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Volunteers needed: MPCA in dire need of water clarity monitors

MPCA recently announced the need for water monitors across the state of Minnesota especially as the summer months approach.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - With more than 12,000 lakes and over 92,000+ miles of streams across Minnesota, it’s hard to keep track of how healthy our waters are.

But, there is a way for residents to get involved.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced recently there is a critical need for more volunteers to track water clarity across the state, especially in rural locations like the Northland.

Having more volunteers significantly helps MPCA in tracking our natural waters for erosion and sedimentary levels.

MPCA Program Coordinator Shannon Martin said, to keep “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” reputation, it’s challenging for state officials to accurately track the streams and lakes.

“We combine all that to say ‘Is this lake or stream meeting our state water quality standards?’ So without that information, we wouldn’t be able to help such a greater understanding what’s happening at our lakes and streams,” said Martin.

One avid water monitor, Beth LaVigne, has been monitoring Tischer Creek in Duluth for 15 years.

After dealing with very low water levels last year, LaVigne said this year is looking promising.

“This year is much much higher than last year. Last year, by this time, it was... the banks were...the water was kinda of a normal level so this is more typical in the spring that the water was up over the banks and very high,” said LaVigne.

It’s something that takes less than 5 minutes, but it can help state officials protect our natural waters for years to come.

Currently, there are just over 1,000 volunteers across the state with most of them near the Twin Cities.

If you are interested in becoming a water monitor, the MPCA will provide you with the necessary tools.

Click here to learn how to sign up as well as what streams and lakes need monitors.

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