Some of Gov. Mark Dayton's top staff members will be traveling the state this summer and fall, listening to concerns about water quality and talking about the governor's goal of improving the state's water quality 25 percent by 2025.

The "town hall" meetings aim to give communities a chance to share their concerns and learn from experts, according to a news release from Dayton's office.

The first cities on the list are Rochester, which will host a meeting at Rochester Community and Technical College on July 31, and Mankato, where the town hall will be held at Minnesota State University on Aug. 16. Marshall will host an Aug. 17 meeting at Southwest Minnesota State University. Later meetings will be held in Crookston, St. Cloud, Ely, Bemidji, Burnsville and Stillwater. People can also sign up online to host their own community meeting.

Improving water quality has been among Dayton's top priorities as governor. He announced his "25 by 25" goal this year, and said that without additional intervention, the state's water quality would improve by only 6 to 8 percent by 2034.

If the new target is approved by the Legislature, Dayton said he'll continue to host town halls to work with cities, farmers, environmental groups and businesses on the issue.

"All Minnesotans have a stake in water that's safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing," he said. "These town hall meetings will further the important conversations already happening across Minnesota around water quality."

Erin Golden