In the Media

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.

• Star Tribune — August 1, 2022
How year-round crops could reduce farm pollution in the Mississippi River
by Chloe Johnson
This primer explains why we need clean-water crops, their progress so far, and the challenges of developing a market and scaling up production. FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark was quoted.

• Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — July 25, 2022
A federal funding program with bipartisan support helped clean up the Great Lakes. Could it work for the Mississippi River, too?
by Madeline Heim & Caitlin Looby
From sediment issues in Lake Pepin to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River faces enormous challenges. This Wisconsin paper reported on the promise of the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative based on the successes of its model the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell is quoted. The article was republished through more than a dozen news outlets.

• Star Tribune — June 17, 2022
A fast-swimming carp in the Mississippi rings alarm bells for fight against invasive fish
by Chloe Johnson
A tagged silver carp farther upstream than any other so far is the latest reminder that we need to take action now to halt the spread of invasive carp in Minnesota's waterways.

• The Villager — May 10, 2022
Mississippi River tours to spark conversations about pros and cons of lock and dam removal
by Casey Ek
St. Paul's MyVillager profiled our summer engagement tours around metro locks and dams and their possible removal. Their piece quotes FMR's Land Use & Planning Program Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman on the potential.

• WCCO — April 19, 2022
New Report Ranks Mississippi River No. 6 Most Endangered River In The U.S.
by Kirsten Mitchell
WCCO interviewed Water Program Director Trevor Russell about this troubling (but unsurprising) designation and what we can do about it.

• MPR News — April 18, 2022
Report lists Mississippi as one of ‘most endangered’ U.S. rivers
by Kirsti Marohn
The Mississippi River made the list of "America’s Most Endangered Rivers." MPR News interviewed Water Program Director Trevor Russell about the Mississippi River Resilience & Restoration Initiative as a solution.

• White Bear Press — April 13, 2022
Water supply legislation worrisome to court case camps
by Debra Neutkens
The White Bear Press spotlighted our concerns about a legislative proposal that would threaten White Bear Lake groundwater supply and foundational Minnesota environmental protections.

• Pioneer Press — March 2, 2022
Cottage Grove: Part of former Mississippi Dunes golf course could become riverfront park
by Mary Divine
Included in the development plans for the former Mississippi Dunes golf course in Cottage Grove is a 34-acre riverfront park. That's fewer acres than we hoped to see in this crucial wildlife corridor. FMR Land Use & Planning Program Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman points out that this land is currently habitat for threatened birds that require more space to thrive than the future parkland allots.

• The Villager — February 9, 2022
Possible removal of Twin Cities dams deserves more study
by Colleen O'Connor Toberman
FMR's Land Use & Planning Program Director describes the process and potential around one of the most important coming questions about the metro river: Should we remove dams on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and St. Paul?

• Mill City Times — February 5, 2022
Nonprofit Leader Spotlight: Whitney Clark, Executive Director, Friends of the Mississippi River
by Becky Fillinger
The Mill City Times interviewed Executive Director Whitney Clark as he celebrated 25 years working to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River with FMR.

• Pioneer Press — February 1, 2022
Ramsey County rejects plans to redevelop Maplewood golf course
by Nick Ferraro
Ramsey County steps back from its plans to develop a rare grassland bird haven, rejecting three proposals for development. The article mentions FMR's steadfast support for preservation of the site.
(Republished in five other news outlets.)

• Bring Me the News — February 1, 2022
Environmental groups applaud as Twin Cities grassland site spared from development
by Shaymus McLaughlin
FMR's Land Use & Planning Program Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman points to the results of an ecological survey showing the Maplewood site supports bird species at risk and calls for permanent protection of the grasslands.

• Star Tribune — January 28, 2022
Ramsey County rejects development proposals for former golf course
by Shannon Prather
FMR's advocacy around a rare grassland bird haven in Maplewood seems to have paid off as Ramsey County steps back from development possibilities.

• Grand Rapids Herald-Review — January 23, 2022
Minnesota environmental community applauds Climate Action Caucus plan
FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark joins the chorus of nonprofits in favor of the Climate Action plan this legislative session and explains the connection between Continuous Living Cover agricultural systems, climate mitigation and water quality.

• Finance & Commerce — December 2, 2021
Pulte pitches riverside housing
by Brian Johnson
The Cottage Grove City Council approved a master plan for the former Mississippi Dunes golf course — a proposal including a city riverfront park and nearly 500 housing units. This is less parkland and more development than many residents wanted. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman is quoted.

• The Northeaster — December 2, 2021
Invasive buckthorn “disabled” at B.F. Nelson Park
by Karen Kraco
FMR Ecologist Alex Roth explained how removing buckthorn improves habitat and water quality in this article about FMR's last volunteer event of the season.

• Star Tribune — October 15, 2021
Endangered bird, bee found on Maplewood development sites
by Shannon Prather
When we learned that Ramsey County was considering developing open space that we believe provides essential habitat, FMR requested a natural resources inventory. The final report confirms: Endangered and rare birds depend on this grassland for their survival. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman is quoted.

• KSTP — October 1, 2021
Looking at the environmental impact as bag fees return in Minneapolis
by Rich Reeve
After pausing for the pandemic, Minneapolis will once again charge 5 cents for carryout bags. FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell gave KSTP a tour of plastics found on the Mississippi River to explain the benefits of the ordinance.

• KARE 11 — September 20, 2021
KARE in the Air: Mississippi River meets the St. Croix
by Dana Thiede
KARE 11's drone series recently focused on the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers in Hastings, giving a rare aerial view of the two rivers coming together. They turned to FMR to explain the difference in water color.

• Star Tribune — August 25, 2021
Ramsey County asks developers for proposals for Maplewood sites, upsetting environmental groups
by Shannon Prather
Birds like the endangered Henslow's sparrow find their nesting ground in an undeveloped 77-acre parcel of land next to Battle Creek Regional Park, part of the Mississippi River flyway. Though the natural resource study for this rare grassland has yet to be completed, the county has begun to call for development ideas. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman is quoted.

