The Mississippi River is an irreplaceable recreational & natural resource. With your help, FOP2 is working hard to protect it.
Your River. Your Voice. Friends of Pool 2 - Who Are We?
Friends of Pool 2 (FOP2) is a local Twin Cities area non-profit made up of people like you. Our members enjoy boating, fishing, hunting, water sports, camping, and observing wildlife on the Mississippi River. Together with river-related and waterfront business people and property owners, we all collaborate to preserve, restore, and enhance the quality of the recreational river experience within Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. Pool 2 extends from Lock & Dam #2, near Hastings, upstream to Lock & Dam #1 (also called the Ford Dam) between St. Paul and Minneapolis. The pool starts at river mile 815 and ends at river mile 848 and Minnesota River Mile 14.7.
Every dollar you donate to us directly supports our river-related programs and initiatives.
Here are a few of our successful projects:
- In fall of 2022 and spring of 2023, we successfully completed a campaign called "Kids Reach the River", which offered free fishing clinics to local Pool 2 students under the age of 16. They received hands-on instruction in river fishing techniques, fish species identification, knot tying, casting practice, water quality testing, and water safety. We distributed to each of the 60 participants a free rod, reel, line, and starter tackle box. This project was supported in part by a No Child Left Inside grant administered by the MN DNR.
- In summer and fall of 2020, we collaborated with North 119 Productions and the Washington County Sheriff's Office to create a series of (5) fun and educational river safety videos. This initiative was financially supported, in part, by the "1 Mississippi" campaign of the Mississippi River Network. These creative videos can be viewed on YouTube at this link: https://tinyurl.com/yyyecduh
- In spring/summer of 2019, we kicked off a river cleanup "Between the Banks" initiative, which included the distribution of boat trash buckets and fishing nets for scooping up floating bits of litter. The reusable buckets and nets were given free of charge to boaters for their continuous use. This initiative was financially supported, in part, by the "1 Mississippi" campaign of the Mississippi River Network.
- In spring of 2018, Friends of Pool 2 hosted a Letter Writing Campaign and an Annual Meeting featuring three informative guest speakers who were all subject matter experts on the issues of excess sediment in our river system. These projects were financially supported, in part, by the "1 Mississippi" campaign of the Mississippi River Network.
- In 2015, Friends of Pool 2 received a second grant from the Sea Tow Foundation to install & maintain a total of (5) life-jacket loaner stations in Pool 2, located at River Heights Marina, at the public boat launch under the 494 Bridge in South St. Paul, at the St. Paul Yacht Club gas dock in the Upper Harbor of Harriet Island, at Lions Levee Park in St. Paul Park, and at Lilydale Pool & Yacht Club.
- In 2014, FOP2 hosted a well-attended Round Table discussion with representatives of governmental and non-governmental agencies and legislators participating, at which we planned strategies for our next steps in slowing the advance of invasive Asian carp species in Minnesota.
- In 2013, we partnered with students from the School of Environmental Studies on their senior project documenting erosion issues at the Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area.
In 2012, we co-sponsored a floating educational workshop on issues confronting Pool 2 of the Mississippi, including the advance of invasive Asian carp species, channel realignment, water level management, island building, and impacts on recreation and habitat.
- Our public education & outreach efforts have included booths at the Minneapolis Boat Show, the Great River Gathering in St. Paul, the Eco-Arts Festival on Harriet Island, and various events in river communities, all staffed by our members/volunteers.
- We promote safe, courteous use of the river and strive to educate recreational users regarding river rules, etiquette and safety.
- We encourage respect for the river and its environs, cultivating a ‘leave it cleaner than you found it’ ideology.
Visit our website at www.friendsofpool2.org to see our guide to river boating technique, safety and etiquette.
And WITH YOUR HELP, here are a few things we're planning for the future:
- Develop additional boating and river safety education programs for children and adults who recreate in Pool 2 of the Mississippi.
Expand and maintain our system of life jacket loaner stations in Pool 2.
- Support hydrological surveys of the river channel(s) that will provide baseline data and give us the ability to document changes over time.
Help us advocate for the river.