Protecting Our Water

“Land use is a major factor in our current water quality problems — agricultural drainage, urban and rural runoff, and erosion caused by removing vegetation from shorelines. It’s not just the regulated facilities like wastewater treatment plants that need to do more, it’s all of us — the citizens.” – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) monitors environmental quality of the air, land, and water across the state. They also help enforce environmental regulations, and aid in cleanups in the case of toxic spills or leaks.
The MPCA has a big job at hand when it comes to protecting the state’s water. Minnesota has almost 12,000 lakes and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams – giving it overall more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined (this fun article uses publicly available data to show how this is true). The MPCA thus relies not only on its own workforce, but also partners with other state and federal agencies, and with the citizens of the Minnesota themselves, to monitor and protect the state’s water.
Listen in to our video interview with Glenn Skuta, head of the MPCA’s Watershed Division, to learn more about the current condition of Minnesota’s water, the type of water monitoring the MPCA does, and how you can get involved helping protect and monitor the water in your own community.
Interested in learning more about the quality of water in the lakes, rivers, and streams in your own backyard? Check out the great water data resources on the MPCA’s website at
Live in a different state? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) has links to all the state environmental and health agencies at

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