• Northeaster — August 4, 2021
A small but important step in river restoration
by Mark Peterson
The Northeaster reports on a recent erosion control project at our Nicollet Island restoration, which will keep sediment from running into the Mississippi River.

• Star Tribune — July 24, 2021
Minneapolis aims to retain public control of Upper Harbor Terminal concert venue
by Susan Du
While city officials have opted to maintain ownership of the land beneath the publicly funded concert stadium, the controversial Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment plan still doesn't go far enough. FMR Board Member Paul Bauknight is quoted.

• Villager — July 21, 2021
Bill promotes holistic approach to restoring Mississippi’s health
by Whitney Clark
The Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative Act introduced in June has broad support from organizations all along the river. We wrote about why.

• Star Tribune — July 17, 2021
Habitat or housing? Audubon Society urges Ramsey County to save grassland eyed for development
by Shannon Prather
Ramsey County is eyeing a former golf course and two largely undeveloped sites for redevelopment near the St. Paul-Maplewood border. They're grappling with a big question: How can we create the housing the Twin Cities needs, while also preserving the homes of other species whose populations are collapsing? FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman says we can have both.

• Pioneer Press — June 29, 2021
U.S. Army Corps to create six new islands in St. Paul’s Pig’s Eye Lake out of river dredge soil
by Frederick Melo
This article mentions our support of this island-building project that promises to restore habitat and begins in July.

• Star Tribune — June 28, 2021
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, environmental groups seek $350 million a year for Mississippi River restoration
by Greg Stanley
In this article, shortly before Rep. McCollum introduced the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative to Congress, FMR's Executive Director Whitney Clark was quoted: "We need a coordinated, holistic approach, one that respects and supports local solutions."

• MinnPost — June 25, 2021
Is it safe to swim in the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities?
by Greta Kaul
As MinnPost assesses the river's swimmability, they look to FMR's 2016 State of the River Report for clues on water quaity.

• The Villager — June 23, 2021
Opus cancels plan for senior housing along Lilydale bluffs
by Frank Jossi
Before Opus canceled their plan, FMR supported Opus in revising early development proposals around stormwater drainage, setbacks from the bluff and the building’s height.

• Star Tribune — June 14, 2021
After bitter debate, Minneapolis to cut down use of pesticides in parks
by Susan Du
The Minneapolis Park Board's vote around pesticide reduction came after two years of work by a technical advisory committee, in which FMR ecologist Alex Roth participated.

• Star Tribune — June 10, 2021
Keeping it mighty: The Mississippi River needs us
by Betty McCollum and Whitney Clark
FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark and Congresswoman Betty McCollum's commentary in the StarTribune says it’s time for Congress to make the same commitment to the Mississippi River as they have to Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and the Everglades.

• Pioneer Press — June 1, 2021
Opus ends plans for Lilydale apartments at former Moose Country bar site
by Nick Ferraro
A developer interested in creating senior housing on a river bluff in Lilydale has dropped their plan. In recounting the history of the project, the Pioneer Press cites FMR's article on its issues.

• Pioneer Press — April 12, 2021
City subsidy proposed for senior apartment project at former Moose Country bar site
by Nick Ferraro
Opus Development continues to pursue a plan for senior housing at this Lilydale river bluff site. This article mentions that in 2019, we advocated for better protection of the bluff and view; the developer revised their plans, doubling the setback from the bluff’s edge.

• Mill City Times — March 22, 2021
The Mill City Times Interview: Ashley O’Neill Prado, Youth Coordinator, Friends of the Mississippi River
by Becky Fillinger
Mill City Times interviewed our new youth coordinator, Ashley, who enjoys "facilitating spaces for learning where everyone feels empowered to be both students and teachers, and finding ways to incorporate the arts and creativity."

• The Hastings Journal — March 10, 2021
Restoration and cleanup continue in Vermillion Linear Park
by Bruce Karnick
FMR ecologist Alex Roth gave an update about our restoration progress at Vermillion River Linear Park, including info about the recent cedar and spruce shoreline stabilization project that will reduce erosion.

• Star Tribune — March 9, 2021
Feds find no takers for mothballed Mississippi River lock in Minneapolis
by Susan Du
Despite community and congressional opposition, the Army Corps of Engineers still plans to pursue divestment of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock. This article notes our opposition to this plan. (The Star Tribune also published our follow-up letter.)

• North News — February 26, 2021
Upper Harbor Terminal plan on hold for environmental review
by David Pierini
Community advocates recently secured a big victory: Minneapolis leaders committed to an environmental review of its riverfront Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment plan before voting on the project. Colleen O’Connor Toberman, river corridor program director, wants the delay to create an opportunity for the plan to "respond to Northsiders first and foremost."

• The Stillwater Gazette — February 20, 2021
Watershed District receives climate award
by Angie Hong
The South Washington Watershed District, with whom we partner to restore habitat and improve water quality at parks in Cottage Grove and elsewhere, received the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership’s 2021 Organization Award.

• The Star Tribune — February 16, 2021
Ramsey County says yes to man-made islands in Pigs Eye Lake
by Shannon Prather
The Ramsey County Board approved a plan to create islands in St. Paul's Pigs Eye Lake. We're optimistic about the project and its benefits for habitat.

• The Villager — January 6, 2021
U.S. Army Corps seeks new owner for Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock
by Casey Ek
Ever since it closed to navigation in 2015, the future of the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock and dam in downtown Minneapolis has been in question. As the Army Corps released their plan for its future, The Villager reached out to FMR about its merits and issues.

• North News — November 27, 2020
Voices opposed to UHT development amplified by art
by David Pierini
This fall, three large murals have been traveling from yard to yard in North Minneapolis, hosted by residents concerned about the city's plan for redevelopment at the Upper Harbor Terminal site along the Mississippi River. A recent North News article quotes a resident, mural artist, and our river corridor director Colleen O'Connor Toberman.

