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Lake of the Isles June 26 event

Trash boom to help keep Lake of the Isles clean

Join us at Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis on June 26 as we celebrate installation of a new trash boom capture system!

The boom has dual benefits – it will capture trash from entering the lake through a storm drain outfall, and it will raise awareness of how pollutants travel from city streets into our lakes and rivers.

Partners on this project include Freshwater, City of Minneapolis Government, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, East Isles Neighborhood Association, River Network, and Osprey Initiative.

Join our Moos webinar with Shannon Spurlock on June 27!

Register for our upcoming Moos Family Speaker Series on water reuse and recharge. Spurlock is a senior researcher in Public Policy and Water Uptake at the Pacific Institute. She has extensive experience in public policy strategy and planning as well as research experience in water reuse.

The hour-long webinar (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) will include topics such as local and global opportunity of water reuse and recharge, technical evaluations and policy initiative on water reuse and recharge projects, and opportunities for Minnesota to develop its water reuse community.

Progress made on water during challenging state legislative session

Despite limited available funding and a chaotic finish to this year’s session, the Minnesota Legislature made progress on several important water issues, including response to nitrate contamination of private drinking water wells.

Freshwater continued to build relationships with several bipartisan legislators – including members of the House and Senate agriculture committees. Throughout the session, we provided written and in-person testimony in support of clean drinking water, healthy soils and public water infrastructure.

Supporting circular water systems in Minnesota

As the demand for clean water continues to grow, globally and here in Minnesota, Freshwater is actively working on ways to support water reuse and recharge by collaborating with technical experts, governing agencies and local communities.

Current efforts include a June 6 workshop on water reuse with Barr Engineering, a managed aquifer recharge study with the University of Minnesota, and an upcoming white paper, State of Minnesota's Circular Water Econonmy.

Water Connects Us

Join us for Water Connects Us on September 12!

Water Connects Us is an annual celebration and fundraiser to galvanize the community around the importance of Freshwater's mission and the role we can each play in protecting water now and for future generations.

Mark your calendar for September 12, 2024, 5 p.m. at Forgotten Star Brewing in Fridley, Minnesota, and check back soon more more details!

Drinking water glass

Freshwater gathers input for Minnesota Drinking Water Action Plan

The Minnesota Department of Health is currently developing a 10-year action plan to better manage drinking water in Minnesota, and Freshwater is playing a key role in engaging water professionals and the broader statewide community.

This work is outlined in two reports: Lessons from Drinking Water Professionals: An Assessment of Drinking Water Governance in Minnesota and Minnesota Drinking Water Action Plan Community Engagement Feedback. These insights will help guide policies to protect drinking water in the state.

Adopt a RiverFight plastic pollution with Adopt a River

This spring, we invite you to help clean up plastics and other litter around a lakeshore, riverbank or neighborhood street near you.

Check out our Adopt a River toolkit for resources and tips on how to organize a community cleanup. It's easier than you think, and it can make a big difference. Thanks for joining together and helping keep our waters clean!

Corn harvestingHow a clean transportation fuel standard could impact water

With the delivery of its report to the Minnesota Legislature last month, the Clean Transportation Standard Work Group created a state policy framework for reducing carbon pollution from transportation fuels. Freshwater strongly supports carbon reduction initiatives and clean fuels. However, we want to watch for unintended negative consequences to the environment and communities.

A clean transportation standard could either help or hurt water quality – depending on whether it further incentivizes corn ethanol production in rural Minnesota.

Get your 2024 Weatherguide wall calendar at half price!

The 2024 Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac is now half price!

Produced in partnership with KARE 11 and Minnesota Public Radio, the Weatherguide is your source for year-round weather and astronomical information, phenology, nature facts, stunning regional photography and much more. Plus, your purchase supports Freshwater's conservation, research, policy and education work.

Please note: Engagement calendars are SOLD OUT. Wall calendars are available while supplies last.

2023 Impact Report

View our 2023 Impact Report

Take a look at some facts, figures and stories highlighting our work for water this past year in Freshwater's 2023 Impact Report. You'll also find a list of Freshwater donors, a recap of our program and fundraising efforts, and a financial summary of our latest fiscal year.

Thanks to the generous support of Freshwater members, donors and partners, we continue to make significant headway in our mission.

St. Anthony cutoff wall study underway to assess structure beneath Mississippi River

Freshwater is working with the University of Minnesota on a 2-year study of the St. Anthony Falls cutoff wall, which was originally constructed in 1876 on the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

The project is divided into four activities: Uncovering the history of the cutoff wall construction; field surveys of present-day condition of the cutoff wall; physical modeling failure scenarios at St. Anthony Falls; and risk assessment of civil, life-safety, and economic impacts.

To learn more about this unique infrastructure assessment, visit the project website.

Managed aquifer recharge illustration

New study will map potential to recharge aquifers

With groundwater shortages becoming a concern in some areas of the state, researchers at the University of Minnesota and Freshwater will be poised to assist by deploying a first-of-its-kind GIS mapping tool that could help pave the way for managed aquifer recharge in Minnesota.

Also known as water banking, managed aquifer recharge usually involves injecting water into the ground through wells, or constructing infiltration basins, to essentially “bank” water underground for later use.

Lake Hiawatha video

Watch: Video on Lake Hiawatha trash boom capture system

Freshwater teamed up with River Network, Friends of Lake Hiawatha, Osprey Initiative, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to install a litter capture device designed to help clean up Lake Hiawatha. As trash enters the lake through a storm drain outfall, it is captured by a series of floating booms where it can be collected, sorted and analyzed. This collaborative project will help to raise community awareness around clean water and to protect the diverse ecosystem of this beloved lake. Learn more in this video produced by Quasimodo Advertising.

tribal and land use mapFreshwater continues groundwater governance work

Freshwater has begun a second phase of work to build capacity for groundwater governance in the Great Lakes region funded by the Joyce Foundation. The team will be following recommendations summarized in the report, Groundwater Governance, Well Cobbled?, which assessed the technical, legal and structural capacity of the six Great Lakes states and 35 federally recognized tribes in EPA Region 5.

The initial Phase 1 study showed that groundwater governance in the Great Lakes Region is in different stages of development and in need of better alignment to thoughtfully and sustainably manage aquifers and groundwater-surface water connections. In addition, there is an important need to amplify tribal government perspectives and advance indigenous leadership in groundwater governance.

Freshwater leads Great Lakes Protection Fund project in Minnesota and Michigan watersheds

Sunset paddle on Lake SuperiorFreshwater has been awarded $1.5 million from the Great Lakes Protection Fund for a 5-year effort to improve water quality in the Maumee, St. Louis and Saginaw River watersheds. The project team will use cause marketing to raise funds for permanently converting marginal cropland to perennial vegetation, thereby enhancing carbon storage and curbing nutrient runoff.

Working with local land trusts and watershed modeling experts, the team will identify croplands that would provide the greatest water quality benefits. This approach will be used to carefully select parcels, helping the land trusts build capacity and expertise in the process.

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