CRWP’s statement about the Northfield Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Pipe break and discharge of 1 million gallons into the Cannon River July 3, 2018

The emergency sewage discharge event in Northfield on July 3 highlights the importance of local governments having the resources they need to invest in reliable wastewater systems. As we have seen in this case, river pollution can have a direct impact on local businesses, family recreation, and our quality of life here in southern Minnesota. We call upon Northfield residents, elected officials, and city staff to work together to prevent future wastewater discharges into the Cannon River.

Here is the latest video provided by the City of Northfield:

Clean Water Doesn’t Happen By Itself

It Needs Your Help!

On September 15, 2018, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership will host the 10th Annual Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP at 10 locations across the region. This is the largest 1-day CleanUP project in Minnesota and it happens right here!

To make sure that our over 200 volunteers have the gloves, garbage bags, dumpsters, and support that they need, we need your help.

Business and individual sponsors fund this event and help “Make Clean Water Happen!”

Would your business like to support this CleanUP? Sponsors get recognition on the CleanUP Bandanna, on community ads, on the CRWP Website,  and on Social Media.

Do you patronize a business that relies on clean water (most businesses do)?

Then do your part and ask that business to support the CleanUP. You can download the flyer below and share it in your community.

We also looking for businesses, community groups, and churches to make clean water a priority by bringing a team to the CleanUP. If you’d like to bring a group to one of our 10 CleanUP sites, contact Kevin Strauss at or at 507-786-3913.

Click here to download a 2018 CleanUP Sponsor Flyer PDF 

We Have A New Office!

Come visit us when you have the chance. Our new office is at 710 Division Street South, behind the Richie Eye Clinic, and kitty corner from Econo Foods in Northfield. We’re generally open 9 am-4 pm, M-F. Call (507) 786-3913 or email us if you want to talk with a specific staffperson and we can let you know if that person is in.


2018 “Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution” Northfield Poster Contest Winners!

86 Students from five Northfield Elementary Schools participated in the 5th Annual Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution” Poster Contest. To see all the winning entries and to learn more about the contest, click here. 

Got a Few Hours To Invest in Cleaner Rivers? 

Five Ways You Can Work For Cleaner Water in Southeast Minnesota


St. Olaf Students: Emily Brown, Kathleen Quigley, Rachel Roberts, Kelly Bartig and Dillon Kelly.
  1. Donate to Cannon River Watershed Partnership. Click the “Donate Now” Button at the top of this page. Your donations help CRWP bring community members together for our annual Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP each September, help communities fix wastewater problems, educate the public about how to keep our rivers and lakes clean, and encourage farmers to use more conservation practices on their land like cover crops and no-till farming techniques.
  2. Volunteer at one of CRWP’s Rain Garden Planting Parties, the Watershed-Wide CleanUP or at the Downstream Environmental Film Festival. Click the “Volunteer” tab above or call or email CRWP Community Engagement Coordinator Kevin Strauss (507) 786-3913, or “”.
  3. Become a Member or Increase Your Membership. While we appreciate all donations, memberships are the single most important regular source of funding for CRWP. Membeships give CRWP the funds we need to keep the lights on and the leverage we need to get the grants and sponsorships we need to Make Clean Water Happen in Southeastern Minnesota.
  4. Tell Your Friends, Neighbors, and Elected Officials about CRWP. We all want cleaner water in Southeastern Minnesota. But not everyone knows how to get cleaner water in our region. The more people that know about the important clean water work that CRWP is doing, the more people who will volunteer and support our clean water work.
  5. Visit the Cannon River, the Straight River, and the lakes in Southeastern Minnesota. O.K., now your’re thinking, “how does visiting a river make it cleaner?” The answer is simple. The more people who visit the rivers and lakes in our region and enjoy our waterways, the more motivated people will be to take action for cleaner water.


Community Clean Water Town Hall Ideas!

Results from the “25 by 25” Clean Water Town Hall Meeting in Northfield, MN, on Monday, Oct. 2nd

In addition to Governor Mark Dayton’s ten “25 by 25 Clean Water Town Hall Meetings,” many local groups held their own local clean water discussions this summer and fall. At the Northfield 25 by 25 Clean Water Town Hall Meeting, citizens from Northfield, Cannon Falls, and Faribault discussed how we could work together to improve water quality by 25 percent by the year 2025.

Participants included both urban and rural residents, educators, farmers, lake residents, elected officials, and other professionals. Cannon River Watershed Partnership staff uploaded community clean water ideas to the State of Minnesota website. State officials will compile ideas and identify the most popular ideas for each region in the state, and state officials will work to implement some of those ideas. At the same time, CRWP will identify 1-3 local ideas and work to implement them in the Cannon River Watershed in the next 12 months.

Northfield Clean Water Town Hall Ideas

Working in small groups, participants in the local “25 by 25 Clean Water Town Hall Meeting” generated dozens of ideas to help clean up our waterways and drinking water. Here are some examples:


1) Create Local Accountability for Clean Water (i.e. County responsibility for pollution of local waterways, similar to MS4 permits for larger cities).

2) Reward “green” or “Clean Water” voluntary actions with more rebates, tax breaks and other financial incentives.

3) Increased Education about the sources and wide range of potential voluntary and regulatory solutions for water pollution in southern Minnesota. Educate legislators, business leaders, and other citizens.

4) Increased Wellhead Protection to protect both urban and rural wells from increasing nitrogen fertilizer pollution, including increasing both the quantity of water that soaks into the ground and improving how clean water is when it soaks into the ground.

5) Create a Cost for Pollution so that businesses that create pollution have to pay a cost for that pollution. Over time, businesses that reduce their pollution will succeed and give us cleaner water.


For more information about this or future meetings or events, contact Kevin Strauss, Cannon River Watershed Partnership Community Engagement Coordinator, 507-786-3913 or at “”



What people are saying about CRWP…

CRWP deserves the support of all who care about a vibrant natural community, and of all who drink water!” – Jan Mitchell

“I enjoy contributing to worthwhile organizations and have been interested for many years in improving the environment which includes clean water. I have met some of the employees and they are very dedicated …. Please consider making a donation to CRWP.” – Richard J. Carlander

“The CRWP removes the barriers between one’s self and others and makes it possible to get at needed actions, such as improving water quality and protecting habitat for the many small and secret creatures that make a living in the river.” – Scott King

“I give because there is no organization more worthy of my support …. You couldn’t give to an organization that does more to retain quality of life right here than the Cannon River Watershed Partnership.” – Brynhild Rowberg

“As a farm family, we value stewardship of the land and we value CRWP programs that monitor how well landowners are protecting rivers, lakes, wetlands and ground water  ….  As volunteers, we give our time because, hey, working on a stream beats sitting at a meeting any day!” – Cathy Larson and Steve Albers


Help us work toward clean water!

Cannon River Watershed Partnership focuses our work in three program areas: Working with Farmers and Landowners, Helping Communities with Wastewater, and Community-Building in Cities and Towns.  The work we do for clean water is carried out by staff, volunteers, and our many partners across the watershed. See the Volunteer tab to learn how to do your part to clean up the watershed, or Donate Now, to become a member!