• Bring Me the News — November 1, 2020
Incredible views make this one of Minnesota's best natural areas
by Shaymus McLaughlin
FMR ecologist Alex Roth shares why Grey Cloud Dunes SNA's intact prairie is so special, and how volunteers can help steward the site.

• Star Tribune — October 29, 2020
Concert venue on Minneapolis' North Side riverfront gets boost with $12.5 million from state
by Miguel Otárola
Though the Upper Harbor Terminal redvelopment project secured funding from state bonding, questions about the project persist in North Minneapolis.

• MinnPost — October 12, 2020
People flocked to see the recent drawdown of the Mississippi River. Why can’t the river be like that all the time?
by Solomon Gustavo
During the Army Corps of Engineers’ drawdown of the Mississippi by 12 feet at St. Anthony Falls, we answered some questions about the future of locks and dams in the Twin Cities.

• Belt Magazine — October 9, 2020
Will Minneapolis’s Upper Harbor Terminal Project Be Good for Its Neighbors?
by Eamon Whalen
Whalen explores the history of disinvestment and racial disparities in Minneapolis and poses the question: Will Upper Harbor Terminal lead to real change? FMR's staff and board member share their concerns.

• The Sun — September 21, 2020
Rare bumble bee found in Pine Bend Bluffs
by Andy Rogers
We're thrilled that an FMR restoration site, a local woodland once choked with European buckthorn, now supports the rusty patched bumblebee, a federally endangered species.

• Star Tribune — September 1, 2020
Island building project for Pigs Eye Lake take a brief pause for public comment
by Shannon Prather
As our executive director Whitney Clark states in the article, FMR supports the island-building project at Pig's Eye Lake in East Side St. Paul's riverfront park overall. We would also like to see project planners "really consider including climate-adaptive species and use this opportunity to understand more about habitat restoration in the era of climate change."

• MPR News — August 31, 2020
Fertilizer rules to start this week, but will they curb Minn. groundwater’s nitrate problem?
by Kirsti Marohn
Minnesota farm operators will no longer be allowed to apply nitrogen fertilizer in the fall or on frozen ground above Minnesota’s most vulnerable aquifers. While that means cleaner drinking water for many Minnesotans, as FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell notes in the article, this rule alone won't solve our nitrate pollution problems.

• Star Tribune — August 21, 2020
Ford, state expand probe of toxic waste dump near St. Paul's Ford site
by Jennifer Bjorhus
Thanks to advocacy by FMR and its partners, new monitoring wells have been installed at Ford Area C. These wells will provide a better understanding of any hazards posed by this dumpsite on the floodplain.

• Villager — July 8, 2020
Letter to the editor: Delay the installation of solar array at Ford Area C
by Colleen O'Connor Toberman
In this letter to the editor, FMR's river corridor director notes that a planned solar array on top of the Ford Area C dumpsite sounds appealing, but poor timing for the solar project could jeopardize cleanup of the toxic site.

• Northeaster — May 19, 2020
Nicollet Island prairie restoration enters year three
by Alex Schlee
As our Nicollet Island restoration enters year three, the Northeaster notes the progress we've made with volunteer support. Dense buckthorn has now been replaced with a more diverse habitat. And we've even created educational plantings so parkgoers can learn more.

• Star Tribune — May 12, 2020
Mothballed lock in Minneapolis closer to new life as riverfront attraction
by Greg Stanley
What could be next for the locks and dams in downtown Minneapolis? FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman spoke with the Star Tribune about opportunities to get creative about our riverfront's future.

• CCX TV — April 11, 2020
With large garbage pickup gatherings canceled, earth day gets smaller
Our executive director Whitney Clark talked to CCX Media about ways to celebrate Earth Month while being safe during the pandemic.

• Mpls. St. Paul Magazine — March 31, 2020
How Man-Made Islands Can Save the Mississippi River
by Mike Mosedale
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will install seven new small islands on Pig's Eye Lake. That's great news for habitat.

• MinnPost — March 11, 2020
Minneapolis’ Upper Harbor Terminal request greeted with skepticism by state Senate committee
by Jessica Lee
On March 10, the state Senate Capital Investment Committee held a hearing to discuss the City of Minneapolis’ $20 million bonding request for First Avenue’s proposed amphitheater at Upper Harbor Terminal. MinnPost covered the meeting and interviewed community members both supporting and opposing the project. The article references a letter of opposition that FMR wrote to the committee.

• WCCO CBS — March 5, 2020
First-Of-Its-Kind Project Studies Coyotes, Foxes In Twin Cities
Coyotes and foxes are mostly secretive animals, but sightings of these species are becoming more and more common throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Now, the Twin Cities Coyote and Fox Project is setting out to better understand how these critters use the urban environment. FMR is a partner organization for this project.

• Midway Monitor — March 2020
Area C Not Deemed Emergency
by Margie O'Loughlin
This article recaps the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency meeting about Ford Area C's toxic riverfront dump site in February, and cites FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark's question about Ford's responsibility.

• KSTP TV — February 23, 2020
Neighbors urging cleanup of 7-story pile of industrial waste, debris near old Ford site
Local news station KSTP TV saw a room full of concerned neighbors at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency meeting about Ford Area C's toxic riverfront dump site in February. To explain why so many in the metro area want to prioritize monitoring and cleanup of this buried waste near Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul, our river corridor director Colleen O'Connor Toberman gave their reporters a tour.

• KSTP TV — February 21, 2020
Northern Metals Recycling plants ordered to shut down, citing 'imminent and substantial danger'
After polluting on the North Minneapolis riverfront for years, Northern Metals was given a second chance to build a new facility in Becker. However, before that facility was even fully open, a large pile of cars caught fire and burned for five days. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman spoke to KSTP-TV about Northern Metals' history of violations and community harm.

• Star Tribune — January 26, 2020
Next step for Upper Harbor Terminal: Securing $20M from state for massive amphitheater
by Miguel Otárola
The City of Minneapolis and developers of the Upper Harbor Terminal will ask this year's Legislature for $20 million in bonds. FMR's Colleen O'Connor Toberman cautions that a lot of questions about the project need to be answered before taxpayer funds should be committed to its development.

