The EPA has recently announced its intention to scale back the Clean Water Rule (CWR). The CWR was proposed to clarify ambiguities in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWR recognizes the complexity and interconnectivity of our nation’s waterways–no matter how big or small. The protection extended by these rules is meant to safeguard drinking water, fish and waterfowl habitat, and the recreation economy. Though the CWR has been stuck in federal appeals courts, its full repeal could have damaging long-term effects on water quality. FBSR hopes these developments won’t make it more difficult to obtain a clean Big Sioux River.
Governor Daugaard recently announced that South Dakota residents with land along lakes and rivers can apply for a tax break if they commit the land to riparian buffer strips. The bipartisan bill aims to encourage the planting of grass, alfalfa, or other perennials that will help filter runoff. This incentive program is a huge win for South Dakota water quality and a great opportunity for land owners!
On August 2nd, Daugaard announced that applications are now open for the buffer strip incentives program. His office has unveiled a website that helps landowners know if their land qualifies for the program. If you’re a waterside property owner and wish to know if your property qualifies for this incentive, visit http://dor.sd.gov/bufferstrips.aspx for more details.
FBSR is honored to be selected by the Great Outdoor Store to receive a $5,000 grant through the Patagonia Retail Grant Program. As with all Patagonia grants programs, the Retail Grants Program supports small grassroots activist organizations with provocative direct-action agendas, working strategically on multipronged campaigns to preserve and protect our environment. They help local groups working to protect local habitats and frontline communities through bold, original actions.
We’re excited about the possibilities and the true impact this grant will make on the Big Sioux River and surrounding communities. Future posts will highlight ways you can get involved to directly help with our plans to make the Big Sioux River swimmable by 2025.
Thanks again to the Great Outdoor Store and Patagonia!
Governors Daugaard of South Dakota and Dayton of Minnesota advocate vegetated buffer strips along our prairie rivers as a practical and low-cost method for reducing water pollution, saving wetlands, enhancing wildlife habitat and protecting our soils. As a result of this leadership, the Governors may also accomplish, unintentionally, a conservation goal that federal agencies have been avoiding for years — creating a recovery plan for endangered species in the Big Sioux, James, Vermillion and Rock Rivers.
Friends of the Big Sioux River will partner with the Butterfly House & Aquarium in offering events and educational exhibits throughout 2017. The goals of the Butterfly House is to increase pollinator habitat, and to reduce runoff from Midwestern watersheds that contribute to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. These goals are similar to the FBSR goals of clean water by reducing runoff through the expansion of vegetated riparian strips along waterways, and sustainable development and landscape practices in urban centers. These buffer strips will increase pollinator habitat while decreasing chemical runoff, which will decrease South Dakota’s contribution to the dead zone.
The first event will be held on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd at the Butterfly House on the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. More details will be announced on this event and future events in the upcoming weeks. If you are not bfamiliar with this attraction we’ve provided a link to the Butterfly House /Aquarium to learn more.