The Nature Conservancy is launching a photo contest to showcase Minnesota’s waters and the many ways that people enjoy them, whether it’s fishing or boating on a river with the family, jumping off a pier into a cool blue lake on a hot day or drinking a cold glass of clean Minnesota water.

Everyone over the age of 18 who loves Minnesota’s waters is invited to submit their photos between June 27 and Sept. 10, 2016. The first place winner will receive their choice of a kayak or a Go Pro. There are prizes for second and third place winners as well. The winning photos will also be featured on the Conservancy’s Minnesota Facebook page.

The #Sota Water Photo Contest is part of a campaign The Nature Conservancy launched in April to raise awareness of the importance of the Mississippi River Headwaters area upstream from the Twin Cities to protect the drinking water supply of more than one million Minnesotans.

The Conservancy’s efforts are focused on the Mississippi River and its tributary streams in central Minnesota, including the Rum, Crow Wing, Pine and Sauk rivers, which supply drinking water to residents in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud and other communities in central Minnesota. These waters also provide important habitat for fish and other wildlife and are vital to Minnesota manufacturing, recreation and tourism. More information is available at

The Nature Conservancy has been protecting forests and water quality in Minnesota’s Mississippi River Headwaters area for more than a decade, helping to conserve more than 150,000 acres.  For more information on the Conservancy’s work in protecting the state’s rivers, lakes and groundwater, go to

“The quality of life we enjoy in Minnesota is not possible without clean, abundant fresh water,” said Peggy Ladner, who directs the Conservancy’s work in Minnesota. “We hope this contest will help raise awareness of just how much clean water matters to our lives and encourage all Minnesotans to join us in protecting it.”

Complete guidelines and information on how to submit photos can be found on The Nature Conservancy’s 2016 Photo Contest web site.

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