• Star Tribune — January 9, 2020
Public meeting focuses on future of Ford's Area C land in St. Paul
by James Walsh
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will host a meeting on Ford Area C to give a more detailed overview of its history, its current condition and future options. Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted calling for more thorough investigation of the site's effect on the river and community health.

• Mpls. St. Paul Magazine — January 6, 2020
Proposed Promenade to Bridge the Mississippi River Around St. Anthony Falls
by Kait Ecker
The proposal for a river walkway that would allow views of St. Anthony Falls raises questions for FMR's Colleen O'Connor Toberman (quoted) and others.

• MPR News — December 6, 2019
Ask a 'sotan: Why are the rivers different colors?
by Kirsti Marohn
FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell helps answer a listener's question about the Mississippi, murky by the time it reaches the St. Croix River. Spoiler: Sediment enters the Minnesota River, turning it brown. Much of that erosion is caused by farming practices in the region and carries harmful amounts of nitrates and phosphates with it.

• KARE 11 News — December 4, 2019
Inver Grove Heights dog attacked by coyotes
by Alex Hagan
A coyote attack on a dog in Inver Grove Heights prompted KARE 11 to interview FMR ecologist Alex Roth who highlighted a project we're working with: The Twin Cities Coyote and Fox Project aims to increase our understanding of canids adapting to urban growth.

• Northeaster — November 27, 2019
UHT committee leaders resign, "plans won't help"
by Cynthia Sowden
Recent resignations from the Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment collaborative planning committee include Paul Bauknight (also an FMR board member) and Tessa Anttila. They left due to concerns that the committee prioritized the needs of developers over community members. The article also quotes our river land use and development blog.

• FOX 9 News — November 18, 2019
North Minneapolis riverfront project: If you build it, will Beyoncé come
by Tom Lyden
Who will the Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment serve? Fox 9 News recently asked that question. FMR's Colleen O'Connor Toberman was interviewed alongside community members, elected officials, and the development team.

• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — November 1, 2019
Long buried toxic dump at Hidden Falls Park getting attention
by Margie O'Loughlin
Ford Motor Company's toxic waste dump on the St. Paul river floodplain, known as Area C, is gaining more attention. As community awareness grows, so does pressure on Ford and state agencies to study the dumpsite more closely to consider cleanup options. Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted.

• Star Tribune — October 21, 2019
Rusty patched bumblebee buzzes into Inver Grove Heights
by Erin Adler
We found the federally endangered Minnesota state bee on FMR-restored bluffland at Pine Bend Bluffs in Inver Grove Heights, a positive sign for habitat. FMR ecologist Karen Schik quoted.

• Star Tribune — October 13, 2019
Where are all the pheasants? Habitat loss is tied to more farming
by Greg Stanley
Pheasant numbers are declining in Minnesota as more and more habitat is converted back to farmland and out of the Conservation Reserve Program. The program wouldn't be able to give us the significant and permanent gains for water quality, soil health and habitat that we need in the long-run. Water Program Director Trevor Russell advocates instead for a transition to a market that demands more continuous vegetation on the landscape.
(Republished in The Chicago Tribune and Telegraph Herald.)

• Star Tribune — October 5, 2019
Minnesota is asked to ban lead in ammunition, fishing tackle
by Greg Stanley
Along with other wildlife and environmental groups, we’ve signed on to a petition of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to require non-lead ammunition and to ban lead jigs and tackle in lakes with nesting loons.
(Also republished by The Bakersfield Californian, The Lewiston Tribune, MyWave, NWCable, and Rome News Tribune.)

• Star Tribune — September 14, 2019
Once key to industry and transportation, Mississippi River poised for makeover in Minneapolis
by Janet Moore
The riverfront north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis is changing rapidly. In this Star Tribune feature, Janet Moore quickly covers this transformation through a transportation lens and highlights a key piece of this rapidly shifting riverfront — the city of Minneapolis’s former port, a.k.a. the Upper Harbor Terminal. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman is quoted.

• Star Tribune — September 3, 2019
Workhorse Minnesota River needs $360 million cleanup, state report says
by Jennifer Bjorhus
The state has a new $360 million plan to turn things around for the Minnesota River and cut the river's sediment levels in half. Will it be enough? Our water program director Trevor Russell talks to the Star Tribune about how a shift in farming could help us get there.

• Star Tribune — September 1, 2019
At Pig's Eye Lake, officials split over using artificial islands to boost ecology
by Shannon Prather
The Army Corps of Engineers has built over 25 islands on the river and wants to make seven more in the Pig's Eye backwaters. Built from dredge material, these islands would create shoreline habitat for birds, fish, otters and more. Some are calling for more public input opportunities and more study, but we're hopeful about the project's potential for wildlife. FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark quoted.

• Northeaster — June 26, 2019
Volunteers rehab Nicollet Isle's native ecology
by Alex Schlee
On June 11, we installed a demonstration prairie at Nicollet Island. This article overviews the whole restoration project and highlights our volunteers. FMR ecologist Alex Roth quoted.

• Star Tribune — June 9, 2019
Landmark farm rule aims to protect Minnesota's drinking water
by Jennifer Bjorhus
Minnesota’s leaders are taking action to fix one of our biggest public health problems: drinking water polluted by farm fertilizers. A new Minnesota Department of Agriculture rule will limit the use of nitrogen fertilizer in vulnerable areas of the state, with the goal of reducing the amount of dangerous nitrates that infiltrate our waterways and put human health and aquatic life at risk. But a quarter of the state draws water from private wells that aren't helped by the plan. We'll still need more comprehensive solutions, like clean-water crop diversification, if we want every Minnesotan to have clean drinking water says FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell, quoted in the article.

