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If approved, new land-use and development rules will better protect our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River from Dayton to Hastings. (Pictured above, the view from Pine Bend Scientific & Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights.) 

At long last, state land-use and development rules for our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River from Dayton to Hastings, have cleared another hurdle and are on track to be formally adopted by years’ end! All told, over 300 pages of comments were submitted to the judge in charge of the final review of the new riverfront rules. Thanks to all the groups and individuals, including FMR River Protectors, who testified and submitted written comments. Your input will help to ensure the river is protected for generations to come!

July 2016

Congratulations to the City of Elk River for earning the Blue Star Award for Excellence in Stormwater Management!

July 2016

Each month in this section, we feature a photo somewhere along the river corridor in the Twin Cities that is in some way significant or important or just plain scenic. Individuals may then email us and identify the view and explain why they believe it is significant to the community or important to them personally. We'll publish some of your responses in the next issue of Mississippi Messages, where we will also reveal the correct answer.

July 2016
The bagworm caterpillar is safe when left in its tiny house.

The vulnerable bagworm caterpillar is safe from most predators inside the case it built around itself. Only its head and forelegs extend as it moves about, then readily retreat if danger threatens. 

The little known, but very abundant, bagworm moth has recently emerged from the protection of the home it built and carried on its back throughout its larval-hood!

July 2016

Following a hectic end to the 2016 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned with some important work left undone. Legislative efforts to pass a transportation bill and a bonding bill failed, while a surprise $100 million wording error in a tax bill earned that piece of legislation a pocket-veto from Governor Dayton.

While the Governor has expressed support for a special session, the likelihood of such a session remains uncertain. FMR and our allies strongly encourage Governor Dayton and state legislators to reconvene to complete their work, which includes much-needed funding to protect Minnesota's water resources.

June 2016

Among the world’s smallest sanitation engineers, the dung beetle takes on the task of managing the world’s copious quantities animal waste with enthusiasm and rivalry!

June 2016
Gathering invertebrates, indicators of water quality

Students from Elk River High School sample invertebrates from a stretch of the Mississippi River. These aquatic insects are excellent indicators of water quality. 

With restoration work at the William H. Houlton Conservation Area slated to start this fall, students from the local Elk River Senior High School have begun to collect baseline data to help FMR track the restoration's impact on local amphibians, plants, trees and aquatic invertebrates.

June 2016
The desolate West Broadway bridge over I-94

For many Northsiders, this is the path to the Mississippi River: the West Broadway bridge over Interstate-94. Improvements like a barrier separating the sidewalk from cars, a safe biking space, updating the chainlink fence and adding greenery or art would make this a far more welcoming route for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to the river.

Currently, the majority of North's residents must make their way over Interstate-94 and through a wall of industry to see and enjoy their riverfront. FMR is working to understand these barriers and identify opportunities to reconnect Northside residents to their Mississippi River. As more of this riverfront transforms from industrial use to parks and trails — changes that FMR has long advocated — we must work hard to ensure that current and future riverfront parks are accessible to area residents. 

June 2016

There was only one correct response for this month's view of a quiet spot along the North Minneapolis riverfront.

June 2016

After Gov. Mark Dayton's pocket veto of the tax bill, a special session appears more likely this month. The governor chose not to sign the bill as it contained a $100 million wording error (an "or" instead of an "and"), letting the clock run out and preventing it from becoming law. A June special session will be needed to correct and re-pass the essential bill, making it likely the Minnesota Legislature will also tackle important transportation and bonding business left undone, including vital funding for state water quality improvements.

June 2016

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