University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Common Ground, Preserving Our Nation’s Heritage
Places of Conscience / Places of Commemoration (2007)

Common Ground cover

From the introduction by Mary A. Bomar, 17th Director of the National Park Service “If you look at the headlines you still see there are groups who do feel that the Park Service is not telling the full story of our history. So in January of 2006, during a joint meeting of the National Leadership Council and the National Park System Advisory Board, we convened a forum to hear top scholars in the nation tell the leadership of the Park Service what we had done right-and where we still had room for improvement.”

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Mississippi River Gorge Restoration Study:
Synthesis of past work and feasibility assessment of restoration actions, by Chris Lenhart (2012)

Gorge Report Cover

“The Twin Cities reach of the Mississippi River has historically been dominated by commercial navigation and hydropower. Yet with increasing recreational usage and evolving economic priorities in the Twin Cities there is growing interest in recreational, aesthetic and ecological uses of the river, particularly within the area known as the Gorge (between St. Anthony Falls and Ford Dam). The City of Minneapolis’ “Above the Falls Master Plan” proposed closing the upper harbor to barge traffic, creating opportunity for restoration of ecological, historic, aesthetic and recreational features. The University of Minnesota working with government agency and non profit partners: the National Park Service, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Great River Greening, the Minnesota DNR and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, conducted an assessment of existing restoration and management work and a preliminary investigation into the feasibility of restoration and management actions.”

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State of the River Report:
Water Quality and River Health in the Metro Mississippi River (2012)


Friends of the Mississippi River and the National Park Service partnered to develop the “State of the River Report” to detail water quality and river health of the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River.”

“The Mississippi River is a large and complex natural system, with many factors affecting its overall health and vitality. While the river’s water quality and ecological health have improved over time, it is also facing some distressing trends and challenges moving forward.”

“The State of the River Report highlights 13 key indicators of river health, and details the results in way that non-scientists can understand. The report provides a current snapshot, as well as history and trends, of factors affecting the health of the river and solutions to help protect and improve the metro portion of the Mississippi River.”

“By presenting clear and concise information on important factors of water quality and river health, the State of the River Report offers readers the opportunity to learn more about this resource and contribute to its protection and restoration.”

Visit Web Site: State of the River

Download PDF: State of the River Report: Water Quality and River Health in the Metro Mississippi River

Contact Us!
Send us a note at to make suggestions for other places we should look, media to track, and stories to tell!
River Life in Video
Come Along for a Water Walk with Kare11 and River Life, and see Gifts at Work: The Mississippi River by the University of Minnesota Foundation
Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi
A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.