In September 2015, The Nature Conservancy established the Minnesota Headwaters Fund to support high-impact conservation projects to protect clean water in Minnesota’s lakes and rivers for the benefit of nature, people and business.
The Conservancy is working to raise $10 million in private dollars over the next three years from companies, foundations and individuals.
Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, is the first company to contribute to the Fund, with a $500,000 commitment through the Ecolab Foundation.
This privately funded investment will support protection and conservation work throughout the Upper Mississippi River basin, including easements, stream bank and floodplain restoration, and other projects that prevent pollutants such as nitrates and sediment from entering key rivers and lakes.
“The Mississippi River is far too important to Minnesota to take for granted,” said Peggy Ladner, director of The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota. “It is the primary source of drinking water and provides recreation opportunities for the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and many other communities in central Minnesota. And it is critical to agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, and tourism, all key sectors of Minnesota’s economy.”
“Ecolab’s purpose is to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier while protecting people and vital resources,” said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Ecolab chairman and chief executive officer. “Through our partnership with The Nature Conservancy, we’re helping to protect critical watersheds in Minnesota and furthering our commitment to help address the world’s most complex environmental challenges.”
The Minnesota Headwaters Fund will support initiatives to protect clean water supplies from the impacts of converting land from forest to urban and agricultural uses. Land conversion has been proven to significantly impact water quality by elevating levels of nitrogen and other pollutants and, in turn, increasing the costs to communities of providing clean water.
Click here to read the press release. And learn more about the Minnesota Headwaters Fund with a Q&A interview with Doug Shaw, assistant state director of The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota. And listen to the interview with Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, on Minnesota Public Radio.
Follow the conversation on Twitter: @Nature_MN, #MNHeadwaters