The muddy Minnesota River comes back to life

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2012 - 8:59 PM

A decade-long cleanup effort has cut phosphorous levels, making the river healthier for fish and plants.

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bettyishereNov. 12, 1211:40 AM

This is really good news. Now, move upriver and try to clean up the source of the river, Big Stone Lake. It's in dire need of help. Those Big Stone County Commissioners are variance happy. Septic system too close, no problem. Lake shore buyers want the “lake life”, but then they build and destroy the very thing they came to the lake to have, which is clean water to recreate in & abundant wildlife.

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swarusNov. 12, 1211:47 AM

Good news for the asian carp which are sure to enter the Minnesota soon.

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minn8918Nov. 12, 1211:59 AM

And this started during the term of what governor? OMG...the liberals have to be fretting over this. Some good news about the environment and the GOP was involved? Oh well, I'm sure the libs will take credit for this one somehow.

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bosshogNov. 12, 1212:24 PM

It started under Governor Arne Carlson who I think everyone would agree is nothing like the Republicans are today (as can be seen by his opinion pieces in the StarTribune itself).

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pondguyNov. 12, 1212:57 PM

Sounds like major progress being made to cut Point-sources of pollution. But, most of that work should have been done with the clean water act. right? Where the treatment plants not up to code(of their effluent)? are there new standards now? ANd what about the agriculture in the minnesota valley, isn't that where most of the nutrients are coming from? At least thats where the particulate load comes from

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mouthwashNov. 12, 12 1:11 PM

Face it. Minnesota is a cold desert plain environment. As such, many bodies of water yokels consider "lakes" or "rivers" (such as White Bear Lake or the Minnesota River) more resemble desert arroyos in the Southwest USA than actual rivers or lakes.

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bigj111Nov. 12, 12 1:11 PM

"ANd what about the agriculture in the minnesota valley, isn't that where most of the nutrients are coming from?"----Not as much as most people believe. While precision agriculture technology has dramatically cut the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used on a per acre basis, the larger problem is/was residential lawns and golf courses. It is not a coincidence that the phosphorus levels dropped when the metro area banned phosphorus from lawn fertilizers. Farmers still apply phosphorus, where/when needed....which isn't very often.

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pondguyNov. 12, 12 2:06 PM

According the MPCA and a study done by Mankato State U. "78 percent of the Minnesota River basin is agricultural farming" while 22 percent is urban, forest, and grassland. These farmlands drain approximently 8 million acres. Have you ever looked at an aerial photograph of where the Minnesota enters the Mississippi? It is turbid! That dirt ain't coming off your front lawn. This water is speeding off the bare soil (tilled soil) picking up dirt and other suspended/disovled particles. And since most of that farmland is tiled-drained, the surge of water during storm events is large further causing stream bank erosoion and moving more sediment.

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bigj111Nov. 12, 12 3:13 PM

pondguy: "78 percent of the Minnesota River basin is agricultural farming" while 22 percent is urban, forest, and grassland"------sure it is, but that is simply classification of the land mass tributary to the waterway. The study simply notes that 78% of the land is agricultural in nature, and 22% urban. It does NOT say that 78% of the contamination is coming from the ag acreage. Important difference.

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lizardguyNov. 12, 12 5:57 PM

It will never be clean enough for the extreme left that thinks mankind should be eliminated and the animals live free.

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