Today's speaker was John Linc Stine, Director of the local Freshwater Society.  This is a role he has recently taken on upon retiring from the paid work force.  His work career included 40 years in Minnesota State government - at the Pollution Control Agency, and the Department of Natural Resources.  The overriding message of John's presentation was this:  "Everything we do on the land impacts water".  Examples are endless but include paving of roads and disposing of trash.  We learned that in Ramsey County, our trash is incinerated, while in most of outstate MN, trash goes to landfills.  We were encouraged to "think before we buy" as a way to minimize the ever growing problem our trash presents.  There are success stories with some of our rivers in MN:  The Mississippi is now home to walleye and can be readily fished.  And the St. Croix River is relatively pristine.  Phosphorus is no longer the problem it once was as it is largely gone from soap and fertilizer.  The Minnesota River is a more problematic case because it runs through large stretches of farmland, where it picks up a lot of nitrogen from fertilizers.  Higher water levels have caused much river bank erosion, also, so that the Minnesota River water is brown with soil run-off.  As for lakes, 94% of MN area lakes are the same or cleaner than they were in 1980.  Only 6% are in worse shape.  In fact it was noted that the reason walleye have become so scarce in Lake Millacs is that the water is clearer than it used to be, causing the walleye's natural enemies to see them more easily!  We are fortunate to live in a state with as much good news as bad, when it comes to our precious water resources!