FMR IS A FINALIST FOR THE 2014 NONPROFIT MISSION AWARD IN ADVOCACY
We are very excited to announce that FMR has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Mission Award for Advocacy! Help FMR take the prize by voting online if you are also associated with another member organization of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
Read more »
STATE ADOPTS PHOSPHOROUS STANDARD FOR MN RIVERS & STREAMS
On June 24, 2014, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizens Board approved new, long-overdue standards for excess nutrients and algae in Minnesota's rivers and streams. The development of these standards was a priority for Friends of the Mississippi River and represents an important victory for water quality in Minnesota.
These nutrient standards will have innumerable benefits for Minnesota which include: rejuvenating the health of our waterways, improving our economy by bolstering recreational businesses and tourism, and giving our citizens peace of mind that our state has appropriate standards for one of our most common river pollutants.
Read more »
YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED: SUPPORT PROTECTIVE CRITICAL AREA RULES!
The DNR has released draft Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) rules and opened their public comment period that will close August 15, 2014. Your voice, values, and concerns need to be heard to protect, enhance, and restore the Mississippi River corridor and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) in the Twin Cities area for generations to come.
Read more »
SAVE THE DATE FOR FMR'S ANNUAL "EVENING CELEBRATING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER"!
Please save the evening of October 1, 2014 in your calendar to attend FMR's 13th annual "Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River." The event will be on the river again this year at the stunning Weisman Art Museum! The evening will feature storyteller Kevin Kling, a fantastic river oriented live auction, great food and beverages, and more. Invitations will be sent in August, so it's not too soon to contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-222-2193 x19 to make sure you're on the invite list.
Read more »
ROSEVILLE EARNS STORMWATER EXCELLENCE AWARD!
Congratulations to the city of Roseville for earning the Blue Star Award. Roseville, like all Blue Star communities, is taking a leadership role in protecting Minnesota's water resources and public health through excellence in stormwater management.
Read more »
HASTINGS SAND COULEE SNA RESTORATION CONTINUES
Phase III of the restoration at Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) has begun. This comprises of brush removal, buckthorn resprout control, and seeding within eighty acres of grassland, cropland, and degraded oak woodland in the northwest corner of the SNA. The woodlands are truly being transformed, it's amazing to see!
Read more »
Mississippi River News
COTTAGE GROVE'S HISTORIC 1840S LIMESTONE KILN COLLAPSES AFTER FLOODING
As the 2014 Mississippi River floodwaters recede and Minnesotans take stock of the damages, one irreplaceable piece of history appears to have been lost. The Grey Cloud Lime Kiln, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, collapsed last month, apparently due to floodwaters eroding its foundation.
Read the story in the Star Tribune and check out this short video about the Lime Kiln.
THE LATEST BUZZ AROUND THE CLEAN WATER ACT
The federal Clean Water Act is in the process of being updated. Currently, it contains a vague definition of "Waters of the U.S.". This vague definition has been used to limit protections for many of our nation's waters. Updating the Clean Water Act to clarify this definition will help protect streams and wetlands that feed and improve the water quality of the Mississippi River. More information about taking action through FMR will be available in the September Mississippi Messages email.
Read more »
THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST CLEAN WATER IN MINNESOTA
Recent flooding has drawn attention to Minnesota's water quality issues, especially the impact of agricultural pollution on our rivers and lakes. A recent column by Star Tribune outdoors columnist Dennis Anderson laments the enormous price Minnesotans are paying for unsustainable agricultural policies. The column notes that agricultural tile lines are exempt from the federal Clean Water Act , excessive fertilizer application is encouraged, Minnesota's rule requiring 50 foot vegetated buffers on all streams and rivers in agricultural areas is rarely enforced, and Minnesota's law against planting corn and soybeans in public roadsides is not enforced. With all of these things stacked against clean water, Anderson points out that "Chances are slim, no matter how educated people are or how hard they work, that they'll ever enjoy the same quality of American natural resources their parents did, or their parents before them and those born earlier still."
Read more »
JUNE RAINS BROUGHT NUMEROUS COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS
About 189 releases of untreated sewage occurred in Minnesota during our June rains. Most of the overflows happened in outstate Minnesota with 26 happening in the metro area. Sewage overflows almost always outlet to our rivers and lakes, posing a risk to human health. Stormwater officials stress the importance of separate stormwater and wastewater systems as well as continual maintenance and improvement of wastewater systems to minimize entrance of non-wastewater into the system.
For more information, read Bill McAuliffe's Star Tribune article. See also the Star Tribune's July 3rd editorial on the subject.
