Thursday, January 31, 2013

Draft National Blueway System Pre-Proposal page 2

Some portions had to be shortened to meet page limitations. They will get added back in for the full proposal.

River or Watershed Partnership Attributes
Membership and Diversity of Nominating Partnership, Association or Coalition:
Organizations; local, state and federal government units; and agencies across the Minnesota River Basin have formed partnerships to develop basin-wide strategies to improve water quality, focus more on public outreach, restore habitat and increase recreational access and opportunity. Membership and diversity of the nominating alliance is quite varied and includes those listed below and many others.
·         Minnesota River Board (MRB). Formed in 1995, the MRB is a joint powers board comprised of 27 counties within the basin. The mission of this organization is to provide leadership, build partnerships, and support efforts to improve and protect water quality in the Minnesota River Basin.
·         Water Resources Center (WRC). Created in 1987, the WRC at the University of Minnesota, Mankato, serves as a regional research center for water quality. In 2008, the WRC received $1.2 million to continue its applied research, including water quality monitoring, communication efforts and civic engagement in the Minnesota River Basin.
·         Friends of the Minnesota Valley (FMV). Formed in 1982, this nonprofit advocates for the MN River Valley National Wildlife Refuge while partnering with a wide range of organizations to improve the lower valley’s natural resources. FMV launched an award winning “Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality program in 2003. Other initiatives involve restoring the old Cedar Avenue Bridge trail connection, and a demonstration project on conservation drainage in the Seven Mile Creek Watershed.
·         Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River (CCMR).This nonprofit, founded in 1989, continues to celebrate and advocate for the river, while continually working to find common sense solutions for the water quality challenges which presently exist. CCMR has a history of accomplishments ranging from producing the MN River Watershed Drainage Policy Reform Report, sponsoring the River Rangers Program (youth program), to facilitating the first successful point to non-point water pollution trade in the United States.  CCMR also manages and presents the successful Riverblast celebration an annual free festival that celebrates the importance of the river to the town of New Ulm. 
·      Mankato Area Paddling and Outing Club (MPOC). The mission of this volunteer-based group is to participate in and lead a wide variety of outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, biking, cross country skiing and networking with people of similar interests. Founded in 1993, MPOC hosts an annual River Valley Cleanup on area rivers each spring.
·         Tatanka Bluffs. Formed by citizens of Redwood and Renville Counties, this group’s mission is to protect the natural resources of the Minnesota River corridor between Upper Sioux Agency State Park and Fort Ridgely State Park. Tatanka Bluffs facilitates others to take action within five focus areas including the outdoors (public recreational land acquisition and trail development); renewable tourism; celebrations, entertainment and gaming; education and green energy. The vision of the group is to develop one of the top tourism destinations in Minnesota.
·         Green Corridor, Inc. Green Corridor Inc. aims to acquire, restore, preserve and develop the unique natural resources in the Minnesota River Valley and surrounding area. Its vision is a premier recreation destination by providing the necessary public infrastructure.
·         Clean up our River Environment (CURE). The mission of CURE is to focus public awareness on the Minnesota River Watershed and to take action to restore and protect its water quality, biological integrity and natural beauty for all generations. Founded in 1992CURE seeks to inspire area youth and the general public through river trips and field days. CURE holds meetings bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and objectives to create common purpose and vision. CURE advocates for public policy at the local, regional, and national level.  CURE is a membership-based

·         organization with more than 500 members.  Its annual meeting routinely attracts more than 300 people from throughout the watershed.

·         Chippewa River Watershed Project (CRWP). CRWP is a joint powers organization of 8 counties in the Upper Minnesota River Watershed that focuses on water quality monitoring and public education to improve the Chippewa River which is a major tributary to the Minnesota River.  Recently the CRWP has teamed up with the Land Stewardship Project to launch the Chippewa 10 % project which is designed to encourage 10% of highly erodible land in the Chippewa Basin to be placed in permanent vegetative cover that can still be grazed and harvested by local farmers.

·         Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). MPCA coordinates water monitoring on the Minnesota River and its major tributaries, providing reports every two years on impaired waters in the basin. The weblink below provides access to reports going back to 1996 on various portions of the watershed.

·         Minnesota Valley History Learning Center (MVHLC). MVHLC teaches the cultural and natural heritage of the Minnesota River Valley and inspires people of all generations to understand, preserve, and learn from our shared history.  The MVHLC is a place where students are immersed in Minnesota history during a week-long curriculum designed to exceed Minnesota Department of Education standards.  The MVHLC brings history to life for students and researchers by placing them in the historical context of many of Minnesota's most significant historical events, and by making primary source reference materials available to them.

·         U of MN Southwest Research & Outreach Center (SWROC).  The SWROC links agriculture, communities and families to the research, education and outreach resources of the University of Minnesota.  It is a prominent resource for natural resources and environmental science for preK-12, undergraduates and adult learners.  Research and outreach efforts help to stabilize the sometimes emotional environment of differing world views related to agricultural production though sound multidisciplinary research enriching and strengthening our rural environment and agricultural production.