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Mississippi River News

Big news: Bluffs, shorelines and scenic views protected!

The Mississippi River Gorge from St. Paul by Jim Hudak

Our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, is now protected by FMR-prompted state rules. (Photo by Jim Hudak)

At long last, new State of Minnesota rules are now in place governing land use and development along the metro stretch of the Mississippi River, a.k.a. our local national park! While allowing for growth and redevelopment, the new rules protect the metro riverfront's natural, scenic and cultural treasures. 

December 27

New fuel standards could help river

Perennial grasses for biofuels

Perennial plants can be grown to produce fuel while also protecting water quality and boosting farm profits.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the nation’s renewable fuel requirements. While we were disappointed to see an increase in traditional corn-based ethanol, we’re pleased to see a raise in production goals for cellulosic biofuel in 2017.

This creates a powerful market incentive for farmers to grow perennial crops, supporting FMR’s work towards market-based solutions to reduce agricultural water pollution.

December 16

Minnesota triclosan ban takes effect January 1

Plain soap and water is the best way to wash your hands.

Minnesota was the first state to ban triclosan in hand soaps and body washes. Originally billed as an antibacterial, the chemical broke down into cancer-causing dioxins in the Mississippi River and proved to be ineffective compared to washing with plain soap and water.

In a major victory for water quality and public health, the 2014 legislature made Minnesota the first state in the nation to prohibit the sale of triclosan in consumer hand and body washes. FMR spearheaded the initiative after learning that triclosan from consumer products was turning into dioxins or cancer-causing chemicals in the river. We proudly look forward to the law taking effect January 1, 2017!

December 13

Post-election reflection: We're ready for 2017

Snowfall at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.

By bringing a diverse group of people together, FMR was able to protect Pine Bend Bluffs (above) as a Scientific and Natural Area. We know the power of creative partnerships and approaches. And with your support, we can continue to protect this national treasure in our midst. 

As always, FMR is ready to vigorously protect the Mississippi River and its water quality in 2017. During this season of gratitude and resolutions for the new year, here's how you can help us safeguard our successes.

December 12

Landscape for the River Workshop: Native Plants, Raingardens, Lawn Care for Water Quality (+ Winter Tips)

Whether you're interested in a smaller native planting or want to transform your whole yard into a force for clean water, this FMR workshop can help jumpstart your spring planning. We'll also touch on practices to make your yard (and sidewalks) river-friendlier this winter.

Taught by FMR River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett, this presentation receives rave reviews from participants, who also appreciate the high-quality and concise take-home materials.

Location

Angry Inch Brewery, Lakeville 55044 Lakeville , MN
United States
Minnesota US

Volunteers plant pollinator patches aplenty

An FMR Vermillion Stewards volunteer plants a pollinator patch.

Never unederestimate the power of a pollinator patch!

What can a small planting of milkweed and other natives really do for pollinators? More than you might think. 

Hastings Environmental Protectors and FMR teamed up to create three new pollinator patches, helping to provide much-needed habitat for a variety of insect and pollinating species in the Vermillion and Mississippi river watersheds.

 

August 8

Endangered species recovery at FMR restoration sites

A trio of endangered species recently found at FMR conservation and restoration sites.

A trio of endangered species recently found at FMR conservation and restoration sites. Left to right: Loggerhead shrike, Blanchard's cricket frog and Henslow's sparrow. Photos by Terry Ross, Greg Schecter and Scott Krych.

Plant and animal populations decline for many reasons — habitat loss, climate change, pollution and other factors. The Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1973 to prevent the decline and extinction of at-risk species and aid their recovery. At FMR, one of the ways we can best benefit endangered species is through the enhancement or restoration of native habitat. FMR’s many restoration sites do just that, providing much-needed habitat for both common and endangered plants and animals.

While the Endangered Species Act has benefitted countless species, we’d like to think our restorations have as well. We've spotted three endangered species — loggerhead shrike, Blanchard's cricket frog and Henslow's sparrow — at our sites so far this year! 

August 8

Conjunction dysfunction: A $100 million typo may lead to a special session

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 7

'Rebirth: The Mississippi's National Park' (Video)

Produced for FMR by award-winning local filmmakers John Kaul and Tom Reiter, and narrated by Minnesota Public Radio's Steve Seel, this 30-minute documentary tells the story of how one man’s vision — combined with smart citizen advocacy and effective political leadership — created the Mississippi River's first and only national park right here in the Twin Cities. Enjoy the film online, request a copy for your local library, school or organization. 

May 27

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