MPR: STUDY SHOWS CHEMICALS SPREADING IN MINNESOTA GROUNDWATER
Chemicals are spreading in Minnesota groundwater according to a recent statewide survey of chemical contamination in Minnesota's groundwater. The chemicals come from a variety of consumer and industrial products including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, lotions, detergents, plastic-making ingredients and more. Minnesota Public Radio reports, "In what may be the nation's most extensive study of its kind, a survey of 118 test wells scattered around Minnesota has found that about a third of them contain measurable levels of antibiotics, detergents, or other consumer chemicals..."
Read more »
INDIAN MOUNDS PARK ADDED TO NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
St. Paul's Indian Mounds Park, with its awe inspiring views of the Mississippi River, has been added to the National Register of Historic places. The burial mounds, which are more than 2000 years old are the last remaining intact mounds in the Twin Cities area. Read more in the Star Tribune.
For further reading here's a more detailed "Short History of Indian Mounds Park."
Calendar of Events
MOUNDS PARK WALK & TALK -- RIVER HISTORY & LANDSCAPE REVIVAL
Saturday, August 9, -- 9-10:30 a.m.
Indian Mounds Park, Blufftop, St. Paul
Known for its stunning vantage point, Indian Mounds Park is a Twin Cities river icon. Join towboat pilot and FMR boardmember Hokan Miller and environmental scientist Mike Nevala to learn about its grand history -- from powerful geologic forces to American Indian burial mounds, the historic harbor and today's busy working river, and the exciting community and FMR-led restoration of the blufftop prairie.
Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Janna at email@example.com or 651-222-2193 x31.
EXPLORE WETLAND ECOLOGY IN TUNNEL VALLEY
Thursday, September 18, 6-7:30 p.m.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove
Join Friends of the Mississippi River ecologist Karen Schik and Washington Conservation District's Angie Hong as we explore Ravine Lake and the wetlands surrounding it. You'll learn about the plant life in and around the wetlands -- aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial -- and the important role these plants play as they provide habitat and filter pollutants from our waters. Then we'll use dip nets to get a closer look at macroinvertebrates living in the marsh, and discuss what these tiny creatures reveal about the impacts of water pollution!
Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Children are welcome with a parent or guardian. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Janna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-222-2193 x31.
'MAKE AND TAKE' RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP
Thursday, September 25, 6-7:30 p.m.
Lakeville Area Arts Center, Lakeville
Every time there's a heavy rain, rainwater has washed over your roof, your yard and pavement -- carrying bits of roof shingles, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil and dirt into the nearest storm drain. All of this pollution goes right into our local creeks, lakes and the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers -- unfiltered, untreated! Rain barrels help reduce this runoff pollution, and offer many other benefits as well. Learn more, sign up and purchase your barrel and supplies ($30) via the event page.
RICE CREEK WATERSHED STREAM HEALTH EVALUATION PROGRAM TRAINING
Saturday, mid- to late-August, plus 30 additional hours
Rice Creek Watershed District, NE Metro
Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) volunteers are everyday citizens who live or work in the Rice Creek Watershed District trained to meet professional-grade stream health testing standards. After the august field training, in August, SHEP volunteers conduct testing and data analysis in the stream and the laboratory throughout September and October. Volunteers work in small teams and put in an average of 40 hours between training, sampling, and data analysis. The program is led by scientists from the Rice Creek Watershed District and Fortin Consulting, with training and laboratory sessions held at the Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes.Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes, participants must live in Rice Creek Watershed. Learn more from the calendar listing!
SCHEDULE YOUR STENCILING OUTING TODAY!
City of Saint Paul
If you're looking for a great service outing that is educational, active, outdoors and provides a significant community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling. It's just one and a half to three hours in length, and can be set at a time and St. Paul location convenient for your group. Reservations are now being taken for outings through October 2014. Learn more on the stenciling event page or go straight to our stenciling, cleanup and presentation request form!
Mid to late summer is the time that we begin to see more and more pollinators, especially bumblebees.
Read more »
HELP US KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM AND EARN A $10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT!
Thank you to everyone who is already a member or supporter! FMR could not be doing all of the work we talk about here in the Mississippi Messages without you!
If you are not yet a member, or haven't made a gift to FMR in a while, now is a great time to join or renew your support. The Pohlad Foundation has offered FMR a $10,000 challenge grant to match new gifts before October 27, and we are currently about halfway to that goal. To help us earn the full challenge and strengthen the community voice for the river, please consider a tax-deductible gift to Friends of the Mississippi River today. You can call Heather at 651-222-2193 x20 to make a gift by phone, mail in a check, or make your gift right now online. Thank you for your support!
Quote of the Month
"Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher."
- William Wordsworth