Project WET history

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Project WET (Water Education for Today) is an internationally recognized nonprofit water education program whose mission is to reach and teach children, parents, educators and community members about water by promoting awareness of watersheds which helps empower local action needed to solve many of the complex water issues of today.

In 1989, Project WET's Executive Director Dennis Nelson, was invited by Montana State University (with funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation) to duplicate the original North Dakota program in Montana, Idaho, and later Arizona. The success of this pilot, multi-state initiative led to a decision to develop a national Project WET program.

In 1990, the Council for Environmental Education, (formerly the Western Regional Environmental Education Council) became an official co-sponsor, in partnership with Project WET’s The Watercourse

In 1995, Minnesota Project WET was established. The partnership was between Project WET U.S.A. and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR)-Division of Waters. Peder Otterson was the inaugural Minnesota Project WET Program Coordinator. The first Project WET workshop was held in Morris, Minnesota-April 1995. Since the beginning, the program has grown under exceptional leadership continuing with Kristina Smitten, April Rust and currently Janine Kohn since 2013.

Over the years, Project WET has continued to grow through its vast network of partners and volunteer educators, trained to use these valuable resources in their schools, universities, camps, parks, recreational/interpretive programs, watershed districts and beyond. Project WET is an award winning watershed resource that annually reaches diverse audiences over 20,000.

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