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A Creative First-Nations Workshop in Manitoba
by Christian Artuso, Bird Studies Canada Manitoba Program Manager
While the BEN Bulletin focuses mainly on implications for bird education in the U.S., we have here an opportunity to highlight an effort by our neighbors to the north. Here is a description of a creative bird-education activity in Manitoba, led by Bird Studies Canada and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. It may present an interesting model for others.
The Manitoba Program of Bird Studies Canada (BSC) and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) have begun delivering a series of capacity-building workshops at northern Manitoba First Nations. These workshops are funded by the Canadian federal government's AFSAR program (Aboriginal Funds for Species At Risk). This fall, workshops were conducted at Dahlu T'ua (Northlands Dene) at Lac Brochet, which has no road access, in northwestern Manitoba, and also at Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas, in west-central Manitoba.
These workshops were designed to provide upper high school students with the equipment (BSC donated GPS units, binoculars, and field guides) and basic knowledge needed to become involved in, or perhaps embark upon a career in, wildlife monitoring. Practical examples of monitoring protocols and fieldwork exercises utilize the framework of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. These workshops began with the basic principles of bird identification. Although there was a lot of ground to cover, it is interesting to note the capacity for observation that many of these students already possessed, which they quickly put to use when asked to identify birds from photographs in teams.
Following a brief introduction on GPS technology, the students were also quick to show off their ability to navigate using hand-held GPS units. On the second day, these skills were brought together with an outdoor field exercise, identifying and recording birds and their precise locations and later entering this information into a database.
The workshops were very well attended and were seen as a resounding success. Some youth demonstrated exceptional talent and showed strong interest. BSC and CIER will revisit these communities for a follow-up workshop in the spring, and an evening information session will also be held for interested community members. We also discuss community-based environmental monitoring, Species At Risk, and options available to help communities further develop monitoring projects.
Celebrate with a Christmas Bird Count!
The 114th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count will take place Dec 14, 2013 to January 5, 2014. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun. Data from the over 2,300 circles are entered after the count and become available for review online. Locate a free CBC today near you!
Follow this EENewsFall2013.pdf to read the latest news from the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.
FMR HIRING DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Friends of the Mississippi River is increasing our capacity to communicate with members and raise vital funds to support our expanding project and program scope. This is an exciting time to be working for the river, and we are looking for an enthusiastic, skilled person to be a part of our organization.
FMR HAS A SECOND $20,000 CHALLENGE GIFT TO EARN
One of the most exciting things about the first half of our 20th anniversary year has been the rising support of the community for our work. Some of our most energized donors stepped up to offer first one and now a second $20,000 challenge gift. All new or increased gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000 before December 31st. If you are not already an FMR member, now would be a great time to become one. And if you've been giving to FMR for years please consider increasing your annual gift now since the full amount of the increase will be matched. Double your impact for protecting our great river!
To make a contribution right now, visit FMR's donation page.
FMR WELCOMES NEW POLICY ADVOCATE
FMR is pleased to welcome Alicia Uzarek as our new policy advocate.
ST. ANTHONY FALLS LOCK COULD CLOSE WITHIN A YEAR - AND IT WON'T BE TOO LATE!
This month there is mostly good news in the race to stop Asian carp from invading Minnesota's treasured lakes and rivers. The U.S. House of Representatives acted last month to approve a measure that would close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and a leading Asian carp expert believes we still have time to control the spread of these invasive fish.
WEIGH IN ON THE DRAFT WEST SIDE FLATS MASTER PLAN
The first draft of the City of St. Paul's updated West Side Flats Master Plan is now available, and the next open house will be held on November 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wellstone Center located at 179 East Robie Street in St. Paul.
NITROGEN AND WATER IN MINNESOTA
From the state's groundbreaking nitrate study to the state's upcoming Nutrient Reduction Strategy and Nitrate Fertilizer Management Plan, Minnesota is quickly becoming ground zero in the debate about reducing farm fertilizer pollution to the nation's waters. FMR members should be on the lookout for an important action alert on Minnesota' nutrient reduction strategy in early December.
Mississippi River News
ST. PAUL'S ISLAND STATION UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
After years of sitting idle, the derelict Island Station power plant on St. Paul's riverfront has a new owner and may soon be demolished. In September the Twin Cities-based Breckner River Development sold the landmark structure and 9.56-acre property to an Arizona-based group for $4.05 million.
MPCA WATER QUALITY REPORT FOR MISSISSIPPI RIVER-TWIN CITIES
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently released a summary of water quality conditions in rivers, lakes, and streams throughout the Twin Cities metro area Mississippi River watershed. The data in the report is a stark reminder of the need for vastly improved water quality stewardship and protection throughout the metro Mississippi River.
Read more »
THEY ONLY MAKE IT THIS FAR SOUTH?