• The Villager — June 5, 2019
Friends of river oppose senior housing plan along Lilydale bluffs
by Kevin Driscoll
Lilydale considers a plan that would turn the site of the old Moose Country bar and River Bluffs Center into senior housing that's too close to the bluff edge and too tall. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman quoted.

• Hastings Star Gazette — May 30, 2019
Hastings high schoolers make their mark in the park
by Ellen Rogers
Vermillion River Linear Park is a 60-acre prairie in the heart of Hastings that FMR has worked with students for years to restore. Hastings high schoolers wanted to make sure passersby knew about the boon to wildlife and water quality right in their backyard.

• Pioneer Press — May 26, 2019
Apartment proposal at former Island Station power plant promises Mississippi River access
by Frederick Melo
Developer Ryan Swingruber proposes turning Island Station's former coal-based power plant into apartments with public river access. FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman is quoted affirming our appreciation of the river access components of the plan.

• Pioneer Press — May 21, 2019
River advocacy group opposes senior apartment project planned for former Moose Country property
by Nick Ferraro
Lilydale is considering a plan that would turn the site of the old Moose Country bar and River Bluffs Center into senior housing. But the new development would be too close to the river bluff's edge and too tall to maintain a scenic river view. The Pioneer Press spoke with River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman about FMR's concerns.

• Star Tribune — May 17, 2019
Six years after landslide, restoration of St. Paul's scenic Brickyard Trail nears completion
by Shannon Prather
The West Side trail that leads from the river bluffs to Lilydale Park may finally reopen. As they restore the trail, St. Paul Parks and Recreation wants to balance access and safety, given the potential for landslides. To make the slope trail safer, they’ve planted native grasses, placed erosion blankets and enhanced signage. Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted.

• MinnPost — May 16, 2019
Will Thor Construction’s closure affect plans for the Upper Harbor Terminal?
by Jessica Lee
Upper Harbor Terminal developer United Properties' partner Thor Construction is closing its doors. What does this mean for the current development plan on the river in Minneapolis? FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark and others think it won't change the current trajectory.

• Villager — May 8, 2019
St. Paul reviews comprehensive plan for development over next 20 years
by Jane McClure
FMR River Corridor Director Colleen O'Connor Toberman voiced concern about conflicts between MRCCA regulations and St. Paul's 2040 Comprehensive Plan's river corridor chapter.

• The Sun — April 26, 2019
Flint Hills Resources plants 15,000th tree in Dakota County for Arbor day
by Andy Rogers
Our partnership with Flint Hills Resources on Pine Bend Bluffs restoration is highlighted in this celebratory article.

• Pioneer Press — April 21, 2019
River Falls plans to remove dams and restore its rapids. Will Minneapolis and St. Paul be next?
by Bob Shaw
As River Falls approved the decades-long process of dam removal from the Kinnickinnic River in Wisconsin, some project similar conversations to escalate for the Mississippi River. FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted.
The above article by Bob Shaw of the Pioneer Press was republished by more than 10 publications and stations across the country, including local news: 
MPR News
Austin Daily Herald
Fairmont Sentinel
Post Bulletin

• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — March 25, 2019
“Write to the River” project seeks spring submissions
by Margie O'Loughlin
A spotlight on this spring's ninth edition of FMR volunteer Leslie Thomas's river-inspired writing project, Write to the River.

• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — March 25, 2019
Mississippi River Gorge neighborhood cleanup scheduled Apr. 20
A rundown of what makes this annual family-friendly Minneapolis Earth Day event so great.

• Star Tribune — March 16, 2019
Minnesota's new DNR commissioner: Cool hand for a hot seat
by Greg Stanley
Former FMR board member and Ramsey mayor Sarah Strommen stepped into the role of MN Department of Natural Resources commissioner earlier this year. Leaders from orgs like Mining Minnesota to our own executive director have faith she’ll do the job with integrity.

• Star Tribune — March 5, 2019
Breaking an environmental impasse, Gov. Tim Walz signs Minnesota bonding bill
by Greg Stanley and J. Patrick Coolican
Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz agree to a funding fix that gets shovels in the ground as soon as possible for worthy projects while preserving the citizen-driven Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund voters created 30 years ago. This essentially reverses the fund raid from last year's legislative session. Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted.

• KARE 11 — March 1, 2019
Upper Harbor Terminal development moves forward
by Boyd Huppert
Minneapolis City Council voted to approve the Upper Harbor Terminal concept plan. FMR joined a rally in opposition to the plan prior to the vote. Our new River Corridor Director Colleen O’Connor Toberman is quoted.

• KUNC — February 21, 2019
As Electric Cars Shift Into Mainstream, The Corn Belt Begins To Ponder A Post-Ethanol Future
by Amy Mayer
Perennial and alternative crops won't just be good for wildlife and water quality; as electric cars shift the market away from corn grown for ethanol, rural economies and farmers can transition to clean-water crops. Water Director Trevor Russell is quoted.

• KSTP 5 — February 5, 2019
Minneapolis community gives input on proposed riverfront development of the Upper Harbor Terminal
Coverage of the community input meeting held by Minneapolis City Council Members shows community members, including FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark, calling for more time and a more inclusive planning process.

• Lillie News — February 4, 2019
Community asked to help create new Lake Phalen mural
by Marjorie Otto
In partnership with Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, FMR has contracted local artist Liv Novotny to create a water quality mural at Lake Phalen this summer. Novotny will collaborate with the community to envision and carry out the artwork, starting with a meeting this February.

• MPR News — January 22, 2019
Vote on Minneapolis riverfront plan delayed
by Gabriel Kwan
Citing concerns about the financial security of a development partner, the Minneapolis City Council voted to delay their decision about the Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment plan by two weeks. FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted calling for the plan to not only be delayed, but changed.

• Star Tribune — January 16, 2019
Minneapolis, don't squander this development chance at the Upper Harbor site
by Whitney Clark and Paul Bauknight
As the Minneapolis City Council is poised to adopt a redevelopment plan for the Upper Harbor Terminal site in North Minneapolis that benefits private interests far more than public, we call for a more equitable planning process and a project plan that prioritizes community well-being and access to the river for all.

