St. Croix River impairment underscores need for continued work

Three weeks ago, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced its intention to declare a stretch of the St. Croix River from Taylor’s Falls to Stillwater impaired due to excess phosphorus. In the wake of this news, many local residents have asked who is to blame and what can be done to restore our treasured…

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Salting the Earth

Dec. 2 presentation will highlight impacts of road salt on local water resources When the City of Carthage fell at the end of the Third Punic War, 146 BC, victorious Romans pulled Phoenecian ships out of the harbor and set them on fire before moving through the city, house to house, rounding up and selling…

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Surprising sources of mercury in Minnesota lakes

DEAR WATERSHED EXPERT: What is the leading cause of water pollution in Minnesota? DEAR WONDERING WATER-LOVER: You might be surprised to learn that mercury from the air is, by far, the leading source of pollution in our lakes and rivers. Ninety-nine percent of the mercury in our lakes and rivers comes from atmospheric deposition. This…

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Underground and out of mind?

November 13 workshop will address septic systems, private wells, and other groundwater topics Nearly 140 years ago, Minneapolis first began pumping from the Mississippi River to provide drinking water for the city’s growing population. At the time, the river was a dumping ground for human sewage, garbage, and carcasses from the local slaughterhouses. Thousands of…

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Lending a helping hand to Afton’s Trout Brook

South Washington Watershed District partners with Great River Greening and Vail Resorts A coldwater stream flows through the hills of Afton Alps and Afton State Park, bringing life to a valley in the woods. Over the past 150 years, Trout Brook has weathered the rise and fall of logging in region, decades of farming, and…

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Big change for a little lake

Watershed tour highlights projects on Shields Lake Once upon a time, a handsome prince ruled over the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within his family’s estates, Prince Schwarzenberg had elegant palaces, imposing castles, and 20,000 acres of carp ponds. The hardy fish were a symbol of opulent wealth and provided a steady source of delicious, nourishing food…

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A drop in the bucket

The children gathered round, watching in anticipation as Lauren Haydon, an educator with the Washington Conservation District, slowly poured water from a graduated cylinder into smaller and smaller vessels. “Only 3% of all of the water on earth is freshwater,” she explained as she poured. “And of that amount, two-thirds is trapped in glaciers.” She…

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Brown’s Creek Watershed District sets it sights on 2020

Community festival on Saturday, Sept. 14, 10am-1pm at Brown’s Creek Park in Stillwater On Wednesday, Sept. 11, Brown’s Creek Watershed District (BCWD) held a public meeting to review the district’s proposed 2020 budget and levy. The watershed district manages water resources within 30 square miles of Stillwater and surrounding communities, including Brown’s Creek, Long Lake,…

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Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District celebrates 20 years of water protection

Early conflict led to collaborative, science-based watershed management today It all began with a big box store. The year was 1994, and business in Forest Lake was booming. When construction began on a Walmart store near I35 and Broadway Ave., however, residents six miles north on Comfort Lake noticed a dramatic change.  At the time,…

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Marine residents rally to restore neighborhood stream

It was the weekend after 4th of July and five neighbors in Marine on St. Croix were ready to work. Armed with 1500 native plants, 2000 popsicle sticks, and a cheerful group of friends, family and children, the group tromped into the soggy wild behind their homes and began working to restore a small stream…

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