State of the River Report FAQs

Who developed the State of the River Report?

The State of the River Report was developed through a partnership between Friends of the Mississippi River and the National Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

Support for this project was provided in part by the McKnight Foundation, the Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, the Mortenson Foundation, Capitol Region Watershed District, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Mississippi Park Connection.

Who is the intended audience for the State of the River Report?

This report was developed for distribution to a wide audience, and is written to be understandable by non-technical readers. You don’t need to have a degree in water resources to understand this report.

Our target audience is concerned citizens and river lovers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area who want to know more about water the aquatic health in the metro Mississippi River.

What portion of the Mississippi River does this report cover?

The State of the River Report examines water quality and river health through the 72-mile portion of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.This portion of the river is so unique that in 1988 Congress designated it a national park: the Mississippi National River And Recreation Area (MNRRA). This national park runs from the Crow River confluence in Dayton and Ramsey through the Twin Cities to just past the St. Croix River confluence near Hastings, Minnesota and Prescott, Wisconsin.

What data sources were used in this report? What scientists advised its development?

The development of the State of the River Report was guided by advisors from a wide range of disciplines, whose research forms the basis of the document. This includes multiple state agencies, the University of Minnesota, The St. Croix Watershed Research Station, and Metropolitan Council Environmental Services.

Whenever possible, agency experts and field research leaders were consulted to assist project staff in interpreting river data for incorporation into this report. A list of project advisors is available on our acknowledgements page.

A number of indicators choose the same 6 monitoring locations along the river. Why these sites?

Several indicators look at long-term water quality data at 6 sites along the metro-area Mississippi River. These sites are part of a comprehensive water quality monitoring program developed and managed by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES). We selected these sites because these MCES locations offered excellent long-term data.

These data sets also provide a clear picture of how the Mississippi River changes as its moves through the Twin Cities metropolitan area, including the influences of the Minnesota River and the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant.

What can I do to help the Mississippi River?

The Stewardship Guide, a companion guide to the State of the River Report, provides practical steps that individuals can take in their home, yard and community to improve the health of the Mississippi.

How can students and educators get involved in learning about the Mississippi River?

The companion Teacher's Guide was developed to help teachers and students carry the lessons of the State of the River Report into the classroom.

What are some top policy actions that are needed to address the issues raised in the State of the River Report?

Friends of the Mississippi River has developed the Policy Guide, a companion guide to the State of the River Report, that offers priority actions that federal, state and local leaders can take for the river.

Where can I get a print copy of the State of the River Report?

A limited number of print copies have been printed. These will be distributed at public presentations and can be made available upon request while supplies last. Contact FMR’s Trevor Russell or MNRRA’s Lark Weller for more information.

For additional State of the River Report-related content, see the table of contents above right or, on smaller screens, below.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights