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Are you a frequent visitor to LakeSuperiorStreams?

Here's where we highlight pages that are new or that have undergone major revisions in the past few months, and relay the latest news involving LakeSuperiorStreams.org and Regional Stormwater Protection Team activities.

Winter 2018

Use de-icing salt sparingy to protect Minnesota Waters

As the first snow of the season arrives, Minnesotans start thinking about clearing snow and ice from pavement - sometimes with salt.

It only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water. There's no feasible way to remove chloride once it gets into the water, and we are finding increasing amounts of chloride in waters around the state.

Salt will effectively remove snow and ice if it's scattered so the salt grains are about three inches apart.

SaltSmart Sticker

Additional tips for limiting salt use:

  • Shovel. The more snow and ice you remove manually, the less salt you’ll have to use and the more effective it can be.
  • 15oF and below is too cold for salt. Most salts stop working at this temperature. Use sand instead for traction, but remember that sand does not melt ice.
  • Slow down. Drive for the conditions and make sure to give plow drivers plenty of space to do their work. Consider purchasing winter (snow) tires.
  • Hire a certified Smart Salting contractor. Visit the MPCA's Smart Salting webpage for a list of winter maintenance professionals specifically trained in limiting salt use.
  • Watch a video. Produced by the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, it offers tools for environmentally friendly snow and ice removal.
  • Promote smart salting. Work together with local government, businesses, schools, churches, and nonprofits to advocate for reducing salt use in your community.

Learn more on the MPCA's Chloride webpage.

Fall 2018

Do you use felt-soled waders?

There is a growing concern felt-soled waders act as pathway of spread for aquatic invasive species. Trout streams and waters throughout the state are at risk.

Felt soles allow for a refuge and mode of transport for numerous invasive animals, plants and pathogens.

MN DNR has additional information on how you can prevent the spread of invasive species with your waders. Click here to learn more.

Fall 2018

New Video on the Great Lakes Legacy Act Cost-Share Program

"A Seat at the Table: Great Lakes Legacy Act" is a new video that explains what it means to be a cost-share partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Great Lakes Legacy Act.  The video features interview with partners to describe the benefits and challenges of cost-share partnering, examples of in-kind services, and the flexibility of partnerships.

The GLLA is a component of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that addresses sediment remediation and habitat restoration in Great Lakes Areas of Concern.  Contaminated sediment—caused by toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil and other pollutants—can be a serious problem for communities struggling to revitalize their waterfronts and boost their economies.

Since 2002, the EPA has partnered with 57 entities under the GLLA to study, design and execute sediment cleanups across the Great Lakes basin.  Over 4 million cubic yards of sediment have been remediated, removing threats to public health, creating vibrant environments for fish and wildlife, and giving coastal communities usable waterfronts.

Interested in becoming a partner?  You can find more information on partnerships at www.greatlakesmud.org/partnership.

Oct 30, 2018

Workshop: Preparing Urban Green Spaces in the Lake Superior Watershed for Climate Change

Join local experts and managers of urban green spaces for a workshop on developing and implementing management actions to respond to climate change.

The morning will focus on providing information on the effects of climate change in the Lake Superior region and its urban green spaces. The afternoon will be a hands-on work session to identify actions for incorporating climate adaptation into real-world projects.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium

3 Marina Drive, Superior, WI 54880

Learn more and registere here

Sept 21, 2018

Public Hearing on Triennial Standards Review

Every three years, the DNR reviews Wisconsin's water quality standards or related guidance for development and revision as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

This review helps DNR staff focus efforts to integrate the latest science, technology and federal requirements into how the state regulates water quality.

Friday, September 21, 2018

10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

DNR's Madison Office

101 S. Webster St., Madison WI

Room G27

-or join online through a webinar-

Stakeholders are invited to comment on WI DNR's draft priority list from August 28 to October 5, 2018. The draft report of the 2018-2020 TSR priorities, which includes the list and topic descriptions, is available here.

Summer 2018

Results of survey by IJC's Great Lakes Water Quality Board

Second binational poll reaffirms Citizens Feel Great Lakes Protection is Critical!

88% of respondents to the poll believe protecting the Great Lakes is important. And, 55% are willing to pay more for consumer products as a result of increased regulations or enforcements to ensure the lakes are restored and protected.

Read more here.

Summer 2018

Animation of Husky Refinery Explosion and Fire

Animation of the April 26, 2018 fire and explosion at the Husky Refinery in Superior, WI.

