Get the Lead Out is an educational program to protect and restore the population of common loons in Minnesota by reducing their exposure to lead-based fishing tackle. This outreach effort will run from 2020 to 2023.
The MPCA had a similar program in the early 2000s. This program held over 200 tackle exchanges that collected over 8,000 lbs. of lead, distributed 50,000 sample packets of lead-free tackle, and created displays of lead-free tackle at retail stores.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill directly affected between 600 and 1,000 common loons and indirectly affected more loons in the years after the disaster. The Gulf of Mexico is a primary wintering area for common loons from Minnesota. Through a process known as Natural Resource Damage Assessment, the Deepwater Horizon Trustees assessed natural resources injuries that resulted from the 2010 oil spill and entered into a settlement agreement with BP. The MPCA was awarded $1.27 million by the Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee Technical Implementation Group to implement the Get the Lead Out campaign to help restore the loon population.