Whitewater Joint Powers Board | Whitewater Watershed Project Publicly elected members of the Joint Powers Board oversee operation of the Watershed Project, which fosters a land ethic and stewardship of water resources. Members represent Olmsted, Wabasha & Winona counties.
Whitewater River Farmer-Led Council This group chooses and implements strong water protection practices on their own farms, then shares what they’ve learned with others. Their goal is to leave a legacy of water and soil conditions that are better than when they started farming. To get involved call the Whitewater Watershed Project: 507-457-6445.
Minnesota Agriculture Water Certification Program The Mississippi River-Winona watershed is one of four pilot watersheds selected to develop this voluntary statewide program. Participants receive priority technical assistance and cost share dollars for practices protecting water quality, and are certified for 10 years. Local farmer-advisors are needed to lead and make this work in our watershed. Get involved by calling 507-457-6522.
Winona-Dakota Unity Alliance This alliance between the Dakota Nation and Winona, Minnesota promotes reconciliation through educational, cultural and service projects that bring wholeness to people and the environment.
Stockton-Rollingstone-Minnesota City Watershed District If your land is drained by Speltz Creek, Straight Creek, Bear Creek, Rollingstone Creek, Peterson Creek, Stockton Creek and Garvin Brook, you have a special opportunity to improve drainage and erosion problems on your land. You can also serve on a board of watershed district managers to set local priorities and approve funding requests for pond clean-out, stream bank stabilization, cover crops, culvert replacement and other projects. Read more, then step forward!
County Soil & Water Conservation District Boards Each county in our watershed has a Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board of Supervisors. Elected supervisors have four responsibilities during four-year terms. They set policy and long-term objectives for their district; develop annual and comprehensive plans; approve landowner cost-share contracts; and work with SWCD staff to see that policies and plans are implemented. Learn how to file and run for these positions from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Local information can be found at these SWCD websites: Olmsted County, Wabasha County and Winona County.
County Boards of Commissioners Elected citizen commissioners in each Minnesota county make crucial decisions related to water quality. These include: planning and maintaining parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities; building and maintaining storm water collection systems and drainage ditches; developing and enforcing building codes; storing, purifying and distributing water; protecting the general health and welfare of residents; promoting economic and industrial development; and comprehensive planning. Learn more about these boards and how to serve: Olmsted County, Wabasha County, Winona County.
City Councils Minnesota city councils set local priorities and make important decisions related to water quality. These include: planning and maintaining parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities; building and maintaining storm water collection systems and drainage ditches; developing and enforcing building codes; storing, purifying and distributing water; protecting the general health and welfare of residents; promoting economic and industrial development; and comprehensive planning. Learn more about city governance and service from the League of Minnesota Cities.
City & County Park Boards These volunteer boards help public officials develop annual goals and strategies and offer opportunities for citizens to bring water issues and projects to the forefront in local communities.
City & County Planning & Zoning Commissions hear and make recommendations on matters related to community design and development and ordinances and appeals, including soil erosion and sedimentation control plans and other water issues.
City of Winona Environmental Quality Committee This volunteer group advises Winona’s City Planning Commission, which is responsible for attainment of environmental goals and implementation of environmental policies as detailed in the Winona 1995 Comprehensive Plan. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month in City Hall Heritage Room at 207 Lafayette Street, Winona.
Clean Water Council members advise for implementation of Minnesota’s Clean Water Legacy Act, which includes: fostering coordination and cooperation among agencies and private groups; prioritizing Total Maximum Daily Load studies and restoration and protection activities; developing processes for expert scientific review; and developing education and participation strategies for citizens and stakeholders. To learn more call 651-757-2646.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizens’ Board MPCA was established in 1967 to protect Minnesota’s environment by monitoring environmental quality and enforcing environmental regulations. The Board consists of the commissioner and eight members who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate to four-year staggered terms. One member must be knowledgeable in the field of agriculture, and one member must be a representative of organized labor. The commissioner serves as chair of the Board. Meetings are held monthly. Members file with the Ethical Practices Board.
Board of Water and Soil Resources This 20-member board is appointed by Minnesota’s governor to four-year terms. The Board administrates the state’s 90 soil and water conservation districts, 46 watershed districts, 23 metropolitan watershed management organizations, and 80 county water managers. Improving and protecting the state’s water and soil resources is the mission, accomplished by working with local organizations and private landowners.
Minnesota Legislature The Minnesota Legislature’s 201 members approve the state’s operating and capital budgets and shape policies that affect life in the state—including water quality. Representatives and Senators are qualified voters, 21 years of age, and have resided at least one year in Minnesota and six months in their district. Learn about becoming an elected legislator, and about contacting your elected representatives.
U.S. Congress Elected officials at every level seek input from citizens. Connect with your representatives to U.S. Congress. Follow developing Congressional legislation. If you want to help others in your community engage with Congress, check out Congress.org.
Environmental Protection Agency The U.S. EPA has primary responsibility for enforcing many of the environmental statutes and regulations of the United States. Learn the issues or more about policy and interpretation of environmental laws.
U.S. Department of Agriculture The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science and efficient management.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service endangered species and critical habitat lists are advocacy tools. Along with FWS services, they protect species nationwide.
Mississippi River Revival This Winona-based organization was formed in 1980 to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed through education, hands-on activism and celebration. It works for clean water by supporting the Clean Water Act and meaningful application of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program.
Sustain Winona Winona State University, the City of Winona, Winona County, Winona Area Public Schools, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota have partnered to achieve ISO 14,000 certification for environmentally sustainable operations.
Sustainability @ Winona State University University operations, culture, and student opportunities focus increasingly on sustainability and “walking the talk.”
Trout Unlimited Members of this organization are advocates for protecting, reconnecting and restoring trout and salmon fisheries.
Freshwater Society is a Minnesota group dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring all freshwater resources.
The Nature Conservancy conserves lands and waters on which life depends through efforts of staff scientists and individual and government partners. A non-confrontational, collaborative approach and strong core values guide advocacy and on-the-ground work.
Environmental Working Group This group’s work is research and advocacy to conserve land and water, produce and use energy responsibly and ensure food and consumer products are free of harmful chemicals. Mission: transform government policies and the marketplace.
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