Water basin educators to carry out the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment
Through the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment, Minnesota has an opportunity to transform our water resources for long-term benefit through a watershed-based approach. University of Minnesota Extension's 100+ years as a trusted source of education in Minnesota communities makes us well-positioned to successfully implement the citizen engagement and education goals of the amendment.
Increasing demands on our land
Minnesotans have always relied on the state's natural resources for economic growth, sustenance, beauty, and recreation. Recent years have seen growing concerns about land use and maintaining these resources for the future.
The agriculture/environment divide
Water quality issues are complex and successful solutions depend on collaboration among diverse interests.
How Extension can respond
We will call on Extension's century of experience developing research and education solutions for Minnesota. Each basin educator will work with local partners to ensure they are filling gaps rather than duplicating existing expertise.
Working at the watershed level
We propose to locate a water resources educator in the major basins: Red River, Rainy River, Upper Mississippi, Lake Superior, Lower Mississippi, Minnesota River, St. Croix River, and the Metro area.
Evaluation will be a priority component to ensure that engagement and education strategies are effectively leading to increased knowledge and changes in behavior.
Collaboration across content areas
Our strategy takes into account diverse views, multiple land uses, and the realities of Minnesota's water issues by drawing on our expertise in agriculture and natural resources. We will work together to resolve food production, social, and economic issues at the watershed level, which all have a direct impact on Minnesota's waters.
What we will do
- Increase the number of lakes, rivers, and streams that are protected or restored
- Strengthen watershed/stakeholder response to improve impaired waters
- Implement educational programs that change behaviors to prevent waters from becoming impaired
How we will do it
- Successful coordination of diverse interest groups
- Citizen engagement in watershed planning
- Citizen education through volunteer monitoring, workshops, research, and demonstrations
- Evaluation expertise to assess changing behaviors at the local, regional, and state levels
- Technical expertise in areas of safe drinking water, aquatic invasive species, drainage, water valuation, citizen leadership, nutrient management, and program evaluation
- Employ a balanced, research-based, solution-focused approach
- Expertise in agriculture, natural resources, and citizen leadership
- Known statewide as a trusted source of accurate information from a respected University
- Specialize in interpreting scientific data to create accessible and useful tools for non-scientists
Greg Cuomo, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota
(612) 625-7098 / email@example.com