Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Minnsota River Basin: MPCA Report

Image result for minnesota riverEnvironmental & Science Education
Water & Watersheds
Edward Hessler

Earlier I posted a story I recommended by Ron Way about the mighty Minnesota River, from past to present with a hint of the future.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)  just published a report on studies of the Minnesota River Basin (10 million acres) which includes 13 major tributaries.  The purpose of the report is "to bridge the gap between research and public understanding...on sediment clouding the Minnesota River. The MPCA also released studies on water quality problems and strategies to improve it for the Watonwan River watershed, Minnesota River-Mankato watershed, and Lower Minnesota River watershed."

The report notes that "scientists know a lot" (but that) "the Minnesota River is almost invisible to most Minnesotans. When we do look, often it's just a fleeting glance from a highway bridge over a brown, muddy-looking river."

Let this recommendation from the report sink in: there is a need for a 50% reduction in sediments going into the Minnesota River and the Blue Earth River.  Just think what this represents in terms of changes and challenges.

The MPCA has created a very viewer friendly display of the report with small boxes of text over stunning photographs and informative maps.  And, of course, there is access to the technical reports if you are interested.

Near the end of the report is a striking photograph of 4 water samples: drinkable, the goal, the average, and the extreme. 

The MPCA is seeking public input until September 20 (there is a comment form).

Here is the access to the MPCA report, a great article about it by Tim Krohn from the Mankato Free Press (7/22/2019), and a Mankato Free Press editorial on the report.

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