Green Visions

Carrie Chesnik/Rights of Mississippi River

It was supposed to be a chance for scientists, Indigenous organizers and leaders, and a broad swath of regional decision-makers at all levels to come together and see first-hand what the drought is doing to the lakes and rivers in northern Minnesota.

At issue is Enbridge's recent request to take almost five billion gallons of water as they work their way across the state with the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.

And with the most widespread drought areas in the state in eight years, those five billion gallons are looking more and more significant.

Then, in the middle of the tour, attendees came across a group of Enbridge employees working to clean up a frac-out - a spill of drilling fluid - in a wetland.

The folks concerned about rezoning a chunk of land off Vassar Street in the Woodland neighborhood aren't opposed to more housing going up;  they just aren't sure right above the Amity Creek watershed is the right place for it.

Fabrice Florin/Flickr

There's nothing quite like the energy of young people these days.

Whether fueled by passion, anger, or love of the planet, they're fired up, tech-savvy and not afraid to use their powers for good.

St Louis River Alliance/Facebook

The St. Louis River isn't going to take a back seat to Lake Superior any longer.

There's no better proof of the years of successful cleanup efforts than its newest accolade: Minnesota's newest National Water Trail.

Giniw Collective/Facebook

Monday's decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals to uphold the PUC's approval of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline came as a blow to environmental activists like Winona LaDuke, who only three days before had joined a press call with other activists to celebrate the abandonment of the Keystone XL pipeline.

But when asked when enough is enough, if there is a point where she will give up, LaDuke says, "I'm in it 'till the end."

©Kevin Stanke. Used with permission.

Duluth is surrounded by beautiful parks, and after a year or more of staying home, we're all ready to get outside.

But for some folks, the yearly state park pass or even the day permit isn't in the budget.

The solution?  Head to the Duluth Public Library, present your library card and check out a free pass to a state park - any state park - for up to a week.

More information about the MN State Parks Library Program is available here:

Ecolibrium 3

Ecolibrium3 is at it again.

Lincoln Park's sustainiability and revitalization hub plans to welcome an expanded cohort of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteers in August to serve 26 non-profit and public agencies all across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began to dredge contaminated sediment out of Howards Bay in Superior, Wisconsin.

© June Brenneman/NRRI

Alexis Grinde thinks she has the best job in the world.

And if you love birds, being paid to study them and talk to people about them isn't a bag gig at all.

There's good news to report, including fewer species with the plummeting numbers we saw back in the day with eagle and other raptor populations being ravaged by DDT.  But the slow decline of many other species means bird lovers need to act now.

Rob Levine/Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

The Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to  rescind PolyMet's permit to mine in essence, returned both mining and environmental advocates to their respective corners - but both are claiming victory.

PolyMet is hoping they can avoid hearings on the "upstream" mine waste dam and its majority owner, Glencore.

But environmentalists, who have found problems with additional project permits since 2018 are hoping this is a good place to stop, reassess and ask the hard question: Can this project move ahead legally at all?

Michael Milligan/US EPA

No stops in Duluth for the Research Vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian this year, but they're anything but out of touch.

The April mission to sample water and biological organisms in all five Great Lakes left Milwaukee April 1, and the 11 scientists aboard have been working 12 hour shifts to collect samples and data.

Dr. Ben Santer's life changed that day he got a phone call from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), asking him to be the lead author of a chapter on the causes of climate change for the 1995 Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The world changed the day these words were published: “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.”

Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

No one's particularly surprised to discover a big corporation or entity is lying to the public.

Actually, we kind of expect it.

But Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is blowing past that kind of defeatism by filing suit last summer against Big Oil, charging they knew in the '60s about climate change, deliberately lied to Minnesotans about it, and made about $775 billion dollars in the process.

The fossil fuel companies had hoped to move their case to federal court, asserting that it was a suit about climate change and most appropriately tried there.

Barb Barton/Flickr

It's not that people ignore news stories about climate change ... it's just that the information seems to really sink in when folks hear someone talk about how the climate crisis is affecting them.

So to that end, environmental activist Tone Lanzillo is coming up with ways for people to tell their stories - and there's even a newsletter and a podcast in the mix.

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