The non-profit organization Minnesota Waters and its predecessor, Minnesota Lakes Association has played a major role protecting our state’s lakes and rivers. Sadly, because of loss of foundation support and other unfortunate revenue declines, the Board of Directors of MN Waters felt forced to cease further operations effective May 19, 2012.
This is a devastating blow to MN Waters’ membership and all others who care deeply about our state’s lakes and rivers. After considerable deliberation, the MN Waters Board decided that, rather than simply allow the organization to disappear, they would seek to find a home for what remained.
To that end, MN Waters has chosen to continue to advocate for lakes and rivers as part of Conservation Minnesota, an existing organization also deeply committed to our state’s lakes and streams and other conservation issues of great importance to Minnesotans.
As a part of Conservation Minnesota, Minnesota Water’s members and lake associations across the state will participate in setting Conservation Minnesota’s priorities. Important to many lake associations, Conservation Minnesota will continue hosting website services for lake associations as Minnesota Waters has done in the past.
Conservation Minnesota has for years hosted the checkmylake.com website that enables lake users to obtain data on specific lakes.
Paul Austin, Executive Director of CM, has been in close contact with Lois Sinn Lindquist, Executive Director of Minnesota Waters, throughout this period of transition. Lois and one or more members of the MN Waters Board are to become members of the CM Board.
A full integration of the two organizations will take time. Austin is intent on engaging current MN Waters members to learn their thoughts about the integration process. As I write, Paul is working to set up phone and face to face meetings with lake association leaders to help move the transition forward.
He has already been in conversation with Jeff Forester, Executive Director of Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners Coalition (MSRPO) to seek ways of working together on common interests.
Keep tuned. A new beginning has just begun.