection according to the Environ a
is EPA estimate of the waste Agency. day. eringThefigure: Wat 1.5 billion gallons each best of The Value of is valustagger r, which is the able, and wate nd irrigation system He concludes the undergrou
is putto stay
lawn needs ly more water than the rare ting out significant says, “is this “Only what is I’m finding here,” he pest.” —Plato. green and healthy. “What ce.” also the chea ce in need of some maintenan all things…is particular property is purchase scar it will and operation of autor, but the design expert on Otto, thananwate for it. A another technician and ange e usefulmated systems, mor is irrigation exch e lawn in ing hing had on page 3 Noth “Not be Turning off the tap… Continues ce anything can e in use, but a Chanhassen. scar inhing valu ; audit g; any irrigation lawn thin a ce anyt Craig Otto conducts ry has scar rary, tly be had in the contcounc uen on , freq il ond may diam ty advisoryof other goods ons, tity Freshwater Socie great quan on h, in The Wealth of Nati very study, effort am Smit d water urges grounexch ange for it.” —Ad tion 1776. nonpoint pollu pt to add published in you could attem
water sustainion irrigat scientific study of ground the tap,and citizens, fromexperts innesota needs a rigorous drinkwater water? among of the valueconsensus inspire or parthas underely will r Society our crops routinthat forFreshwate Do weability group to the process for our a distinguished advisory manufacturing Sure. ly cover of sus-only concept elusiveeneral recommended. this: About 7,000 water of thects—g definitionprodu der treatcommonpublic a Consi yield water, said. should ing group the The study rs, businesses, go about measuring the cost ofit, pump ng water users— agreement on how to and farme drinkithat tainability forurged it isalso scores of other hip Council, s and the society’s Guardians ing it if system group, advisory The water to where we and reuse of it water. of every the recycling mersencourage and delivering on page 5 consukers policy-ma water bigand scientists n in use it. $4 millio toContinues Guardianship Council…
Or and services up all the goods water, plus all we produce with ngible environmen
the less-ta al The quality of groundwater is good and even spiritu tal, aesthe in most parts of tic e from water, Minnesota. And that’s a good thing benefits we receiv tary because about attach a mone 90 ow percent and someh exercise of of Minnesotans get some or all of their to them. In an drinkingvalue an water anza, from t Const wells that pump froms undergrou that type, Rober want nd aquifers. type—paid about economist, and Value of Protecting 1.4 trillion gallon environmentalour attempted groundwa mid-1980s, The 2007 to pump ter from gues In theof rivers, a to variety collea of threats, esota’s report a a grouprelated No. esota, most of them from Minn to 2on all of water Water to Minn a value rs. aquifeland, to put 33, the d the ded: “The in 1997Volume way we groun use conclu under the is ature, critically and all important lakes the Legisl is totheour health es provided by servic math, that comes pay for water do the and the health If you of future only price you s. s and pipes tems—including of a generation ousandths world’s ecosys e regulacost of the pump to about 3 ten-th
hwater FACETS of Fres
climat the . water itself is food production, A few parts gallon tional Minnesota r it; the per of have cent deliveused and to solvents g and disposed of produce cultural and recrea an andcompounds. tionnew naturally occurring minerals— ng about the pricin water usersby allfree.” kindsNothi of industries; y ies—and came up with coliform in fact, all those fun-Societ hasater But,boron, arsenic, esota activit iron Freshw Two statistics in Minn the an-year. anything for and of illustrate bacteria froms some the2009 payand potenof water trillion friend of thosesince June of $33 ers really didn’t manganese—tha memb ed samethen.tial problems estimatewith forThe t make chang the state etter waterlaw septicdamen tally groundwater systems, of value on rly newsl from itself. feedlots and kind water, A quarteunfit that g the or undesirable for drinking quality:Puttin Department from dog droppings weput similarly to on directs the would yield a thatextensive without to faila value d a water treatment. wante levy But you to If pick up; plus antibiotics anddoother rces v The U.S. Geological Natural Resou a bigger of concern, would you it? on a statewide large number. Survey in pharmaceuticals water, howthat we use as is March 2009 said that more than on any water withss fee” probasis, is“proce the array conclude,ourn and of chemicals and 87 study that could millioselves Youfeed 1985– to our livestock.ents from The one in five more than 15 private ed household l of that question biological wells to agents drawa the statemSociety report that we produce in grounditthat Value of Water The implic specifies the purof groundnationwide Harmful , thatsampledduced between patterns compounds s a year and usegallon 1991 a for ensuring thatSmith on a daily would plans basis year and that whether current not make and Adam cover didlight that and Platoand esota rivers and 2004 le in the Minn tax increase contained lakes, fee is only to break sustainab all forms at least onehow he salespose the groundwater. routinely aquifers, become use are ial to seepofinto water ifwater g down so essent ly.safe issustainab isterin approved