Tanners lake

Tanners lake in Oakdale

The fish are safe to eat again in twelve Minnesota lakes, thanks in part to a statewide shift away from coal-burning power toward wind and solar energy.

For decades, atmospheric mercury has been a leading cause of water pollution in Minnesota lakes. The mercury is released during industrial processes such as artisanal gold mining and burning coal for electricity. Once in the atmosphere, it travels hundreds – even thousands of miles, and then ‘falls out’ into our lakes and forests. Mercury bio-accumulates in the bodies of fish and other wildlife and can cause neurodegeneration and organ damage in people who eat too many mercury-laden fish. Currently, there are fish consumption advisories in 1,608 Minnesota lakes due to mercury.

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