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Letter: Help lead nation's effort to protect our waterways

To the Editor:

In big news for clean water this week, the Obama Administration has released a new report on the importance of small wetlands and streams to the health of our major waterways like the Mississippi River. They also plan to move forward with a rule-making that closes loopholes in The Clean Water Act so that all waterways are protected. Currently, multiple loopholes in The Clean Water Act pushed by industrial and agricultural polluters threaten clean drinking water and waterways Minnesotans count on for all the outdoor thrills our state has to offer.

Minnesotans are proud of their beautiful waterscapes; I know I take pride in maintaining these environmental attributes for years to come. Outdoor sports and other water focused pastimes are a way of life for Minnesotans. Next time you waterski on Lake Pepin, jog along the lovely river path at Bay Point Park, or even go canoeing in the Boundary Waters, consider how valuable yet vulnerable these waterways are and what you do to help preserve them.

The latest step towards protecting these waterways is significant. We need to be aware and concerned about the well-being of our state’s landscape in order to ensure we have the freedom to safely and readily enjoy them in the future. Finalizing these protections will be a battle. We must continue to fight polluting industries as they try to keep the status quo and use our waterways as dumping grounds. That's why I urge you to get involved; let your government leaders know you expect our waterways to be clean and protected for generations to come.

Abby Wedrickas.

Red Wing

MSU 2013 Graduate, Environment Minnesota Intern