Reader Opinion: Quality event on water quality
I was pleased to attend the Water Quality Forum put on by The Nature Conservancy at Central Lakes College on Thursday. It was a wonderful show of grassroots support for programs to improve the water quality of our Mississippi River and surrounding waters. Cheers for The Nature Conservancy — an organization that "follows the science" to promote programs and funding prioritized to improve water quality where needed most. Cheers for the local government representatives and speakers who attended — particularly Brainerd High School senior Andrew Mendez who spoke of the importance of water quality and well represented our youth … those who stand to gain the benefits of our actions or the consequences of our failure to act. Cheers for State Sen. Carrie Ruud — she "gets it." And jeers for State Rep. Josh Heintzeman. He did not attend, citing "previous commitments." Neither did he send a representative (as U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber did). Neither did he offer a written statement on the topic as requested by the forum organizers. I hope that our encouragement will help Rep. Heintzeman to better understand the importance of water quality to the environment, the local economy, and our lives.