How did Minnesota melt 12,000 years ago?

The link at the bottom of this post will take you to a phenomenal article from the NY Times on researchers observing the melting of Greenland’s ice cap. You owe it to yourself to view it on a full-size monitor instead of squinting at your phone. Scrolling down and back up the article is worth … Read more

Freshwater Blog: Clean water funding 2016

Minnesota’s Clean Water Council recently announced their recommendations for how sales tax money dedicated to cleaning up and protecting water should be spent. The recommendations for 2016/2017 show a priority for on-the-ground  programs that will directly impact water quality. The Freshwater Society finds a lot to like in the Clean Water Council’s recommendations. Many of … Read more

Freshwater Blog: MN Board of Water and Soil Resources vacancies

The MN Board of Water and Soil Resources has multiple vacancies coming up. They are looking for people from the following backgrounds with an interest in soil and water issues: One Watershed District Representative, one Non‐Metro Elected City Official Representative, one County Commissioner Representative, and one Citizen Member. Appointments are made by the Governor’s office. … Read more

AP investigates ethanol boom

The Associated Press today released a major investigation on the environmental impact of America’s boom in corn-based ethanol. The report details increased pollution of streams from nitrogen fertilizers and increased production of greenhouse gases from the conversion of grasslands to row crop agriculture. Last year, 44 percent of the nation’s corn crop was used for … Read more

Chesapeake clean-up planned

Officials of six states and the District of Columbia whose waters flow into the pollution-damaged Chesapeake Bay are working on a bay clean-up plan they expect to complete this fall. The agreement, according to partial draft released this month, would include specific numeric targets for restoring wetlands and protecting and restoring populations of fish, shell … Read more

New USGS report on streams

A new U.S. Geological Survey report on the water quality of rivers and streams across the country describes damage caused by reductions in flows and increased pollution from fertilizers and pesticides. The report, based on research conducted between 1993 and 2005, examines changes in algae, macroinvertebrates and fish. Stream health was reduced at the vast … Read more

Cover crops work, users say

Cover crops – typically grasses sowed into corn and soybean fields after the fall harvest – could reduce nitrogen losses to Minnesota streams and rivers by 10 percent if the cover crops were widely adopted by farmers across the state, a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report estimated in late June. Read an report on … Read more

Major report documents extent of Minnesota nitrate pollution

Nitrate  – much of it from fertilizers applied to farmland – pollutes many Minnesota rivers and streams and contributes to the oxygen-depleted “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, a new report from the state’s Pollution Control Agency concludes. Excess nitrate is toxic to fish and the aquatic life food chain and potentially harmful to … Read more

Chemicals taint Minnesota lakes, rivers

Two new studies released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency confirm that a wide variety of unregulated chemicals – from insect repellants to cocaine and prescription medicines — are ending up in Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Some of the chemicals can interfere with the functioning of hormones in animals and people. “What these studies really … Read more