increasete of on estima water admin contaminant populati of managed ess— defini state attive are Minnesota voters exposed levels cost of potential to ’s pricel sunlight, water isof expected wetlands of air value andn bacthe DNR include: its $151 mila major The thatlegislatio d and surface g track time, played life the groun fall will pay forts firstofremain health nitrate last contaminants themay concern. keepin we people teria much and And, for of 1 million dangerous which water in for permi defin, to their g ons the at explicit protectio from of water n, accordin law anin situati s have and lawn is fertilizers into state esotanenact and it. Minnesota lion worth farm in the legislatio wrote years roleobtain Minnhelped pump aftereven theed. they seepuse—use into groundv The g to much over research Health howseptic le water water fromand failing of sustainab little or nothin systems; lawmakers who clean-up nitionwater. pay Reactions enactedvolatile needs and those three Department under a law we pay for allfuels both humanbetween plan. estimates that, at any two years compounds nextorganic that weighs The pricesfrom chemicals g withins.the ground maythe spending given time, Continues on page 3 er it’s a coolin this spring. the needs of ecosystem Funding approved…as many as one-fourth ter water—wheth ty of law directs the Universi October 2008 Freshwa
bility d for water sustaina Funding approve
The 10- and 25Minnesota to develop
environm ental a non-pro fit ter Society is The Freshwa
s. ccee s. freshwat er resource
us Sediment, phosphor n threaten Lake Pepi
understa nd, helping people dedicate d to
manage protect and
natural lake filling ake Pepin is a huge Mississippi River a wide spot in the to south of Red Wing that extends from and 3 . It is 22 miles long just north of Wabasha
miles wide. ds covering drains watershe The lake, which anglers, Minnesota, draws more than half of area oaters from a wide sailors and power-b dollars for millions of tourist
its and generates GROUNDWATER RECHARGE… Groundwater originates as rain or snow. It flows into surface motels and other businesses along marinas,water features, such as streams and wetlands, some of which feed underground aquifers. It also flows from the aquifers back shores.to surface waters. And water ground between aquifers. The water is vulnerable almost flowsany underto contamination from all the chemicals looks inviting for The lake it is we produce, use and sometimes respects, misuse. n and, in many Photo: David Morrison,
In 2008, the Freshwater Society published Water Is Life: Protecting A Critical Resource For Future Generations, a 49-page report on the quality and sustainability of ground and surface water in Minnesota. It is
wasteful lawn watering
ertime growing, part of summ Sprinkling is a big, and
Water for Life Groundwate w ter wa aterr qualit y lue off The va Water for Life
The blog regularly has articles on subjects such as: Groundwater sustainability, water pollution of all kinds, climate change, invasive species and endocrine disruptors.
Turning off the tap on
SOURCE: U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Since late 2008, the Society also has published a blog, www.freshwatersocietyblog. org. It offers a weekly digest of 10 to 20 news and research articles about water and the environment collected from widely diverse sources.
The newsletter includes substantive articles on water and public policy involving water, such as:
River water from the St. Croix Three-fourths
from Lake Pepin. Mississippi River, upstream River. joins the sediment-laden Pepin comes from the Minnesota
carries to Lake TheClear Freshwater Society Mississippienvironmental is a the non-profit of the sediment
sort of recreatio s on page 5 …Lake Pepin Continue
organization dedicated to helping people understand, protect and manage freshwater resources.
s ‘Watero sity ’ Arb oret um host grasses know that some green s summer begins, a splash at living will make e the Minnesota Landscap
Arboretum in Chaska. co-sponsorThe Arboretum—with ter Society and ship from the Freshwa host a weekend Xcel Energy—will and Sunday, “Splash Party” Saturday the Arbocelebrate July 11 and 12, to ity: exhibit “Wateros retum’s summer Splash.” Go Green with a
Did you only once a year need to be mowed than a half the water and require less onal lawns? consumed by conventi to learn how water Would you like prevented by plantpollution can be And did you know ing a green roof? States has the largest that the United consumption in per capita water the world average, the world, twice s on page 10 Arboretum… Continue
plants and depicts microscopic water ‘AquatiScope!’ sculpture art exhibit at the Arboretum. animals. It is part of a juried
• The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s huge project to clean up sediment and phosphorus polluting Lake Pepin in the Mississippi River. • University of Minnesota research documenting road re salt s pollution of Twin Cities lakes. l • The T high demand that lawn sprinkling systems place on s groundwater supplies, and g tips t for homeowners on how they can both keep their lawns green and reduce water use. In addition to the newsletters and special reports, the Freshwater Society recently has published fact r sheets on groundwater quality, groundwater sustainability and g the t value of water. Those fact sheets, plus electronic versions of the newsletters, are available on the web site.
