Critical Area

Mississippi River Critical Area

Critical Area
Mystery building near Lake Street Bridge to reduce odors, but stands to be improved

A number of Mississippi Messages readers have contacted us since the leaves fell from the trees about a new building on the river located just north of Minneapolis' Lake Street bridge. We investigated and have some answers, as well as several related questions and concerns.

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Concert venue, riverwalks — What should become of this retired Mpls port?

Calling all river and park lovers:  Help shape the future of this 48-acre riverfront site in Minneapolis!

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A schematic of the UHT site provided by in the development team proposal
South St. Paul stands strong to preserve open space

FMR would like to thank the South St. Paul City Council and celebrate their recent decision to preserve a city-owned 5-acre site as open space. The site is located near the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Mississippi River Trail scheduled to be constructed in 2017. The council rejected a push to change the largely tree-covered site into a paved industrial railroad storage area.

This is a big win that maintains the city’s commitment to a more public and green riverfront for future generations!

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South St. Paul City Council
Crown Hydro is back, but can it stand up to a new and exciting civic proposal?

Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.

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The newly proposed Falls Park and Visitor Center
South St. Paul seeks to replace trees with industry along Mississippi River Trail

As you grab your bike and enjoy the Mississippi River Trail in the coming years, what would you prefer: views of the river through a grove of trees or a long tall fence and a railroad storage yard? The South St. Paul planning commission faced that very question in early September and voted five to one to preserve the trees. But now the question is moving to the South St. Paul City Council.

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DNR supports key FMR-sought protections for metro river corridor

During the final phase of developing updated rules for the Mississippi River Critical Area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommended a number of positive changes in response to comments from FMR staff and advocates.

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Endangered species recovery at FMR restoration sites

Plant and animal populations decline for many reasons — habitat loss, climate change, pollution and other factors. The Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1973 to prevent the decline and extinction of at-risk species and aid their recovery. At FMR, one of the ways we can best benefit endangered species is through the enhancement or restoration of native habitat. FMR’s many restoration sites do just that, providing much-needed habitat for both common and endangered plants and animals.

While the Endangered Species Act has benefitted countless species, we’d like to think our restorations have as well. We've spotted three endangered species — loggerhead shrike, Blanchard's cricket frog and Henslow's sparrow — at our sites so far this year! 

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A trio of endangered species recently found at FMR conservation and restoration sites.

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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