In the News
FMR is proud to serve as the voice for the Mississippi River and the people who care about it — at the Capitol, in our communities, and, increasingly, in the media. Many thanks to the reporters who take the time to cover our work to protect, restore and enhance our Big River.
• Pioneer Press — June 26, 2017
Not hearing any music along St. Paul's riverfront? Here's why it's quiet
by Frederick Melo
Summer concert-goers hoping to catch a free outdoor performance in the Twin Cities have any number to choose from, but along the iconic Mississippi River, it’s slim pickings. St. Paul officials say they’re as committed as ever to “activating” the river with happy hours, fitness classes and future kayak rentals, but not necessarily through large, splashy headline concerts.
• Star Tribune — May 30, 2017
Buffer measure has grace period added under new legislation
Dayton, GOP agree to temporary extension, extra funding to help farmers comply
by Tom Meersman
Minnesota farmers will be given extra time and in some cases financial help to comply with the state's buffer law that requires them to plant perennial vegetation between crops and creeks. Farm groups say the changes don't go far enough, and environmental leaders (including Friends of the Mississippi River) object to how the measure would be funded.
• MINN Post — April 20, 2017
On Water Action Day, a flood of citizens washes through the Minnesota Capitol
by Ron Meador
FMR was proud to be a lead organizer of Minnesota's first Water Action Day, flooding the Capitol with roughly a thousand citizen advocates for clean water. Veteran reporter Ron Meador reported on this surprisingly bright spot during a fairly dark legislative session for our waters.
• Stillwater Gazette — March 6, 2017
State of the River Report
by Angie Hong
East Metro Water columnist Angie Hong relays the key lessons of the State of the River Report for watershed residents, including actions everyone can take to help the Mississippi River today.
• Star Tribune — February 3, 2017
Dayton sets a goal and a challenge to Minnesota: Cut water pollutants 25 percent by 2025
Plans public meetings across the state to gather ideas.
by Jennifer Bjorhus
Gov. Mark Dayton has set a bold new goal for Minnesotans: Slash water pollution 25 percent by 2025. Such a charge requires new solutions for the biggest source of pollution to the Mississippi River: agricultural runoff.
• Villager — February 1, 2017
Ford site can enhance and be enhanced by river
by Whitney Clark, executive director of FMR
Recently, the city of St. Paul unveiled draft plans to redevelop the Ford Plant site along the Mississippi River. The 135-acre campus is now clear of structures with plans for a new 21st-century riverfront community in the works. FMR has long been involved in this process, and here's what river lovers need to know.
• MPR News with Tom Weber — January 25, 2017
New river rules protect Mississippi River corridor
by Tom Weber, Jo Erickson
The DNR is working to protect a 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that runs through the Twin Cities area. It published new development rules for businesses along the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area, which took effect on Jan. 4. MPR News host Tom Weber spoke to Friends of the Mississippi River Executive Director Whitney Clark, Dan Petrik, a land use specialist with the DNR and former Republican lawmaker Marty Seifert about how local businesses are responding.
• Hastings Star Gazette — January 12, 2017
New rules set for Mississippi corridor land use, development
New rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) will improve protections for water quality, habitat and scenic views.
• Star Tribune — December 30, 2016
Minnesota lays out vision for Mississippi River corridor
The state has adopted a uniform framework for how the 21 cities and five counties along the river's banks will manage the river to protect the water.
by Josephine Marcotty
It’s taken a decade of starts and stops, contentious debates and delicate negotiations, but this month a new era begins for the treasured 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that winds through the Twin Cities.
• Pioneer Press — December 30, 2016
What can you build along the Mississippi River?
The DNR has new rules.
by Tad Vezner
After close to a decade of wrangling — between conservationists like Friends of the Mississippi River, developers, and dozens of cities and counties — state officials have published new rules governing what can be built on the Mississippi River’s edge and what can’t.
• Star Tribune — December 28, 2016
Two key steps forward for Minnesota's water quality
River rules, triclosan ban strengthen stewardship of state's waterways.
by the Star Tribune editorial board
The Strib praises two Friends of the Mississippi River victories — the triclosan ban and the estalbishment of new rules that will guide development along the metro Mississippi riverfront — as "milestone measures to protect Minnesota’s treasured lakes and rivers for future generations."
• KARE 11 — December 28, 2016
New year brings new Minnesota laws
by Boyd Huppert
On January 1, Minnesota officially changes from a caucus state to a primary state, and our soap will no longer contain the chemical triclosan, known to pollute rivers. The state ban on the antimicrobial ingredients is the first in the nation, but the federal Food and Drug Administration recently followed suit and enacted a ban effective September 2017.
