Jan 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota has added another 500 lakes and stretches of river to its list of impaired waters, raising the state's total above 3,600.
Impaired waters are defined as having excess pollutants, hurting their ability to support swimming or fishing, or to provide healthy habitats for fish and wildlife.
2012 IMPAIRED WATERS LIST: Check out all 3,600 Minnesota lakes and waterways deemed impaired, including all the 2012 additions, as compiled by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MS Excel req.)
Researchers say about 40 percent of Minnesota's waters are impaired. The state is one-fifth of the way through surveying its nearly 12,000 lakes and nearly 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Once waters are on the list, the state works with local governments and groups to design clean-up plans, but it's a slow process.
Minnesota Public Radio reports that while about 900 clean-up plans have been approved or are being developed, they've resulted in only 15 water bodies coming off the list.
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