• Fox 9 — January 4, 2019
‘A little gross:' Shutdown leaves restrooms in disarray on St. Croix riverway
by Theo Keith
The early-2019 government shutdown took its toll on Minnesota's national parks, as park rangers were furloughed at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted.

• MPR News — January 3, 2019
Incoming Gov. Walz shapes his environmental, health teams
by Brian Bakst
Congratulations to former FMR board member Sarah Strommen on her appointment as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources by Governor-elect Tim Walz. Strommen has more than 20 years of natural resources experience. Our executive director, Whitney Clark, says, "I think that Sarah will bring a real listening, consensus-building kind of a style to the agency."
(Republished in The Daily Journal.)

• Star Tribune — December 14, 2018
Dakota County soon may auction a Mississippi River island in Inver Grove Heights
by Erin Adler
The owner of an island near Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights hasn't paid taxes for the last five years on the property. That means that the island could go up for sale. FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark is quoted in the article, noting that "the island is important for migratory birds and turtles" and not developable due to flooding.

• CCX media — November 28, 2018
Local Cities Push to Keep Plastic Out of Mississippi River
by Eric Nelson
Brooklyn Center Mayor-Elect Mike Elliott is eager to join other mayors along the Mississippi River in fighting to reduce plastic pollution. The Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative wants to cut the amount of plastic in the river by half by the year 2020. A goal that FMR applauds.

• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — November 19, 2018
Keeping the Mississippi River Gorge healthy takes many hands
by Ellie Rogers (FMR)
Cheers to the volunteers who removed invasive species and planted native trees and wildflowers for better wildlife habitat in the Mississippi River Gorge!

• Mill City Times — November 18, 2018
What Happens When Rivers Merge?
by Ellie Rogers (FMR)
A reblog of FMR's special places article on confluences.

• Saturday Evening Post — November 15, 2018
How to Become an Environmental Megastar at 86
by Ken Budd
A profile of FMR SuperVolunteer Warren Stortroen."This eager volunteer traded business suits for hiking boots to help scientists study the Earth...."

• CBS — November 14, 2018
Go Free This Week
Calendar item:"Go Free This Week With 3 No-Cost Events In Minneapolis - Friends of the River happy hour"

• Rubicon Online — November 13, 2018
PEP pulls invasive species by the Mississippi
by Emma Sampson
A student club at St. Paul Academy and Summit School helped restore habitat along the river in St. Paul by removing invasive species. Now they plan to plant a pollinator garden at their school.

• Northeaster — October 31, 2018
Nicollet Island habitat restoration begins
by Cynthia Sowden
After a great deal of planning and community discussion, our first public habitat restoration volunteer event took place on Nicollet Island near downtown Minneapolis.

• Mill City Times — October 23, 2018
Volunteers Assist with Nicollet Island Restoration Work
As part of a new multi-year restoration of natural areas on Nicollet Island's northern half, volunteers planted 90 trees and shrubs and over 400 wildflowers, sedges and grasses at FMR's first public habitat restoration event on the island.

• Mill City Times — October 17, 2018
Video from Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) Celebrates 25 Years of Progress

• Star Tribune — October 3, 2018
Conservation groups sue state over use of environmental fund
Conservation groups say money is being used for infrastructure projects.
by Josephine Marcotty

• Duluth News Tribune — October 3, 2018
Groups sue over environmental trust fund spending
by John Myers
The above article by John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune was republished in: 
St. Peter Herald
The Bemidji Pioneer
The Brainerd Dispatch
Grand Forks Herald
West Central Tribune
Forum News

• MINNPost — October 3, 2018
Lawsuit over environmental trust fund may have implications for Legacy Amendment money
by Walker Orenstein

• Minnesota Public Radio — October 4, 2018
Conservation groups suing state over use of environment fund
by Kirsti Marohn

• Bluestem Prarie — September 12, 2018
Broad coalition of conservation & environmental groups ask LCCMR not to raid trust funds

--- For additional coverage and commentaries, please see the FMR Water Blog ---

• Finance & Commerce — September 18, 2018
St. Paul riverfront development plans face hurdles
by Brian Johnson
Proposals are being drawn up for the former Ramsey County jail site along the river where the Wabasha bridge meets downtown St. Paul. FMR will continue to advocate for a vertical access component that allows people at street level to walk down the bluff to reach the river below.

• Longfellow Nokomis Messenger — August 27, 2018
Share the Gorge 2018 celebrates the urban wilderness
by Margie O' Laughlin
The Longfellow Minneapolis community hosted a celebration of the Mississippi River Gorge and the people who help to protect and restore it, including the River Gorge Stewardsl.

• The Journal of Minneapolis — August 21, 2018
Organization restoring Nicollet Island habitat
by Nate Gotlieb
FMR, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and community groups partner to restore habitat and create a prairie riverfront trail on Nicollet Island next to downtown Minneapolis.

• USFWS — August 8, 2018
A neighbor's promise — Family's conservation dream preserves land for a community
by USFWS newsroom
Learn about the Houlton family, the community and FMR's role in the protection and restoration of the William H. Houlton Conservation Area at the confluence of the Elk and Mississippi rivers in the city of Elk River.

• MPR — August 2, 2018
Wetter weather causing sewage headaches for Minn. cities
by Kirsti Marohn
Our changing climate is challenging Minnesota's water infrastructure, resulting in pollution discharges into our lakes and rivers. FMR Water Program Director Trevor Russell helps illustrate the connection.
(Republished in Owatanna People's Press.)

• The Journal of Minneapolis — July 27, 2018
Celebrating the Mighty Mississippi
by Jenny Heck
The Mill City Farmer's Market about FMR participating in related event in Mill City area Minneapolis.

• CCX media — July 23, 2018
Friends of the Mississippi celebrate 25 years (video)
by Eric Nelson
Not all that long ago, our world-class river was known as the messy Mississippi, but grassroots activism has fundamentally changed how we view and treat our river. A local metro news outlet celebrates these changes and groups like FMR who have been working to protect, restore and enhance our metro river for 25 years.