• KSTP — December 27, 2016
New Rules Aim to Protect Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area
by Jennie Lissarrague
• MPR, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and 100+ other news outlets throughout the nation — December 25-27, 2016
Minnesota leads way on banning anti-germ ingredient in soaps
Feds follow state in reducing the once popular germ-killer.
by Steve Karnwoski, Associated Press
Minnesota’s first-in-the-nation ban on soaps containing the once ubiquitous germ-killer triclosan takes effect January 1, 2017, but the people who spearheaded the law — Friends of the Mississippi River and Sen. John Marty — say it’s already having its desired effect on a national level.
• Pioneer Press — December 7, 2016
Your fleece jacket might be polluting the Mississippi River – and your beer
by Maja Beckstrom
Over the past decade, environmentalists have worried about the effect of microbeads, those tiny bits of plastic in facial scrubs that wash down the drain into rivers and lakes. But it turns out a bigger threat might be our clothing.
• Star Tribune — October 9, 2016
Putting the buffer law to protect public waters in effect is no easy job
Minnesota's buffer strip law is taking hold in farm country as farmers prepare the land.
by Tom Meersman
FMR speaks on behalf of environmental groups concerned about the way the new buffers law, which we advocated for overall, is being implemented. The new water quality law requires larger strips of perennials between crops and creeks, helping to reduce runoff sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen and pesticides.
Fall 2016, the State of the River Report made headlines in the metro and across the nation.
• Hastings Star Gazette — November 14, 2016
‘State of the River’ report comes to Schaar’s Bluff Nov. 15
• East Side Review — November 8, 2016
Celebrating 100 years of National Parks, including the park closest to home
• St. Cloud Times — November 4, 2016
Mississippi health improving, but new threats emerge
by Kristi Marohn
• WJON St. Cloud — November 4, 2016
State of the Mississippi River Report Shows Positive Trend in River Health
by Alex Svejkovsky
• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — October 25, 2016
The State of the River Report: How can citizens contribute to a healthier Mississippi River?
by Margie O'Loughlin
• Northfield News and Owatanna's Peoples Press — October 22, 2016
Water in the media, but is any of it good news?
by Kristi Purcell, guest columnist
• Northeaster Newspaper — October 21, 2016
State of the River examines microplastics, invasive species
by Margo Ashmore
• Coon Rapids Television Network — September 26, 2016
‘State of the River’ Highlights Improvements, Concerns on the Mississippi [Video]
by Joe Nelson
• Star Tribune — September 23, 2016
Mississippi River requires agriculture's help to stay healthy
by the Star Tribune editorial board
(Also republished by the Nashville Herald, Washington Times, and the Denver Sun.)
• City Pages — September 22, 2016
Mississippi River: Wildlife making a comeback, but please don't swim
by Susan Du
• MinnPost — September 22, 2016
Report on metro Mississippi River health shows progress, new concerns
by Ron Meador
• Mill City Times — September 22, 2016
Mill City Times • ‘State of the River Report’ Reveals Progress
by Kim Eslinger
• Star Tribune — September 21, 2016
Report finds a new pollutant - tiny bits of plastics and fiber - building up in the Mississippi
by Josephine Marcotty
• MPR — September 21, 2016
Report: Plastics, road salt and farm runoff threaten Mississippi
by Elizabeth Dunbar
(Also published by the Rochester Post Bulletin.)
• KFAI — September 21, 2016
How is the Mississippi doing? (Radio clip and interview)
by Sylvia Thomas
• The Southwest Journal and Downtown Journal — September 21, 2016
Mississippi - sick, not dying
by Zoe Peterson
• WCCO — September 21, 2016
How Healthy Is The Mississippi River?
• KARE 11 — September 21, 2016
Mississippi River healthier, but threats loom
• Associated Press — September 21, 2016
Report: Mississippi improving but protections needed
The AP article about the State of the River Report's key findings was published by over 30 publications and stations across the country. Many articles included a link to the report for more information.
Local and Minnesota AP coverage:
• Pioneer Press (metro)
• KSTP (metro)
• St. Cloud Times
• Marshall Independent
• New Ulm Journal
• KROC am (Rochester)
• KTTC (Rochester)
• KEYC News 12 (Mankato)
• KNSI am (St. Cloud)
• WJON am (St. Cloud)
AP coverage beyond Minnesota:
• Washington Times
• CT Post
• Fairfield Citizen (CT) and affiliates The Hour (Norwalk, CT), and Greenwich Time (CT)
• The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA)
• Bristol Herald Courier (Bristol, VA)
• Clay Center Dispatch (KS)
• Huron Daily Tribune (MI)
• Midland Daily News (Midland, MI)
• WXOW (LaCrosse, WI)
• Watertown Public Opinion (SD)
• Aberdeen News (SD)
• Houston Chronicle
• The Eagle (Bryan-College Station, TX)
• San Antonio Express and My San Antonio
• San Francisco Gate
• San Francisco Chronicle
--- End of State of the River Report coverage ---
• Craft Brewing Business — August 2, 2016
Craft credo No. 5: Support the environment (like this limited-edition 72 Stretch beer for the Mississippi River)
by Keith Gribbins
It's official: caring for our local environment and the Big River is part of the Craft Credo.
