Mooneye, sturgeon and microplastics in trout

In the swiftly flowing waters of the St. Croix River, a federally endangered species of mussel called the spectaclecase shelters among boulders on patches of gravel and sand. It’s not easy to make babies when you’re spectaclecase. First, the male must release sperm into the river current, hopefully upstream of a lady mussel. If a…

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Like water flowing east

Clouds and mountains all tangled together up to the blue sky a rough road and deep woods without any travelers far away the lone moon a bright glistening white nearby a flock of birds sobbing like children one old man sitting alone   perched in these green mountains a small shack   the retired life   letting my…

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Using models to guide water restoration efforts

Jim Almendinger, Director of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, has spent nearly 30 years studying the connections between rain, runoff, land use, and water quality. We know that many of our favorite waterways have too much sediment and phosphorus. As a result, we see more algae blooms during the summer and fewer fish on…

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Celebrating 50 Years of flood prevention and water quality work in Valley Branch Watershed District

Much has changed since the Valley Branch Watershed District was established in 1968. At the time, development had just begun to boom in the eastern suburbs of St. Paul, with new neighborhoods springing up in Oakdale, Maplewood, and the Tri-Lakes area of Lake Elmo. Several years of rainy weather resulted in high lake levels and…

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Upcoming water workshops highlight new resources for teachers and hands-on lessons for kids

Dear Ms. Haydon and Hong: Thank you for the field trip. I think it was ok that we got lost but everyone makes mistakes. I learned a lot about nature and where the water flows and all about different waters and rivers and lakes. I hope you have a great time and have fun exploring…

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Lessons from a garden

Sometimes you think you have a really good idea, like planting vegetable gardens at your office. Full of enthusiasm, you put your family to work and spend an entire day tearing out sod, piecing together scrap lumber, and hauling in dirt. It is hard work but you feel proud. Then it is the next year,…

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Celebrating 50 years of Wild and Scenic River protections

Planned events include Spring Gathering, May 11; Namekagon Paddle, June 9-15; Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Aug. 25 The year was 1965, early in the environmental movement, and murmurs of concern from citizen groups around the country were just beginning to translate into protective legislation. An early version of the Clean Air Act had just…

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Saving Bayport’s Perro Creek + “Bike and Boat to Bayport” – May 12 at Lakeside Park

Tiny Perro Creek begins in Valley View Park, a hidden gem tucked between Phil and Tara’s Hideaway, the two Minnesota Correctional Facilities, and the Bayport Fire Department. From Perro Pond, the stream runs downhill 1.8 miles through the neighborhoods of Bayport until it eventually reaches the St. Croix River just north of Bayport Marina. Though…

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A Conservation Ethic Runs in the Family

Doug Schaffer remembers moving from Roseville to Demark Township in 1969 when he was 15 years old. It was a big change for a city kid. His parents, Kenneth and Margery, purchased 120 acres of farmland along the St. Croix River south of Afton State Park in an area dominated by rolling hills, farms, and…

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Tracing Lazy Circles in the Sand

Forty species of mussels live in the St. Croix, including five that are listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act: the Higgin’s eye, sheepnose, snuffbox, spectaclecase and winged mapleleaf.

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