McKnight Foundation announced the morning of Jan. 6 181 grants totaling more than $20 million, including $100,000 to the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust for protecting water quality in western Wisconsin's Kinni River watershed over the next two years.
Of the $20.3 million total, $1.3 million went to six organizations working to reduce water pollution from agricultural sources in the four upper-river states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.
Along with the KRLT, McKnight made the following grants aimed at reducing pollution of the Mississippi River:
- Environmental Working Group, with offices in Ames, IA, and Washington, D.C., received $350,000 over two years to support its ongoing communications and advocacy work;
- Seattle's Grist Magazine received $150,000 over two years for its online media strategies designed to raise public awareness about efforts to reduce agricultural pollution in the Mississippi Basin;
- Minneapolis-based Land Stewardship Project received $240,000 over three years to support grassroots organizing to achieve federal farm policy reform;
- Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Inc., of East Troy, WI, received $150,000 over two years to expand farmer participation in federal and state conservation programs;
- Rural Advantage of Fairmont, MN, received $300,000 over three years to advance its Third Crop Initiative, a coordinated effort to encourage the planting of crops that require less fertilizer and pesticides and greatly reduce polluted runoff.
"A clean Mississippi River is vital to both the people who depend on it for their health, livelihoods, and recreation, and to the delicate wildlife habitats it sustains," says Robert J. Struyk, McKnight's board chair. "Organizations like these and many others are seeking creative ways to identify, mitigate, and where possible, eliminate water pollution."
Grant totals and representative grants in support of the arts, children and youth, the environment, select international efforts, and the region and communities are available at www.mcknight.org.