• Camden Community News — August 2016
Reconnecting North Minneapolis Neighborhoods to the Mississippi
by Douglas Fehlen
"A forum held last month by the Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) brought together community advocates looking to ensure all Northside residents have an opportunity to enjoy what are described as once-in-a-generation enhancements to our city’s most impressive natural resource."
• North News — July 28, 2016
To reconnect North to Mississippi, Old wounds must be healed
by Kenzie O'Keefe
As more North Minneapolis riverfront is being converted to parkland, care is being taken to ensure that new parks and trails are truly accessible to residents.
• St. Peter Herald — July 11, 2016
Bipartisan agreement on Minnesota water policy
by Clark Johnson (DFL-N. Mankato)
This commentary from the legislator who introduced the Working Lands bill stresses the importance of coalition building to achieve real progress for water qaulity.
• Open Waters: Rethinking the Mississippi — Summer 2016
Making the Most of the Governor's Water Summit
by Alicia Uzarek, FMR River Advocate
Feature on FMR's work with partner organizations and River Protector volunteers to push for real water quality solutions at the Governor's Water Summit in early 2016.
• River magazine — Spring 2016
by Maggie Wingdingstad, Open World Learning School
Feature story on the importance of educating people about the connection between storm drains and the Mississippi River. The author and her class stenciled storm drains in St. Paul with FMR earlier in the year.
• Star Tribune — May 27, 2016
Environmentalists, agriculture industry team up on Minnesota water quality
Key initiatives to reduce runoff gained broad support in Legislature.
by the Star Tribune Editorial Board
Lauds FMR-led legislative victories in support of a collaborative, market-based approach to preserving our waters.
• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — May 21, 2016
Earth Day 2016: Mississippi River Gorge Cleanup
Photos and article by Margie O'Laughlin
• Star Tribune — May 18, 2016
St. Paul officials, environmentalists clash over restrictions along the Mississippi River
The city is at the center of a controversy over proposed rules for land along the river.
By Jessie Van Berkel
• Pioneer Press — May 16, 2016
St. Paul scrutinizing new building rules near Mississippi River
by Tad Vezner
• Hastings Star Gazette — May 3, 2016
Flint Hills Resources celebrates Arbor Day by planting 5,000th tree in Dakota County
FMR partners with Flint Hills to restore habitat on over 400 acres of riverbluff lands.
• Star Tribune — April 20, 2016
Earth Day approaches; dig in with these ideas
FMR events featured prominently.
• Star Tribune — April 15, 2016
Senate unanimously passes changes to contentious buffer law
The measure builds upon the 2015 bill, clarifying the rules for private ditches.
By J. Patrick Coolican
• White Bear Press & Shoreview Press— April 6, 2016
The unfortunate costs of pumping up White Bear Lake
Commentary by Trevor Russell, FMR Water Director
• Pioneer Press — March 17, 2016
St. Paul shoring up its rugged bluffside in Lilydale Regional Park
• Star Tribune — February 27, 2016
Gov. Dayton rallies support for clean water at summit after facing a protest
Complex water problems will require everyone's efforts, attention, he says.
By J. Patrick Coolican
• Star Tribune — February 25, 2016
Gov. Mark Dayton struggles to reconcile desire for clean water and a strong farm economy
By J. Patrick Coolican and Josephine Marcotty
• Star Tribune — February 19, 2016
An unwise retreat on Minnesota's water quality push
Weakening "buffer" law over private ditches is a step backward.
• Pioneer Press — February 19, 2016
Can we save Minnesota’s water? These 800 are going to try
Some 800 people are expected to attend Gov. Mark Dayton's "Water Summit" Saturday, Feb. 27 in St. Paul.
by Christopher Magan
FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark lays out our hopes and goals for Minnesota's first Governor's Wter Summit.
• Star Tribune — February 14, 2016
Minnesota's buffer law triggers a new debate: Which waters are covered?
by Josephine Marcotty
"Only about one-third of the streams in Minnesota’s farming regions will get the maximum amount of protection under new state buffer rules — a number that environmentalists say falls far short of what Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature water protection law was intended to accomplish."
• Pioneer Press — January 29, 2016
Mark Dayton backs off buffer strips for private ditches
by Dave Orrick
"Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has ceded ground to farm interests, Republicans and some Democrats over a contentious aspect of his plan to require vegetative buffer strips to help protect water from agricultural runoff and erosion."
• Star Tribune — January 4, 2016
Study to review effects of retiring a stretch of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis
by Steve Brandt