WEATHERGUIDE IS A MINNESOTA INSTITUTION I 1977, the Freshwater Society produced a In ccalendar that quickly became Minnesotans’ ffavorite source for weather information, bbeautiful nature photography and phenological data on the response of animals p aand plants to the changing seasons. The Minnesota Weatherguide Environment™ T Calendar evolved from a weather almanac tthat was a collaboration between Freshwater SSociety founder Dick Gray and meteorologist Bruce Watson. To gather material for the B publication, Gray and Watson consulted p with experts in many disciplines and from many organizations: The National Weather Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota, the U.S. Naval Observatory and the U.S. Air Force. From the beginning, naturalist Jim Gilbert has contributed accurate and descriptive notes on phenology that offer insights into nature. Since 1981, Rod Nerdahl’s charts and notes on astronomy have encouraged Minnesotans to go outside at night and look to the stars. Meteorological data from Minnesota State Climatologist Mark Seeley and feature articles by KARE 11 meteorologists contribute to a greater understanding of our weather. The calendar is published as a 60-page wall calendar and as a 120-page weekly planner.
CALENDARS IN THE CLASSROOM TEACH SCIENCE The Weatherguide Calendar and a free Calendars in the Classroom curriculum produced by the Jeffers Foundation are used by about 400 teachers across Minnesota to teach science and other subjects to their K-5 students. The Jeffers Foundation and Freshwater are collaborating on another curriculum that will focus on water issues. Lisa Kalina, a second-grade teacher at Jeffers Pond Elementary School in Prior Lake, helps a student check temperatures on the Minnesota Weatherguide Environmental Calendar.
CONFERENCE FIGHTS ROAD SALT POLLUTION MN Department of Transportation photo by David Gonzalez
Every year, snowplow crews spread a halfmillion tons of rock salt on highways, bridges and parking lots across Minnesota. Almost all that mountain of salt eventually washes off the roads and other paved surfaces and finds its way into soil, streams, lakes and groundwater. For years, research across the United States and Canada has demonstrated the harmful effects of high levels of chloride—a major component of road salt—on aquatic plants and invertebrates. Since 2002, the Freshwater Society has been conducting an annual symposium that draws chemists, state and local transportation workers and managers, environmental agencies and policy-makers to learn about and discuss winter deicing practices that keep highways safe, while reducing road salt pollution. More than 1,200 people have attended the conferences. The Freshwater Society presents annual Environmental Leadership Awards to participants who have helped reduce road salt’s harmful impacts on waters.
ART CONTEST CELEBRATES WATER’S VALUE In 2004, the Freshwater Society began sponsoring the annual Water is Life art contest for Minnesota high school students. Since then, more than 500 high school students have created some powerful works of art that depict the value of water and explore the threats that water resources face worldwide. The contest is conducted in partnership with Minnesota’s Educational Cooperative Service Units. In 2009, the Freshwater Society awarded $3,000 in scholarships to the winners of the competition. Student artists worked in media that included photography, sculpture, painting drawing, mixed media, painting and short video. Each entrant wrote an artist’s statement explaining his or her theme.
Art Contest Winner Bradley Johnson
Art Contest Winner Quanzakari DeChiara-Crillion
Winning entries are displayed in the Minnesota Capitol and other venues.
Freshwater Society 2500 Shadywood Road Excelsior, MN 55331 952-471-9773, 888-471-9773 toll-free email@example.com
Blyth Berg Brookman, Chair
Gene Merriam, President
Tom Skramstad, Vice Chair
Joan Nephew, Executive Director
Barbara Luikens, M.D, Secretary
Scott Branch, Operations Assistant
Stuart E. Grubb, P.G., Treasurer
Diane Lynch, Development Director
Chris Prok, Operations Manager
Jill Gibson Blyth
Jeanne Prok, Program Manager
Patrick Sweeney, Communications Director
Richard S. Caldecott, Ph.D., Emeritus Director
Cherie Wagner, Program Manager
Robert Elde, Ph.D.
Laura West, Administrative Assistant
Tom Gapinske Richard G. Gray, Sr., D. Sc. JoEllen L. Hurr, Emeritus Director David Knoblach
Visit us on the web: www.freshwater.org
Check out our blog: www.freshwatersocietyblog.org
AT E R S O C
Keep up with us on Facebook
Our printing company and the paper we use are certified to meet standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the worldâ€™s forests. FSC standards ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable way. Printed with biodegradable agri-based inks.