All Projects

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Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Through various means, human produced chemicals can make their way into surface waters where they can have adverse effects on the function of ecological communities. Of particular concern are antibiotics and other antimicrobial substances because they have the potential to create increased antibiotic resistance. While there is a background level of naturally occurring antibiotic resistance in the natural world, elevated or persistent levels caused by human activities have the potential to harm human, animal, and overall ecosystem health.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$260,000

Over a three-month period in 2010, approximately five million barrels of oil was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico causing extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and resulting in significant losses in fish and wildlife populations. A number of Minnesota's migratory bird species spend parts of their lives in the areas impacted by the spill and impacts on their populations in the state could become evident over time.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$175,000

There is a critical need to understand how our natural resources are already responding to climate change in order to develop tools for projecting natural resource responses into the future and to devise plans for actions that can be taken in reaction to observed and predicted changes. Phenology – the timing of seasonal biological events such as budburst, flowering, bird migration, and leaf coloring – provides a tested indicator of climate change response by plants and animals.

Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$447,000

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive insect that has been decimating ash trees throughout the Great Lake states and is currently advancing into Minnesota where it threatens the nearly 1 billion ash trees that occur throughout the state - the second most in any state. Loss of these trees would devastate ecosystems throughout Minnesota and have major economic impacts for the forest products industry as well as through the costs associated with treatment, removal, and replacement of lost trees.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$854,000

Invasive carp species, including silver carp and bighead carp, are migrating north up the Mississippi River and pose threats to the native fish and aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota rivers and lakes where they can become established. While individual carp have been found in Minnesota, it is not presently believed that there are established breeding populations in the state.

Recipient
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$743,000

Most mercury in Minnesota waters is deposited from the atmosphere as a byproduct of burning coal and other compounds. Once in the environment, mercury can convert to a form called methylmercury where it bioaccumulates up the food chain from microscopic plants and animals to fish and then to humans and wildlife that consume the fish. The first step in solving the problem of mercury in fish is reducing the sources of mercury entering waters.

Recipient
University of St. Thomas
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$136,000

Endocrine-disrupting contaminants such as environmental estrogens have been found and studied in large lakes and streams and shown to exist at concentrations that have adverse effects on wildlife. However, very little is known about the sources and effects of environmental estrogens in small, shallow lakes. Preliminary data suggests that these compounds are present in shallow lakes and have an effect on the survival and reproduction of wildlife. Researchers at the University of St.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$245,000

With only 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remaining, many prairie plant and animal species have dramatically declined. Of the 12 butterfly species native to Minnesota prairies, two species, the Poweshiek skipperling and the Dakota skipper, have already largely disappeared from the state and are proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act despite being historically among the most common prairie butterflies and having their historic ranges concentrated in Minnesota.

Recipient
Minnesota Zoological Garden
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$380,000

With only 1% of Minnesota’s native prairie remaining, many prairie plant and animal species have dramatically declined. Of the 12 butterfly species native to Minnesota prairies, two species, the Poweshiek skipperling and the Dakota skipper, have already largely disappeared from the state and are proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act despite being historically among the most common prairie butterflies and having their historic ranges concentrated in Minnesota.

Recipient
Pheasants Forever Inc
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$100,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Moose, one of Minnesota's prized wildlife species, are dying at much higher rates in Minnesota than elsewhere in North America. Recently observed increases in mortality rates amongst some moose in northeastern Minnesota have led to concern that the population there may be entering a decline like that seen in the northwestern part of the state, where moose populations fell from over 4,000 to fewer than 100 in less than 20 years. Additionally the specific causes of increased mortality amongst individual moose remain under investigation.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$175,000

Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.

Recipient
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$75,000

Native to the western United States and Canada, mountain pine beetle is considered the most devastating forest insect in North America. Trees usually die as a result of infestation and an unprecedented outbreak in the west is currently decimating pine forests there. While mountain pine beetle is not presently believed to reside in Minnesota, there are risks posed by an expanding species range resulting from warming climate and the potential for accidental introduction via lumber imports from infested areas.

Recipient
Board of Water and Soil Resources
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$335,000

Northern white cedar wetland plant communities provide unique ecological, economic, and wetland functions, including high value timber, long-term carbon storage, winter refuge for deer and other wildlife, wildlife habitat, and thermal buffering for brook trout streams. However, these plant communities have been declining in Minnesota for decades mostly as a result of development impacts. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is using this appropriation to continue efforts aimed at improving the quantity and quality of white cedar wetland plant communities in Minnesota.

Recipient
Red River Basin Commission
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$219,000

Aquatic invasive species are a threat to the ecology and the recreational and economic viability of Minnesota’s water resources. When an invasion is confined to a distinct lake or wetland, local government units will implement localized plans to address invasions. However, when a water body crosses jurisdictions, such as with river systems, to be effective a more coordinated, regional approach is necessary that is more attuned with the natural pathways for invasive species.

Recipient
U of MN - Landscape Arboretum
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$615,000

Pollinators play a key role in ecosystem function and in agriculture, including thousands of native plants and more than one hundred U.S. crops that either need or benefit from pollinators. However, pollinators are in dramatic decline in Minnesota and throughout the country. The causes of the decline are not completely understood, but identified factors include loss of nesting sites, fewer flowers, increased disease, and increased pesticide use. Developing an aware, informed citizenry that understands this issue is one key to finding and implementing solutions to counteract these factors.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$600,000

Healthy prairies contribute numerous benefits, such as providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators, maintaining and improving water quality, stabilizing roadsides, and providing a sustainable source of materials for bioenergy production and other products. Since European settlement the once vast expanses of Minnesota prairie covering 18 million acres have been reduced to small remnants totaling about 235,000 acres. With this decline has also come a drastic reduction in the genetic diversity of the various species typical of Minnesota prairies.

Recipient
Friends of the Mississippi River
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$200,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$250,000

Sandhill cranes have expanded their range in Minnesota and elsewhere and as populations have expanded several states, including Minnesota, have initiated sandhill crane hunting seasons and other states are considering doing the same. Partially this is in response to increasing complaints of crop degradation by sandhill cranes.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$2,540,000

Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state’s ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, and other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.

Recipient
Washington County
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,250,000

The St. Croix River is one of the most pristine, large river ecosystems remaining in the upper Mississippi River System. Washington County, in partnership with the City of Stillwater, is using this appropriation to acquire 15 acres containing 3,500 feet of St. Croix River shoreline just north of downtown Stillwater and parallel to the Brown’s Creek State Trail. The land will be turned into a local nature park for trail users, river users, tourists, and area residents with passive recreation including fishing, boat launching, walking, and picnicking.

Recipient
U of MN
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$326,000

A class of insecticides known as systemic neonicotinyl insecticides has been identified as a potential factor in recently observed declines in pollinators, including the phenomenon amongst honeybees known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Previous research examining the effects of neonicotinyl insecticides on lab colonies of bumblebees found that exposure to these insecticides at various levels increased queen bee mortality and detrimentally altered bee behavior and production.

Recipient
Great River Greening
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$300,000

Though many parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area are urbanized, there are also has large areas of natural lands that continue to serve as important habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities. However, pressure on these remaining lands continues to intensify as population and development pressures increase.

Recipient
MN DNR
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$370,000

Wild bees are important for their pollination services and for their contribution to species diversity; for example, many prairie-grassland plant species require pollinators for seed production. However, while the importance of plant-pollinator interactions is well recognized, there are large gaps in our knowledge of Minnesota’s wild bees. The only statewide list of bee species was published in 1919 and it reported only 88 species, whereas it is currently estimated that there are approximately 350-400 native bee species in the state.