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Mississippi River News

Shovels in the ground for three new river destinations

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Three new destinations are beginning to take shape along the river north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, each with something different to offer. Coming up: a reclaimed island (image above), a destination riverfront restaurant, and one fully featured playground.  >>

November 16

N Mpls riverfront metal shredder required to move!

Northern Metals shredding facility

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the neighborhood surrounding Northern Metals, which is located along the North Minneapolis riverfront, has the highest levels of lead poisoning and asthma hospitalizations in the city. 

Friends of the Mississippi River was pleased to learn today that a settlement has been reached between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the City of Minneapolis and Northern Metals Recycling. Northern Metals has been operating a metal shredder along the Mississippi riverfront in North Minneapolis for several years and part of their operation was temporarily shut down recently when they were caught failing to meet air quality standards required by their state permit.

March 3

Unlocking the future of St. Anthony Falls

Upper St. Anthony Falls visitor center

What's at the end of the rainbow? Our local national park's visitor center at the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock. Photo by National Park Conservation Association.

Big ideas are bubbling up to transform the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in downtown Minneapolis site. Closed to navigation in June 2015, the lock could become the centerpiece of the vibrant riverfront park and neighborhood that surrounds it.

February 14

Big news: Bluffs, shorelines and scenic views protected!

The Mississippi River Gorge from St. Paul by Jim Hudak

Our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, is now protected by FMR-prompted state rules. (Photo by Jim Hudak)

At long last, new State of Minnesota rules are now in place governing land use and development along the metro stretch of the Mississippi River, a.k.a. our local national park! While allowing for growth and redevelopment, the new rules protect the metro riverfront's natural, scenic and cultural treasures. 

December 27

New fuel standards could help river

Perennial grasses for biofuels

Perennial plants can be grown to produce fuel while also protecting water quality and boosting farm profits.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the nation’s renewable fuel requirements. While we were disappointed to see an increase in traditional corn-based ethanol, we’re pleased to see a raise in production goals for cellulosic biofuel in 2017.

This creates a powerful market incentive for farmers to grow perennial crops, supporting FMR’s work towards market-based solutions to reduce agricultural water pollution.

December 16

Minnesota triclosan ban takes effect January 1

Plain soap and water is the best way to wash your hands.

Minnesota was the first state to ban triclosan in hand soaps and body washes. Originally billed as an antibacterial, the chemical broke down into cancer-causing dioxins in the Mississippi River and proved to be ineffective compared to washing with plain soap and water.

In a major victory for water quality and public health, the 2014 legislature made Minnesota the first state in the nation to prohibit the sale of triclosan in consumer hand and body washes. FMR spearheaded the initiative after learning that triclosan from consumer products was turning into dioxins or cancer-causing chemicals in the river. We proudly look forward to the law taking effect January 1, 2017!

December 13

Post-election reflection: We're ready for 2017

Snowfall at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.

By bringing a diverse group of people together, FMR was able to protect Pine Bend Bluffs (above) as a Scientific and Natural Area. We know the power of creative partnerships and approaches. And with your support, we can continue to protect this national treasure in our midst. 

As always, FMR is ready to vigorously protect the Mississippi River and its water quality in 2017. During this season of gratitude and resolutions for the new year, here's how you can help us safeguard our successes.

December 12

Landscape for the River Workshop: Native Plants, Raingardens, Lawn Care for Water Quality (+ Winter Tips)

Whether you're interested in a smaller native planting or want to transform your whole yard into a force for clean water, this FMR workshop can help jumpstart your spring planning. We'll also touch on practices to make your yard (and sidewalks) river-friendlier this winter.

Taught by FMR River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett, this presentation receives rave reviews from participants, who also appreciate the high-quality and concise take-home materials.

Volunteers plant pollinator patches aplenty

An FMR Vermillion Stewards volunteer plants a pollinator patch.

Never unederestimate the power of a pollinator patch!

What can a small planting of milkweed and other natives really do for pollinators? More than you might think. 

Hastings Environmental Protectors and FMR teamed up to create three new pollinator patches, helping to provide much-needed habitat for a variety of insect and pollinating species in the Vermillion and Mississippi river watersheds.

 

August 8

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