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Hiking (and floating) rivers for the state

flood waters

Our conservation specialist Tim Beaster is well into Year 2 of helping the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) assess conditions along impaired watersheds like Talmadge River and Kingsbury Creek. Tim spends four of five days each week in the field. Some days, that means arriving at dawn to test dissolved oxygen levels. Other days it involves kayaking! Read more on our Projects page.

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Studying how to engage the public

With 3,000 impaired waterways in this state, engaging active volunteers is crucial. In July, our conservation specialist Kate Kubiak began an 18-month training for environmental professionals in 'civic engagement'. Funded by MPCA using state Legacy funds, she is one of 20 who meet monthly for one- and two-day sessions led by U of M Extension educators. Read more on our Education page.

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Meet our summer intern - Alice!

Alice Yonke, our summer intern

Alice Yonke brings bright energy and talent to our office this summer as an apprentice with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota, which places paid interns with SWCDs across the state. Having just graduated from the U of M with a bachelor's of design in architecture, Alice sees important connections between designing for humans and for natural systems. She has been pleasantly surprised by the diversity of her work with us, including a wide range of site visits with our engineering staff. In turn, Alice wows us with her computer-aided drafting skills! Originally from Stevens Point, WI, Alice plans to stay in Duluth.

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Anniversary celebration a success!

photo from our 50th anniversary tour of project sites

In July, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a tour of local project sites and a catered reception! View anniversary celebration photos! About 40 people piled into vans for the tour, with Kate and R.C. answering questions about flood damage. Slides, speeches, awards and hors d'oeuvres followed at the reception, with board supervisor Dave Davis accepting the honor of receiving our anniversary plaque and cutting our anniversary cake. Mark your calendar now for our 60th!

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Flood projects moving ahead

We continue to help private landowners make use of the state funding for erosion control projects from the June 2012 floods. Having secured over $4 million for flood damage in South St. Louis County, we are engineering plans for the more complicated projects, coordinating with contractors, and issuing checks for work done. The work and disbursements, which will continue through 2014, should leave our waterways--and those living in them--better protected for the next deluge. Read more on our 2012 Flood page.

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