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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

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 2016
Perennial crops can help reduce agricultural runoff, provide pollinator habitat and increase farm profits.

Perennial crops can help reduce agricultural runoff, provide pollinator habitat and increase farm profits. Photo courtesy of Forever Green.

Minnesota just made real progress towards clean water. 

Funding for Friends of the Mississippi River's two top priorities, the Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program ($594,000) and Forever Green ($1 million) was secured at the Minnesota Capitol on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

Both programs have received widespread support from clean water organizations, local government units, and farm and commodity groups. We'd like to thank all the River Protectors who expressed their support for these programs when it was most needed, not to mention Gov. Mark Dayton and the legislators who came through for the health of the Mississippi River and all of Minnesota's waters.

May 2016

Three respondents correctly identified this month's view taken from one of the most heavily visited regional parks in the metro area, but no one identified the precise location.

May 2016

Friends of the Mississippi River is collaborating with other organizations to develop detailed written and oral testimony for the administrative law judge on the new land-use and development rules in the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area.

We also want to make sure the voices of individuals and families who care about the river continue to be heard. 

May 2016
Riders along the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area, our local national park!

​If all goes well, new rules governing riverfront development and protections in the Mississippi River corridor, our local national park, could be in place by the end of 2016. Photo by Tom Reiter

FMR encourages all river-lovers to contact Judge Lipman by July 6, 4:30 p.m. to let him know that you support strong river development rules in our national park, tell him why the river is important to you and share what you would like to see protected or improved. Read on to learn more about the proposed rules for the metro-area stretch of the Mississippi River and how to contribute your voice.

May 2016
Swing Bridge Park entrance

This unique location blends historic renovation with ecological restoration along today's working river. Learn more about its history, ecology and our first public volunteer event at this riverfront site, Saturday, June 4.

May 2016