Latest News

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 2016

We received two responses to this month's glorious fall photo of the largest intact prairie in the Twin Cities area.

December 2016

A number of Mississippi Messages readers have contacted us since the leaves fell from the trees about a new building on the river located just north of Minneapolis' Lake Street bridge. We investigated and have some answers, as well as several related questions and concerns.

December 2016
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 2016
Volunteers planting native shrubs along the River Gorge

FMR stewardship volunteers planting native shrubs along the River Gorge in south Minneapolis. The native plants will provide much-needed urban wildlife habitat for birds, pollinators and other critters, and also help prevent erosion. 

The number of Twin Citians passionate about the Mississippi River never ceases to amaze us. In 2016, over 3,700 people pitched in at 98 FMR volunteer events. It was an honor to work with each of you.

Whether you spent a couple of hours picking up trash with us on Earth Day, hauled brush on a Saturday morning, took the "pledge to pull" this spring, or earned full FMR SuperVolunteer status participating in several events throughout the year, thank you!

And please enjoy a few of our favorite photos from the 2016 event season

December 2016
Red fox

The red fox is a common yet fascinating animal in the Mississippi River valley.

The red fox is a common yet fascinating animal in the Mississippi River valley. Winter's a great time to spot their tracks — if you know what to look for.

December 2016
American Indian Magnet School students help with a cleanup

American Indian Magnet School students take pride in keeping their school grounds and neighborhood clean, and keeping all the trash from flowing into the streets and the Mississippi River. Thanks to all of our young river stewards for setting such great examples!

This year, youth from throughout the metro river corridor helped us educate Twin Citians about the connection between our homes and streets to the river, restore important natural areas, and research what works best for local ecological restoration projects. Despite all the thunderstorms, 2016 was a fantastic year for FMR youth programs and accomplishments.

November 2016
A schematic of the UHT site provided by in the development team proposal

Minneapolis' former port, the Upper Harbor Terminal site, could be home to a new riverfront concert venue. What would you like to see? Take the survey and join the discussion. (Rendering courtesy of upperharbormpls.com.)

Calling all river and park lovers:  Help shape the future of this 48-acre riverfront site in Minneapolis!

November 2016

Despite featuring an area that's been in the headlines, our November view of an industrial area along the river was a real stumper. Cheers to Janette Law for submitting the only correct response!

November 2016
Installing cottonwood live stakes in the floodplain forest near Hastings

On a recent rainy October morning, volunteers from 3M helped FMR ecologists install over 300 cottonwood live stakes near the river in Hastings. Vital for wildlife and floodplain forests, cottonwoods have not been regenerating along the river. In 2013, FMR began a series of experimental plantings to help restore these imperiled icons. So far, live staking appears to be a promising method.

A key species of floodplain forests, Eastern Cottonwood trees aren't regenerating naturally in the floodplains. FMR ecologists and volunteers are using cottonwood cuttings or live stakes to re-establish a floodplain forest in Hastings.

November 2016

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