Governor Mark Dayton wants Minnesota to set a goal of improving water quality in its lakes and rivers 25 percent by 2025 — at a time when relaxing regulations is the order of the day under the new Trump administration. Dayton argues, “Minnesota’s progress is not dependent on the federal government, the E-P-A or anything else in this area. We’ve taken the initiative.” He points to the state passing a clean energy mandate a decade ago. He adds Minnesotans passing the Legacy Amendment in 2008 to increase the sales tax proves they care about clean water.
Dayton says more money by itself will not be enough to clean up Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. “It’s gotta become an ethic,” he says. “It’s gotta be where everybody looks and says, this not right and it’s my reponsibility to do something about it.” The governor says there must be a public awareness campaign because people don’t recognize the danger that Minnesota waters face.
Dayton received enthusiastic applause when unveiling his “25 by ’25” goal at the state’s fifth Environmental Congress meeting, Friday on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.