Make this your Year of Water Action — volunteer now!

Contact: Mary Connor, 651-757-2629

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking volunteers for its citizen water monitoring programs. Participants “adopt” a lake or stream and track how clear the water is. Knowing the clarity of water helps the MPCA understand the health of our water.

More than 1,300 citizen monitors gather data for the MPCA, but more are needed to reach the 69,000 miles of rivers and more than 12,000 lakes in the state. Volunteers do a simple water clarity test in their favorite body of water twice a month during the summer. The MPCA provides equipment and training and no prior experience is needed. Data gathered by volunteers extends the agency’s reach and complements the MPCA’s intensive water monitoring around the state.

Program volunteers are motivated by curiosity, concern, and more:

  • Richard Fetterly has monitored the Straight River for 15 years — “By supporting this effort, we can create the environment that we want to pass along to future generations of both people and wildlife,” Richard says.
  • Jim Svobodny has been monitoring Long Lost Lake for more than 30 years — “When I started monitoring, I thought it would be an interesting thing to do for a summer,” Jim says. “I guess you could say I’m hooked.”

Governor Mark Dayton has declared a “Year of Water Action,” and is encouraging all Minnesotans to take a role in protecting our state’s most precious resource for future generations. Governor Dayton has called on Minnesotans to work together to find solutions to keep Minnesota’s water clean and accessible to everyone. Despite the state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, groundwater and streams, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are currently listed as impaired or polluted. 

Use the MPCA’s interactive map to find out if your favorite lake or stream needs monitoring. Become a volunteer or learn more about the program on the Citizen Water Monitoring Program webpage, or call 651-296-6300 (Twin Cities) or 1-800-657-3864 (Greater Minnesota).