News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 20, 2015

MINNESOTA TO SIGN LAKE FRIENDLY ACCORD


Expanding Action to Improve and Protect Lake Winnipeg Watershed

The State of Minnesota will sign the Lake Friendly Accord today, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship Gord Mackintosh, and Rick Gamble, mayor of Dunnottar and Manitoba chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves announced today.

“Minnesota has formally joined the growing list of signatories to the accord and the increasing effort to protect water quality across the Lake Winnipeg basin,” Minister Mackintosh said.  “The Red River is the single largest source of nutrients to Lake Winnipeg, and by working together we will reduce nutrients and improve water quality.  Minnesota is a leader in nutrient reduction measures and we look forward to building on recent efforts.”

The accord will be signed by Commissioner John Linc Stine on behalf of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Commissioner Tom Landwehr on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“I am very pleased that Minnesota is the first US state to sign the Lake Friendly Accord,” said Commissioner Stine.  “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's mission is to protect and improve the environment and enhance human health. I wholeheartedly embrace the goal of improving water quality by reducing nutrients that emanate from Minnesota's lands and waters.  It is a goal that, if achieved, will benefit Lake Winnipeg and Minnesota's lakes, rivers and streams.”

“Signing the Lake Friendly Accord signifies our commitment to working with all partners to reduce nutrients and ensure our precious freshwater resources are protected,” said Commissioner Landwehr.  “We look forward to advancing our shared protection and restoration goals."

The Manitoba government and the South Basin Mayors and Reeves first partnered in June 2013 to announce the Lake Friendly Accord and establish the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance.  The goal is to improve water quality by reducing nutrients in rivers and lakes.

The signing was hosted as part of the 32nd Annual Conference of the International Red River Basin Commission in Winnipeg.  The commission is also signing the annex to the accord, outlining their commitments to reducing nutrients and improving water quality.

“The Red River Basin Commission has observed firsthand how working together across jurisdictional boundaries can help us to tackle even the toughest challenges,” said Jeff Lewis, executive director, Red River Basin Commission.  “We are pleased to sponsor this accord signing event to recognize the importance of working together for this common goal.”

Nutrients and algal blooms are an important issue across the Lake Winnipeg basin, which stretches across one million square kilometres through Canada and the United States including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, North and South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Manitoba.

“As partners in this initiative, the South Basin mayors and reeves are working with municipalities to refine and implement Lake Friendly municipal practices, as outlined in the new municipal tool and certification system,” said Rick Gamble, chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves.  “We want to continue to work with governments and agencies to be part of the solution and work toward reducing nutrients.  The accord provides a framework for all stakeholders to assist in the development of specific actions and commitments.”

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment (Canada), Minister Gord Mackintosh, Conservation and Water Stewardship (Manitoba) and Mayor Rick Gamble, chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves were the first signatories to the Lake Friendly Accord on Mar. 21, 2014.  The Red River Basin Commission’s signing of the Lake Friendly Accord on Sept. 4, 2014 in Fargo, North Dakota signified the first formal cross-border support for the accord.

For more information on the accord, visit www.manitoba.ca/lakefriendlyaccord.  Discover how Manitoba isLake Friendly in 50 Waysby visiting www.manitoba.ca/lakewinnipeg.

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