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Letter to the Editor: Investment benefits Duluth's water, land and legacy

Many of you remember the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 that dedicated critical public dollars to preserving the state's clean water, cultural arts and heritage.

Many of you remember the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 that dedicated critical public dollars to preserving the state's clean water, cultural arts and heritage.

Minnesotans voted in favor of adding a 3/8-cent sales tax for the preservation of the this unique legacy. In Duluth we experience this heritage through much of what surrounds us, including the waters of Lake Superior, our northern lakes and streams, abundant parks and trails, countless historic sites, a vibrant arts community and educational centers that tell the story of our unique cultural and natural resources.

Although there were disappointments of the 2013 session, in the area of Legacy funding Duluth scored multiple successes. Projects throughout Duluth and St. Louis County that support our outdoor and cultural heritage received funding in the 2014-15 biennium. They are projects that will continue to make the quality of life in Duluth rich for residents and visitors alike.

These projects include $200,000 to the Great Lakes Aquarium for the "Shipwrecks Alive!" exhibit; $300,000 to the Lake Superior Zoo for the development of educational exhibits and the forest discovery zone; $400,000 for the Duluth Children's Museum to develop exhibits and program framework; $500,000 for the construction of the Lowell to Lakewalk Trail; $530,000 for trail improvements on the Duluth Cross City West and Superior Hiking Trails and $1 million for the restoration of parks and trails in Duluth damaged by the 2012 flood. The Pollution Control Agency was also awarded $1.5 million in Legacy funds to continue its work cleaning up the St. Louis River and Duluth harbor over the next two years.

By preserving these resources today, we protect them into the future. Visitors and Duluthians of all ages will benefit from these local investments in the state's clean water, land and legacy.

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Sen. Roger J. Reinert

Duluth

Reinert (DFL) is the Minnesota state senator for District 7.

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