Presentations and Documents
The Mississippi River: Water Quality Trends over 30 Years
David VanderMeulen and Brenda Moraska Lafrancois, National Park Service
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area protects a prominent and highly developed stretch of the Mississippi River within the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Water quality within the park is affected by point and nonpoint source pollutants, and is a high priority management concern for park staff, partners, and stakeholders. This presentation analyzed water quality trends in the park over three decades using long-term (1976-2005) monitoring data from the Metropolitan Council.
Mr. VanderMeulen and Dr. Moraska Lafrancois's presentation (PDF, 1.9 mb)
Ecosystem Service Payments: Conservation Marketplace of Minnesota
Susan Carlin, Minnesota River Board
Ecosystem services are quantifiable "nature's benefits" that are recognized by society: clean water, flood control, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Conservation Marketplace of Minnesota (CMM), created in 2008, oversees voluntary ecosystem market transactions. CMM is a collaboration of conservation professionals providing technical and administrative services for emerging environmental markets, and is currently connecting buyers and sellers of ecosystem service credits in three watersheds: the Greater Blue Earth River, the Middle/Lower Minnesota River, and the Sauk River. CMM promotes the benefits of best management practices on vulnerable lands for improved water and soil conditions. This presentation summarized what CMM is doing in watersheds around the state.
Ms. Carlin's presentation (PDF, 7.05mb)
Trapped by History? Where do we go from Here?
John O. Anfinson, National Park Service
Since the early settlers raised the first feeble levees, since the Corps of Engineers first placed navigation structures in the Mississippi River, and since biologists first seeded the river's floodplains with species more amenable to human needs, the natural river has become increasingly an artifact. Each action has required reactions that define each subsequent move. Regardless of its purpose, has each action raised a bar that now forms a hydraulic trap from which the river cannot escape? This presentation asked whether our efforts at ecosystem restoration are so constrained by what has been handed down that they have little chance of truly making a meaningful difference.
Dr. Anfinson's presentation (PDF, 4.23 mb)