• Northeaster — July 18, 2018
Eco groups unite to fight Nicollet invaders
by Cynthia Sowden
FMR, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and community groups partner to restore habitat and create a prairie riverfront trail on Nicollet Island next to downtown Minneapolis.

• South Washington County Bulletin — July 13, 2018
Mississippi River recreation ramps up thanks to task force
by Katie Nelson
Cottage Grove is working to improve river access for its residents, including access to Settler's Island. FMR worked with the parks department to complete a plan to replace the buckthorn that currently covers the island with native species, both to improve habitat and improve recreational access and amenities such as picnic tables.

• Pioneer Press — July 7, 2018
Wild or mild? Mississippi's future depends on Army Corps' three locks, dams
by Bob Shaw
As the Army Corps of Engineers considers its options for two local dams, is removal on the table? FMR cautiously endorses the return of rapids, pending extensive community discussion.
(Also published in multiple Minnesota newspapers .)

• Open Rivers Journal — Summer 2018
Writing the River
by Leslie Thomas (FMR volunteer)
This extensive 25-page feature on Write to the River explores the connections between creativity and advocacy and features select Write to the River poetry and prose plus interviews with the authors.

• Press Pub Quad Community Press — June 26, 2018
Monitor stream health with SHEP
How FMR's Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) volunteers evaluate the health of local river tributaries with stream-dwelling bugs and how to join.

• St. Paul Voice — June 25, 2018
A friend of the river for 25 years and counting
by Ginny Contreras Sawyer
Known for their steady coverage of river-related news, this local paper celebrated FMR's silver anniversary with a special focus on our new West Side St. Paul habitat restoration project and the Write To The River celebration at a local brewery (Wabasha).
(Republished in Downtown Voice and South St. Paul Voice.)

• Villager — June 9, 2018
Ford Motors toxic legacy
submitted by Kate Hunt
A community member unaffiliated with FMR affirms the importance of addressing the old industrial waste dump at the St. Paul Ford site before redevelopment can begin.

• Star Tribune and Associated Press — May 24, 2018
Groups urge vetoes over environmental trust fund 'raid'
by Steve Karnoski (AP)
FMR and our allies called upon Gov. Mark Dayon to veto the state bonding bill that used environmental lottery dollars in ways Minnesota's voters never intended.
(Republished by KIMT 3.)

• Villager — May 23, 2018
Friends of Mississippi River push for cleanup of Ford Plant landfill — MPCA has yet to determine risks posed by riverside dump
by Jane McClure
As the redevelopment of the massive Ford site moves forward in St. Paul, FMR calls for more attention to what lies below: Ford's old industrial waste dump.

• Pioneer Press — May 16, 2018
Inver Grove Heights takes River Heights Park off the market
by Nick Ferrarro
After successfully convincing the Inver Grove Heights park commission not to sell a beloved neighborhood park (not once, but twice), community members and FMR River Guardians cheered as the Inver Grove Heights City Council officially removed the park from consideration for sale.

• KARE 11 — May 8, 2018
Microplastics found in Great Lakes
by Lou Raguse
Continued microplastic contamination does not bode well for the health of our Great Lakes or the Mississippi River.

• Star Tribune — April 28, 2018
A bridge too far? Midtown Greenway enthusiasts push for connection to St. Paul
by Janet Moore
Midtown Greenway Supporters, Midtown Greenway Coalition and 36 other groups (FMR included) aim to raise funds to study how to make a railroad bridge safe for biking and walking to continue the greenway across the river.

• Pioneer Press — April 10, 2018
Undeveloped Inver Grove Heights park, near river, could be up for sale again
by Nick Ferraro
After hearing from neighbors and FMR advocates, the Inver Grove Heights parks commission recommended to preserve River Heights Park as a park instead of putting it up for sale. A couple months later (see above, May 16, 2018), the city council followed suit and the park was officially saved.

• Pioneer Press — April 9, 2018
Mississippi gorge, BWCA, Kinnickinnic among ‘America’s Most Endangered Rivers’
by Nick Woltman
American Rivers places the Mississippi River Gorge at number six on its 2018 list of the nation's top 10 most-threatened-rivers, citing a pair of locks and dams in Minneapolis-St. Paul that have remained in place despite being closed to commercial barge traffic since 2015. FMR cautiously endorses the idea of restoring the rapids while calling for a robust and extensive commmunity discussion and additional research.(FMR's position)

• Star Tribune — April 10, 2018
Dams and mining put three regional rivers on group's endangered list
by Josephine Marcotty
American Rivers named the Mississippi River gorge one of the most endangered rivers as part of its new campaign to restore the river's flow and rapids through the Twin Cities by removing the Ford Dam and Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. FMR weighs in with cautious optimism, noting support for the concept as well the need for extensive commmunity discussion and additional research.(FMR's position)

• KDWA and Hastings Star Gazette — April 2, 2018
Caring for our local waters
With Earth Day approaching, Hastings community radio promoted hands-on volunteer opportunities with the FMR Vermillion Stewards program, supported by the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization and the United Way of Hastings.
(Also mentioned in Hastings Star Gazette.)

• MPR — March 30, 2018
Ground Level: Is Minnesota on the right track for clean water?
by Kirsti Marohn
As Minnesota's drinking water quality falls short of benchmarks, it's time to fully consider the role of agriculture in water pollution. FMR is helping to develop solutions that benefit farmers and drinking water.

• Legal Reader — March 15, 2018
Minnesota Settles with 3M, Water Clean Up Ahead
by Sara Teller
3M's pollution settlement will go towards drinking water protection work. FMR's executive director Whitney Clark notes many metro communities would be better off switching from groundwater and public well-based systems to non-well sources like the Mississippi River, for a safer and more sustainable water supply.

• Star Tribune — March 10, 2018
Dakota County opens Pine Bend trailhead
Dakota County celebrated a new trail at Pine Bend Scientific and Natural Area, protected in part, thanks to FMR in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Dakota County.

