This 2017 study takes a look at the river from Lake Itasca to downtown Minneapolis, evaluating pollution, fish and other aquatic life.
- The study finds the Mississippi to be a largely healthy river in its northern reaches, owing largely to forested and wetland landscapes it flows through.
- It then acquires significant problems south of St. Cloud, where tributaries from agricultural and more developed landscapes begin to flow into the Mississippi.
Interactive access to data on pollutant loads for Minnesota’s rivers and streams: Maps and graphs for exploration and “Download” tabs for exporting tabular data.
The watershed approach is a ten-year rotation for addressing waters of the state on the level of Minnesota’s major watersheds. Since 2007, MPCA and its partners have been implementing this approach as recommended by the Clean Water Council and directed by the state Legislature.
Watersheds that feed the upper MississippiThese watersheds comprise all the land that drains water towards the upper Mississippi:
- Mississippi River – Headwaters
- Leech Lake River
- Crow Wing River
- Pine River
- Long Prairie River
- Mississippi River – Brainerd
- Mississippi River – Grand Rapids
- Redeye River
- Mississippi River – Sartell
- Mississippi River – St. Cloud
- Rum River
- Sauk River
- North Fork Crow River
- South Fork Crow River
- Mississippi River – Twin Cities