Thank you to those who stood up for science, you doubled your impact!

We are so grateful for your generous support. At the end of 2017, several donors agreed to match new and increased donations to MCEA, doubling their impact. We're proud to announce we met our year end goal, and grew our base of  MCEA supporters. 


MCEA Welcomes Another New Environmental Defender

Ann Cohen, Senior Staff Attorney

Ann joined MCEA as a Staff Attorney in 2018 after 32 years working as an Assistant Attorney General representing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other environmental agencies of the State of Minnesota.  Ann graduated from Yale University in 1981 and from New York University School of Law in 1985.  Ann is looking forward to working with MCEA on a variety of projects including mine permitting and energy regulation. When not practicing law in support of the environment, Ann likes to enjoy it by hiking, canoeing, birding and cross-country skiing.


Tune in to the MN Governor Candidate Forum tonight!

Join Minnesota's conservation community for a gubernatorial candidate forum on environment and conservation issues in Minnesota. Candidates will respond to audience questions on five topic areas: air/climate, land/habitat, water, environmental funding and cross-cutting issues. 

The event will be live-streamed statewide beginning 30 minutes prior to our start time at:

In the event that you have difficulty accessing the above livestream, we will also have a Facebook Live video of the event in real time at:

Audience questions will be sourced through Pigeonhole. You can ask questions or vote for your favorite questions in any of the session topics. This feature is now live, and will run through the duration of the event. To access:

  • Step #1: Simply visit

  • Step #2: Enter passcode: LEGACY

For more details on this event, click here.


Save the date!

Join RegenerateMN, a program of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, for an afternoon at the Minnesota Capitol. We'll learn the lay of the land, tour the building, hear from legislators and advocates, and have a chance to socialize afterward.


Carleton externs embrace two-week placement at MCEA

MCEA had the pleasure of hosting two students from Carleton College for a two-week externship placement last December. Heather Luedke, an Environmental Studies major with a Spanish minor, and Julia Braulick, an Environmental Studies and Russian major, spent a majority of their first week meeting with MCEA staff members to learn about our water, energy, mining, and land use and transportation programs. 

After gaining a better idea of MCEA's various work across the state, Heather and Julia took on research projects assigned by staff in our mining and land use and transportation programs. They worked with Elise Larson, MCEA Staff Attorney, to write guest blog posts on our ongoing Public Waters Inventory case. Julia wrote about the history of the PWI and why it's so important to protect the public’s interest in water, while Heather wrote about the details of the PWI case and MCEA's role in it.

Read Julia's post here and Heather's post here.

In reflecting on her externship experience, Heather wrote "The entire MCEA staff is incredibly knowledgeable, dedicated, and willing to collaborate on environmental issues, and witnessing that made me optimistic for the future. It was clear to me that everyone at MCEA truly cares about the work they’re doing, and are enacting real change as a result. The experience gave me an immeasurably better sense of what I can and want to do after college than any class could, and the real conversations and opinions from experts’ viewpoints opened my eyes to new alternatives for my future."

Read more about Heather's experience at MCEA here

In regards to her experience, our second extern Julia wrote "I gained a greater understanding of how legal change is achieved and the processes by which a law can be altered. It is surprising to realize how mutable the law can be, despite its great authority. I have to admit I was a little awed by the way the Drainage Work Group edited a document outlining their proposed edits to Minnesota statute as if it were routine. Law was being molded right before my eyes.

As a consequence, I’m continuing to think about this paradox: government seems removed from everyday life, yet laws are made by essentially ordinary people who have been delegated to do that work. The law, time-tested as it is, doesn’t come from on high. It is still profoundly imperfect. I realized this more fully than ever during my time at MCEA. Indeed, I think I matured significantly as a citizen—and that is a gift much greater than the sum of its parts. To me, being a good citizen consists of: a basic comprehension of important current events; a desire to build bridges for the sake of progress and fairness; an understanding of others’ perspectives; and willingness to devote some personal time to civic matters. Externing at MCEA helped me develop each of these qualities. Especially, this experience motivated me to be more active in civic affairs because it showed me the major difference that a few highly focused individuals can make."

Read more about Julia's experience at MCEA here.


MCEA in the News

Editorial counterpoint: No, PolyMet process would set a low bar

"The job of the DNR is to protect the public interest, not to ensure that corporations are happy. The DNR should listen to its own employees and the consultants it has hired and require PolyMet to find a safer way to store the millions of tons of mine waste it would produce."

Read more by MCEA CEO Kathryn Hoffman

Sustainable: Planners charting Minnesota’s energy future

MCEA's senior staff attorney Leigh Currie and MCEA board member Halston Sleets are quoted in this deep dive into Minnesota's energy future.  

Read more

State to deny water pollution waiver for Minntac mine

"We agree with PCA's (MPCA) decision to deny the variance," said Kevin Reuther, Chief Legal Officer for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, one of the groups that filed that lawsuit. "But the problem as I see it is that the PCA is basically saying, 'Well, U.S. Steel, we're denying the variance, but don't worry about it, because we're going to continue to let you pollute.'"

Read more


Contact Us

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
26 E. Exchange St.
Suite 206
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101
(651) 223-5969

Manage Subscription