Pawlenty, Doyle Discuss Efforts to Protect St. Croix River
St. Croix Valley – Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle today discussed ongoing collaborative efforts to clean the St. Croix River, including reducing runoff of nutrient rich soil from construction sites and farms in both states.
“Wisconsin and Minnesota have a long tradition of working together to protect the St. Croix River,” Governor Doyle said. “I look forward to building on these efforts as we continue to work together to reduce government spending and move our states forward during this difficult national economy.”
“Our joint efforts are showing the nation that political boundaries mean nothing when we can work together to save taxpayer money and deliver services better,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Whether it’s working together to improve water quality, swapping fish fingerlings or offering employment opportunities to semi-retired quarterbacks, Minnesota and Wisconsin are building on our already close relationship.”
For more than two decades, the St. Croix River Basin Planning – comprised of the Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, and federal partners – has been working together to protect water quality on the river. In 2006, the two states signed an agreement to reduce phosphorus pollution to the river by 20 percent by 2020. In addition to the 2006 agreement, an intensive study was completed this year indentifying the remaining sources of pollution to form the basis for the clean-up plan.
The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway was established in 1968 as one of the original eight rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Lower St. Croix River was the first riverway segment added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program by Congress in 1972. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota have made state designations and actively manage the riverway together.
The joint work by Wisconsin and Minnesota on the St. Croix River is a long-standing model for the expanding collaboration that Governors Doyle and Pawlenty launched this year. On January 13, 2009 both governors signed Executive Orders directing their cabinet agencies to work with their counterparts across the border to find ways for the two states to collaborate. What resulted is a nation-leading effort to share services and become more efficient by cooperating between their states. Minnesota and Wisconsin are working together on more than 80 projects to save money and improve government operations.
Using the collaborative work on the St. Croix as a model, the states are undergoing a joint project to protect the St. Louis River. By sharing the work of water sampling, identifying pollution sources and doing the clean-up, the two states plan to save $1 million over the next 8 years while also protecting and improving the water quality of the St. Louis.
(From Office of Gov. Tim Pawlenty)