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Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

After 37 years of hard work advocating for Minnesota’s environment and natural resources, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) remains the only Minnesota nonprofit organization that combines on-staff legal, legislative, and scientific expertise in the effort to protect the environment. MCEA has been a consistent leader since it was founded in 1974 as the Project Environment Foundation. From drafting many of Minnesota’s key environmental laws in the 1970s to defending them against an all out assault in 2011, MCEA has been at the vanguard of every major environmental battle in Minnesota. At the heart of its mission is a reverence for nature and a commitment to sustain and improve environmental quality for future generations. All of the work done at MCEA is centered on a fundamental commitment to not only improve Minnesota’s environment, but also the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, or plays here. This year, through a statewide survey conducted by Philanthropedia, MCEA was voted by its peers as one of the single most effective environmental nonprofit in Minnesota.

Mission Statement
Review Completed: 2/22/2012
26 E. Exchange St.
Ste. 206
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651.223.5969
Fax: 651.223.5967
Other Names Used MCEA
EIN 23-7412105
Principal Staff Scott Strand, Executive Director
Number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE) 15
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Clients Served state of MN
Affiliations founding member of Minnesota Environmental Fund or MEF, the MN workplace giving program that directs payroll giving to local environmental organizations in MN (EarthShare is similar but is a national organization.)
Tags / Keywords Conservation & Protection, Botanical & Horticultural, Beautification, Environment
General Information
Board Chair Merritt Clapp-Smith
Number of Board Members 18
Board meetings with quorum 6
Average Member Attendance at Board Meetings 9.83
Publicly Available Documents Most Recent 990
Most Recent Audit
Water Quality: MCEA’s audit of water quality restoration grants improved Minnesota’s grant process and outcomes. MCEA’s formal comments improved dozens of permits and water cleanup plans, while EPA engagement efforts will boost water protections statewide. Wildlife and Red River: In the Red River basin, MCEA continued implementation of watershed-based projects that reduce flood damage and enhance natural resources, and actively participation in steering better outcomes. MCEA raised awareness of the Poplar River issue and helped develop the first North Shore TMDL implementation plan. Land Use and Transit: MCEA helped set the stage for equitable transit-oriented development. MCEA defended funding for transit, worked to adapt land use regulations to transit’s development potential, and pushed for the implementation of mitigations that will make certain all communities benefit from the region’s investment in transit. Energy: MCEA and its energy partners successfully advocated for two Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) orders, to conduct “baseload diversification studies,” the purpose of which is to examine the feasibility and economics of near-term coal plant shutdown scenarios. These studies are to be completed in 2012, and may result in PUC orders to phase out or retire coal power plants in Minnesota. Mining: efforts focused on the PolyMet copper-nickel mining project proposed near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. MCEA’s team of outside technical experts, staff scientists, and staff attorneys, has reviewed technical reports and provided feedback to technical staff and policymakers at the DNR and other involved agencies. A revised EIS is expected later this year.
Current Goals
Same as previous. During 2012, MCEA will undergo a strategic planning process with its board and staff which may affect future goals and directives.
Community or Constituency Served
people of Minnesota, all geographic areas and ethic groups
Geographic Area Served
Entire state of Minnesota
Impact and Programs

3 Year Average Expenses

Program Services: $1,315,837 80.6%
Management: $173,503 10.6%
Fundraising: $143,289 8.8%

Unrestricted Net Assets

2010 2009 2008
End of Year: $712,566 $544,011 $803,850
Beginning of Year $544,011 $803,850 $1,093,089
Difference $168,555 ($259,839) ($289,239)
Unrestricted Net Assets (End of Year), Current 990 $712,566
Based on information provided on 2008 to 2010
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List of Standards Met