Deb Ryun is executive director of the St. Croix River Association.
Water is what makes the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway wonderful. It’s the reason there are fish and countless fascinating creatures. It’s the reason life exists.
The St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers are exceptional because their water is still very clean — while other waterways have been fouled and polluted. Although our rivers are not pristine, they are overall healthy.
Clean water is why we love swimming in these rivers on hot summer days. The clean waters support sturgeon and smallmouth bass, dragonflies and wildflowers, eagles and osprey, otters and mussels.
We need you to keep the water clean.
Our rivers are not easy to protect, because they are affected by what happens across a 7,800-square mile watershed, an area the size of New Jersey, draining through countless tributary streams. Changes across this landscape are why its waters have become muddier and more filled with algae since the 1950s.
Preventing pollution takes a lot of work, and a lot of partners.
With support from people like you, we are working across the St. Croix’s large, two-state watershed to reduce runoff and protect the river’s future. We accomplished a lot in 2017:
- Reduced the amount of sediment flowing into the St. Croix and its tributaries by 250 tons
- Restored 165 acres of land to provide natural habitat and help slow runoff
- Prevented twice as much algae-producing phosphorus from reaching the river as in 2016
There is more to do.
The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway’s relatively good condition also make it fragile. Small changes can have big impacts, and it’s a lot harder to restore it than protect it in the first place. The St. Croix River Association works to protect water quality.