• MPR — March 7, 2018
Minn. moves to reduce nitrates in groundwater; environmental groups wonder, wait
by Mark Steil
Minnesota's plans to reduce nitrates in drinking water are moving closer to completion. But FMR and other groups and experts are concerned that we're not moving fast enough to get to clean water.
(Republished in Waseca County News.)

• Star Tribune — March 3, 2018
Minnesota settlement with 3M may fix drinking water but not the environment
by Josephine Marcotty
The 3M settlement prompted many to examine the state of our metro water supply. FMR's executive director Whitney Clark noted the importance of both cleaning up pollution and switching more of our public water supply from wells to the Mississippi River as a more sustainable source.

• Pioneer Press — February 16, 2018
Friday Opinuendo: On the river's friends, long-nose Sting and more …
by the Pioneer Press Editorial Board
Thanks to the Pioneer Press for helping to celebrate FMR's silver anniversary, not to mention the River Story Map and Special Places Map.
(Republished in Southern Valley News Network.)

• Woodworker's Journal — January 5, 2018
NFL Super Bowl committee and community partners plant trees
As part of a series of local stewardship outings associated with the event, Verizon volunteers helped FMR plant over 75 trees in Inver Grove Heights.

• Downtown St. Paul Voice — January 1, 2018
New Collaborative Art Project Celebrates Sacred Connections To the River
by editor Tim Spitzak
Michael Bischoff started the River Story Map as a collaborative art project to make visible and celebrate the personal relationships we have with the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities.
(Republished in the St. Paul Voice and South St. Paul Voice.)

• Jazz Police — December 5, 2017
"Confluence": Laura Caviani CD Release in the Dunsmore Room
by Andrea Canter
Thank you the amazing Laura Caviana for not only releasing her beautiful CD"'Confluence' but donating part of its sale and funds raised at its release party to FMR.

• Star Tribune — December 16, 2017
Committee approves streetcar for W7th Riverview corridor
by Janet Moore
More than 60 years after streetcar service was discontinued in the Twin Cities, a key advisory committee has recommended bringing the streetcar back along the Riverview Corridor — but in a much different form. While supportive, FMR and the National Park Service are keeping a close eye on possible plans to create a el for streetcar below Fort Snelling.

• St. Cloud Times — November 16, 2017
Laura Caviana Trio to hold benefit for FMR
The Laura Caviani Trio Concert, 4 p.m. First United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region, 1107 Pine Cone Road S, Sartell. This is a CD release concert, with free will offering proceeds going to Friends of the Mississippi River.

• Park Bugle — November 1, 2017
A colorful mural teaches a valuable lession about a beloved lake" What goes into this storm drain goes into the lake
by Kristal Leebrick
A sing new water quality mural — the first of its kind in St. Paul — helps educate Como Lake visitors and neighbors.

• Forester Magazines — October 24, 2017
The Twin Cities Versus the Invaders from Planet Earth: How Minneapolis and St. Paul are handling invasive species that affect water quality
by David C. Richardson

• Hastings Star Gazette — October 12, 2017
Students clear out invasives; replace with native plants
by Jake Pfeiffer
Hastings High School students worked with FMR to clear out invasive plant species from Vermillion River Linear Park to help prepare the site to be planted for wildlife and pollinator habitat.
(Republished in the Rosemount Town Pages and Farmington Independent.

• My Minnesota Blog — October 8, 2017
Getting good at making a difference
by John Harrington
After learning about buckthorn from FMR, this blogger is doing his part to reduce its spread.

• Camden Community News — October 3, 2017
The start of a greener Camden
by Beth Vang
In partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, amongst others, FMR hosted a walk to the river for Northsiders across the Dowling Avenue Interstate-94 overpass to gather feedback on how to best improve the experience and riverfront access for pedestrians and cyclists.

• Farmington Independent — September 28, 2017
A shocking long-awaired adventure
by FMR SuperVolunteer Cole Williams with photos by Rich Wahls
After several delays, our much-beloved annual Vermilliion Stewards trout survey proceeded in the Vermillion River.

• KDWA — September 26, 2017
"In-depth" interview
In this local radio show, stewardship director Adam Flett talked about the upcoming river island cleanup in partnership with the Hastings Environmental Protectors or HEP.

• Spokesman Recorder — September 26, 2017
Environmental justice scholar urges vigilance
by Charles Hallman
Profile of Dr. Dorceta Taylor, the headliner of FMR's fall 2017 fundraiser, and her environmental justice work.

• Pioneer Press ( and Southern Valley News — September 20, 2017
With hundreds wanting to comment on Ford plant redevelopment, hearing will continue next week
by Frederick Melo
As plans for the St. Paul Ford site evolve, multiple views and needs — such as the need for bluff-edge parkland — are being considered.

• GoMN — August 1, 2017
A huge oak forest is now protected in the Twin Cities:It's Minnesota's newest wildlife management area
by Melissa Turtine

• WCCO radio — July 28, 2017
Oak forest protected in heart of Dakota County (audio)
by Jordana Green
Al Singer, the land conservation manager for Dakota County, discusses the Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area that FMR helped permanently protect.

• Pioneer Press — July 27, 2017
Dakota County oak forest to be preserved as wildlife area
by Nick Ferraro
Part of one of the last and largest wooded areas in Dakota County has been permanently protected as a state wildlife management area. The new Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area consists of 191 acres of oak forest, and they're the only woods for miles around in a largely agricultural landscape. The WMA was made possible by a collaboration of the Department of Natural Resources, the county and the nonprofit conservation group Friends of the Mississippi River.

• Outdoor News — July 27, 2017
New Dakota County wildlife management area to feature wildlife habitat, public hunting
A portion of one of the last and largest wooded areas in Dakota County has been permanently protected as a state wildlife management area through the collaborative efforts of the Minnesota DNR, Dakota County and the nonprofit conservation group Friends of the Mississippi 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
Storm Drains
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