Recently the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released a much-anticipated report detailing cost estimates for pumping water from the Mississippi River to refill or "augment" shrinking White Bear Lake. The potential price tag?: $107 million, plus up to $4.1 million in annual operating costs. Given this, along with previous analyses casting doubt on such a system's potential effectiveness, FMR opposes any further state investment in such direct augmentation efforts.
Declining water levels in White Bear Lake have been big news for the northeast metro area for some time. (Photo Freshwater Society)
Mid-January, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will host the Governor's Water Summit in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 27th. FMR and our conservation partners are working with the administration to help shape the summit and provide a much-needed focus on ideas that can help address agricultural water pollution, the largest source of pollution to the Mississippi River. Summit registration has closed, but you can still play a role and help set its agenda by taking the Governor's Clean Water Summit Survey.
Long-eared owls (yes, there's more than one) in a red cedar as seen through a spotting scope roughly 60 feet from the tree so as not to disturb their roost. Photo by Alexander Leo Lewanski.
Most owls are solitary creatures, however some Midwestern species do in fact roost communally, such as the closely related long-eared (Asio otis) and short-eared (Asio flammeus) owls.
FMR Communications Manager sue rich (left) and Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore (right)
Friends of the Mississippi River is excited to announce key staff changes in the new year. As we grow and take on new work, we're adapting our staffing to better address the huge range of activities in the works for 2016.
This month's view is from a quieter part of our river corridor than the urban views of the past few months. Have you been to this lovely off-the beaten-track winter wonderland?
A little more green, please — for a healthy river and riverfront communities. (Aerial view, from the north, above Saint Anthony Falls.) Courtesy City of Minneapolis
Good news: The Minneapolis park board now owns over half the land needed to bring continuous riverfront parks and trails to the banks of the Mississippi River in north and northeast Minneapolis. FMR is continuing to advocate for and support the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s acquisition work while also investigating ways to work with north Minneapolis residents to increase and strengthen their local riverfront access.
A healthy whitetail deer will eat around five pounds of food per day. Photo from www.northamericanwhitetail.com.
Perhaps drinking from the river or bounding through blufflands, deer are a welcome sight on any oudoor excursion. From an ecological perspective, however, an overabundance of deer are creating problems. It turns out many uncommon native plants are especially tasty. But invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard? Not so much. Compounded by earthworms and climate change, our treasured whitetails may play a large role in the future of our forests.
The MAWQCP may declare farm fields to be meeting water quality goals when limited data suggests that farm pollution levels may greatly exceed state standards.
In January 2012, the state announced plans to launch the newly created Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP). While the concept of a farm certification program has promise, FMR has serious concerns the state implementation of the program.
These concerns are validated in a new report from our friends at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA).
As Fort Snelling approaches it’s bicentennial in 2020, the Minnesota Historical Society is gearing up for exciting changes to the site, including a new visitor center, improved trails and wayfinding, less surface parking, and a renewed focus on the historical significance of this special place perched high above the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
Northern Metal Recycling on the river north of downtown Minneapolis.
Now that commercial barging in Minneapolis is no more, big changes could be coming to the riverfront in North Minneapolis—and much sooner than expected.