ST. CLOUD - The Mississippi River is healthier than it was 40 years ago - but there are still concerns, and improvements to be made.

That's the word from the "State of the River Report," presented Friday morning in a public forum at St. Cloud City Hall.

The National Park Service, in partnership with organization "Friends of the Mississippi River," wrote the report, and say the data was collected from tests done in the Twin Cities metro area.

Regardless, NPS Water Quality Coordinator and co-presenter Lark Weller says much of the data relates to trends in our section of the river, too.

Weller says there have been upticks in bald eagle, mussel and fish populations, which point to strong progress in water restoration efforts. Still, some looming concerns include nitrate runoff, which comes largely from agriculture, and the migration of invasive species like Asian carp.

As for swimming? Friends of the Mississippi's Trevor Russell says, yes, you can jump in the St. Cloud area Mississippi - just make sure you rinse off well afterward.

You can find out more, and read the user-friendly report, by visiting the State of the River Report's website.