Friends of the Minnesota Valley Membership
With a gift of $25 or more, you become a member of Friends of the Minnesota Valley and will receive up-to-date river valley news and information and invitations to special events.
Friends of the Minnesota Valley works within the Minnesota River Watershed to procure sound, science-based decisions that promote a healthy and sustainable River and Refuge. Our programs are designed to build and engage a volunteer grassroots citizen network to advocate for local decisions that are compatible with our goal of achieving a healthy and sustainable Refuge and River. We recognize the interconnectedness of a healthy Minnesota River and a healthy Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and we work with a variety of public and private partners throughout the watershed to help us achieve this goal. Our work focuses primarily within the Minnesota River Watershed and its six sub-watersheds. We recognize the interconnectedness of our work in the Minnesota River Watershed and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and work to integrate our goals and activities in these two areas.
River Watch works with high school science classes to collect water quality data across the Minnesota River Basin. The data is submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, allowing them to monitor the health of less studied waterways. River Watch is driven by 4 aims:
- Knowledge: Develop an understanding of the factors affecting water quality in general, and the Minnesota River Basin in particular.
- Practice: Collect water quality data at field testing sites to assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in monitoring the health of understudied waterways in MN River Basin.
- Investigation: Reflect on what the data can tell us about the overall health/quality of the waterway, identifying issues facing the water, as well as solutions to reduce pollutants.
- Stewardship/Community: Foster a sense of responsibility towards improving the health of the local water resources we all rely on for our wellbeing and survival.
Agricultural Drainage Initiative
The Friends of the Minnesota Valley are dedicated to protecting and improving the precious natural resources in the Minnesota River Watershed.
The main challenge facing the Minnesota River and its major tributaries is the wide fluctuations in peak water flows, exacerbated by increasingly frequent heavy rain events. Increased peak flows lead to greater bank erosion, and consequently reduced water quality due to higher levels of sediment and nutrients.
The focus of the Agricultural Drainage Initiative is to reduce peak water flows across the basin. By monitoring proposed agricultural drainage improvements that have the potential to increase water flow, the ADI can intervene to advocate for downstream stakeholders, and suggest alternatives for drainage, and water storage. In many cases the intervention has taken the form of seeking an official Environment Review being completed to assess the full effects of the project.