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DNR supports key FMR-sought protections for metro river corridor

New land-use and development rules will better protect the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, our local national park.  

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.

September 12

'State of the River Report' Launch + Presentation

How is the health of the Mississippi River? Can I safely swim in it? Is water pollution improving? Can I eat the fish I catch? What can we do about Asian carp? Do I need to be concerned about bacteria in the river? How are bald eagles faring?

At FMR we hear questions like these all the time. That's why we've partnered with the National Park Service's Mississippi National River & Recreation Area unit (MNRRA) to update "State of the River Report," first released in 2012, for a current look at the river.

Join us for the highly anticipated release of the updated "State of the River Report" at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Thursday, September 22! (Tickets are free but capacity is limited.)

Brown-Bag Lunch: Reconnecting North Mpls to the Mighty Mississippi

As more North Minneapolis riverfront is slated to become parkland, it's important to ensure that new parks and trails are truly accessible to Northside residents. To do this, connections between the community and the riverfront parkland (such as the Broadway bridge over I-94, pictured above) must be improved.

FMR has been working with a researcher from CURA to study Northsiders’ barriers to river access as well as possible ways to overcome them. Join us for a brown-bag lunch featuring a presentation of our findings and discussion about the barriers and opportunities to reconnect North Minneapolis neighborhoods and the Mississippi River.

Reconnecting North Mpls to its riverfront

The desolate West Broadway bridge over I-94

For many Northsiders, this is the path to the Mississippi River: the West Broadway bridge over Interstate-94. Improvements like a barrier separating the sidewalk from cars, a safe biking space, updating the chainlink fence and adding greenery or art would make this a far more welcoming route for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to the river.

Currently, the majority of North's residents must make their way over Interstate-94 and through a wall of industry to see and enjoy their riverfront. FMR is working to understand these barriers and identify opportunities to reconnect Northside residents to their Mississippi River. As more of this riverfront transforms from industrial use to parks and trails — changes that FMR has long advocated — we must work hard to ensure that current and future riverfront parks are accessible to area residents. 

June 9

Conjunction dysfunction: A $100 million typo may lead to a special session

After Gov. Mark Dayton's pocket veto of the tax bill, a special session appears more likely this month. The governor chose not to sign the bill as it contained a $100 million wording error (an "or" instead of an "and"), letting the clock run out and preventing it from becoming law. A June special session will be needed to correct and re-pass the essential bill, making it likely the Minnesota Legislature will also tackle important transportation and bonding business left undone, including vital funding for state water quality improvements.

June 7

Through July 6: Last chance to weigh in on new riverfront land-use rules

Riders along the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area, our local national park!

​If all goes well, new rules governing riverfront development and protections in the Mississippi River corridor, our local national park, could be in place by the end of 2016. Photo by Tom Reiter

FMR encourages all river-lovers to contact Judge Lipman by July 6, 4:30 p.m. to let him know that you support strong river development rules in our national park, tell him why the river is important to you and share what you would like to see protected or improved. Read on to learn more about the proposed rules for the metro-area stretch of the Mississippi River and how to contribute your voice.

May 10

Senate budget bill approved; Fully funds FMR priorities

The Minnesota Senate voted 39 to 24 in favor of the Senate Omnibus Finance Bill on Thursday, April 28. The bill includes several of FMR's top environmental initiatives, including The Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program and funding for the Forever Green Initiative.

May 3

Making the most of the Governor's Water Summit

Governor Dayton opening the first ever MN Water Summit

Gov. Mark Dayton delivers the opening remarks of Minnesota's first-ever Governor's Water Summit.

When over 800 Minnesotans gather in a windowless basement on the first beautiful spring-like day, there must be a compelling reason. In this case the reason was water. Residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes showed up in droves to show their care and concern at the Governor's Water Summit. Among them, of course, were staff from FMR and our fellow water protection colleagues, plus 30 volunteer FMR River Protectors. Together, we made sure our top priorities for clean waters were heard loud and clear. Next up: Turning these basement conversations into noticeable improvements for Minnesotans' waters, communities and wildlife.

March 1