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Minnesota Waters begins new partnership with Conservation Minnesota

Two non-profits devoted to protection of the state's lakes, rivers and natural resources - Minnesota Waters and Conservation Minnesota - have reached agreement to continue their work as one organization.

Just 20 days ago, the Minnesota Waters board of directors announced its decision to cease operations on May 19 and to complete the steps required to place the organization's corporate status and brand in a dormant, inactive state.

The difficult decision came after months of effort to address the organization's longstanding financial challenges or find a new home for its staff and programs.

Shortly after this announcement, a new opportunity for Minnesota Waters' members and their statewide network emerged.

"Our lakes and rivers define life in Minnesota," said Paul Austin, director of Conservation Minnesota. "Minnesota Waters' members and the state's lakes associations have been working on the front lines to protect and restore our most cherished places. We want to support their effort and make sure their priorities are heard in St. Paul."

Today, the two organizations celebrate the perpetuation of a valuable network that has made a measurable difference for Minnesota's lakes, rivers and streams.

"Lake associations, coalitions of lake associations, and concerned Minnesotans have been connected and strengthened through their years with Minnesota Waters. Joining forces with an organization that created the educational tool and played a lead role in passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment makes perfect sense." said Kenzie Phelps, chair, Minnesota Waters board of directors.

"Our goal is to find practical solutions to the problems Minnesotans tell us are most important, and concerns about water quality are always at the top of the list," Austin said.

As a part of Conservation Minnesota, Minnesota Waters' members and lakes associations across the state will be asked to participate in setting Conservation Minnesota's annual priorities, receive updates and support from Conservation Minnesota's bipartisan capital team, and website hosting services for lakes associations will continue.

"Both Minnesota Waters' name and network will play a central role in our future programs. Over the coming weeks and months, we will ask members and lake associations to help us decide how we can best work together to protect The Land of 10,000 Lakes," Austin said.

"These two organizations have something very important in common, we are focused on engaging people in protecting what we love most about Minnesota," said Lois Sinn Lindquist of Alexandria, Minnesota Water executive director. "Today and tomorrow, our mission continues."