When we think about bird migration, we mostly do so within the context of our summer birds hightailing it out of here for points south. Yet, there are migrants that, while flying south in the fall, land here to spend the winter.
HELP US EARN THE FULL $20,000 CHALLENGE GIFT!!
We hope you are excited about all the ways FMR is making a measurable difference in your community. New and increased gifts before December 31st will result in your contribution being doubled and will further strengthen our ability to strategically and effectively carry out our work. Become a member or make an additional gift today on our website.
Quote of the Month
"Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us as a people. They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort. We are a nation rich in rivers."
- Charles Kuralt
The November issue of the Headwaters Science Center newsletter can be found here.
Calendar of Events
SHOP TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES ST. PAUL ON NOVEMBER 8TH AND 20% WILL BE DONATED TO FMR!
Friday, November 8 -- 5:00-8:00 PM
Grand & Victoria, St. Paul
Shop Ten Thousand Villages St. Paul on Friday, November 8th, from 5:00-8:00 pm and 20% of your purchase will be donated to FMR!
Not only will your purchase be fair trade and environmentally conscious - you will also be helping your local river! And FMR staff will be there handing out our latest newsletter, FMR window decals, and more. Come to get updates on our work AND shop. Visit their website for directions and details, mark your calendar, and we'll see you there!
For more information, please contact Heather at email@example.com or 651-222-2193 x20 or visit TenThousandVillages.com.
STATE OF THE RIVER REPORT PRESENTATION
Tuesday, November 19 -- 7:00-8:00 PM
In September 2012, Friends of the Mississippi River and the National Park Service released the first-ever State of the River Report, detailing the ecological health of the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River.
The last scheduled presentation of the report for 2013 will be held at a meeting of the Northern Lights Sailing Club. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
For more information, visit NLSC.org or StateoftheRiver.com.
For current event listings and more information on the events listed above, please visit our events calendar page at www.fmr.org/participate/events.
From Shore to Shore Newsletter
Greetings Shoreland and Water Quality Steward!
The Fall issue of the "From Shore to Shore" newsletter is now posted on the website for you to view and/or download. To access it, please go to: http://shorelandmanagement.org/shore_shore/
This issue includes the following articles:
Protect the Environment, Human Health AND Your Pocket Book
Watershed Specialist Training Now in Session!
Street Cleaning - Street Sweeping
Snapshots: Water Resources Team Programming & Research - Recent Past & Upcoming Efforts
Please feel free to share the newsletter with others; reproduce articles for other newsletters (please credit "From Shore to Shore" as the source); and submit shoreland and water quality articles, pictures of projects, upcoming local events, and suggestions for topics for upcoming issues. Your input and feedback are always welcome!
If you have difficulty accessing the website, please let me know. Also, please notify Heidi Olson-Manska, firstname.lastname@example.org, if your email address changes. If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to email@example.com with "Unsubscribe to From Shore to Shore" in the subject line.
Karen Terry, Extension Educator-Water Resource Team
University of Minnesota Extension
Regional Office, Morris
WC Research/Outreach Ctr.
46352 State Highway 329
Morris, MN 56267
Despite Efforts, the Rio Grande is One Dirty Boarder
There's one easy way to find out how bad the water quality is in the Rio Grande: get into a kayak.
Read more at: http://news.wpr.org/post/despite-efforts-rio-grande-river-one-dirty-border
Rescuing a Treasured Urban Lake
Fifteen years ago, Powderhorn Lake in Minneapolis was in a dismal state - trash floated on the surface, the shoreline was eroding, and fertilizer and animal waste running off from the surrounding neighborhood caused frequent algae blooms.
Read more at: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-news/featured-stories/rescuing-a-treasured-urban-lake.html
Minnesota Sets Goal for Fixing Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
Minnesota's top pollution officials are setting ambitious goals - primarily for farmers - to cut back on the millions of tons of pollution that each year flow out of the state and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, where it adds to a dead zone incapable of supporting sea life.
Read more at: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/225127442.html
MPCA Looking for Comment on New Strategy to Improve Minnesota Waterways
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency needs your feed back on a developing new strategy between multiple agencies to improve waterways across the state.
Read more at: http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/MPCA-looking-for-comment-on-new-strategy-to-improve-Minn-waterways-226763321.html
Meeting Clean Water Goals for Sherburne County
Date: Thursday, October 24th
Time: 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Location: Elk River, MN
Contact: Tiffany Determan, firstname.lastname@example.org
763-241-1170 ext. 3
Preparing Minnesota for Climate Change: A Conference on Climate Adaptation
Date: Thursday, November 7th
Time: 9:00am to 5:30pm
Location: St. Paul, MN
For the most current calendar items and more details, visit http://www1.extension.umn.edu/environment/water/