Every day we get closer to open water on Minnesota lakes again, but the litter left behind from the fun we had on the ice this year can cause problems.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shared on Facebook that there was a troubling amount of litter left behind on lakes this winter.

If it seems like we’re spending a lot of time talking about litter, it’s because there’s been a troubling amount of it left on the ice this season. Whether it’s anglers leaving their fish house frames frozen into the ice, or people leaving bottles, cans, cigarette butts and other items for someone else to pick up, the amount of trash is concerning.

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The DNR shared this message with the warning that there is no excuse for littering, and those caught doing it will be cited. A littering violation in Minnesota could land you a misdemenor:

No person shall drain, throw, or deposit upon the lands and waters within any unit of the outdoor recreation system as defined in section 86A.04 any substance, including cigarette filters and debris from fireworks, that would mar the appearance, create a stench, destroy the cleanliness or safety of the land, or would be likely to injure any animal, vehicle, or person traveling upon those lands and waters.

I had a teacher in high school who would always tell us that the world we live in isn't ours, we are borrowing it from future generations and it's our job to take good care of it. Our lakes are our defining feature in this state, so let's all do our part to make sure they stay beautiful and clean for everyone to enjoy.

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