YouTube link

Spring 2018

What's a Vernal Pool?

Vernal pools are seasonal wetlands that provide essential habitat for wildlife, serving as the primary breeding ground for several species of amphibians and invertebrates, and important foraging habitat for many reptiles, mammals and birds.

Despite being an overlooked habitat type, vernal pools are abundant - it is estimated that more than 250,000 are located statewide!

Read more about what makes vernal pools so special, and how to manage them if you have them on your property.

April, 2018

Park Point Beach, spring storm videoStorm Video

Watch a video of the spring storm at Park Point Beach.

This dramatic time-lapse video shows the effect of the April storm on the ice that was piled up on the beach.

April 27-30, 2018

City Nature Challenge

The CNC began in 2016 as a friendly competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco to see which city could "find the most nature," and it has since expanded to over 60 cities.

Last year, the Lake Superior Regional Citizen Science Collaborative hosted an event at Hartley Nature Center. This year's event will be April 27-30, 2018.

Learn more by contacting Marte Kitson at MN Sea Grant mkitson@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8305

April 25, 2018

Public Meeting - Barker's Island Beach Restoration Project

The Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, along with AMI Engineering, will hold a public meeting.

There will be a presentation, discussion and an opportunity to ask questions about the Barker's Island Beach Restoration Project.

Wednesday, April 25th

5 - 6 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium (on Barker's Island) 3 Marina Drive, Superior, WI

Learn more about the restoration project here.

April 22, 2018

Earth Day Beach Clean Up at Park Point

Join Spirit of the Lake Community School students and families as we celebrate our lake by taking care of our Park Point beach from 3:00-4:00 on Earth Day! Meet us at the Pavillion near the boat playground at the end of the Point. 

Stay to play after the cleanup and pack a zero-waste picnic to eat with us at the pavilion from 4:00-5:00. No single-use plastic, please.


We will have work gloves and cleanup supplies. Closed-toe shoes/boots are recommended - and remember to stay on the paths to avoid poison ivy.

This event is coordinated by Spirit of the Lake Community School, in cooperation with the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach Program, which works to keep Great Lakes shorelines healthy, safe, and beautiful.

All are welcome! See you on the beach!

April 18, 2018

DNR Seeks Comments on Kingsbury-Grassy Point Habitat Restoration Project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments through April 18 on an environmental assessment worksheet for the Kingsbury-Grassy Point Habitat Restoration Project, located in Highland Township in St. Louis County.

The DNR proposes to mitigate contaminated sediments, legacy wood waste and excessive sedimentation to restore 240 acres of fish and wildlife habitat within a part of the St. Louis River Area of Concern.

A copy of the EAW is available on the Kingsbury-Grassy Point habitat restoration page.

Additional copies may be requested by calling 651-259-5082.

The EAW notice will be published in the March 19 EQB Monitor. Written comments on the EAW must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, to the attention of Kate Fairman, EAW project manager, Environmental Policy and Review Unit, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.  

Electronic or email comments may be sent to environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Kingsbury–Grassy Point EAW” in the subject line. If submitting comments electronically, include name and mailing address. Written comments may also be sent by fax to 651-296-1811. Names and addresses will be published as part of the EAW record.

Spring 2018

Estuarine Invaders: Environmental Monitoring Tracks Lake Superior NERR Non-Native Species, Surveils Water Quality

Article in Fondriest's Environmental Monitor: Click here for article (pdf)

Spring 2018

20 Years and 400 Inspiring Volunteers Yield Priceless Water Quality Information

In 1998, 17 volunteers began monitoring the health of 22 stream sites in southeast Minnesota. Today, more than 400 volunteers monitor 500 stream sites across the state. The data is indispensable to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

This year, the volunteer stream monitoring program is celebrating its 20th anniversary. A cheery video celebrating the anniversary can be viewed here.

Want to learn more or join this important program? Visit www.pca.state.mn.us/cmp, or call the MPCA at 651-296-6300 or 800-657-3864. The MPCA provides equipment and training; no prior experience is needed.

April 14, 2018

UWS Science Fest

Science Fest is a fair of fun and interactive displays that include chemistry and physics shows, live animals, mind-blowing demonstrations, and a keynote performance by Dennis Regling.

This event is free, open to the public, and fun for all ages!

2 - 5 p.m.

Barstow and Swenson Halls at the University of Wisconsin-Superior

Contact Samantha Wells (swells10@uwsuper.edu) or Jessica Buelow (jbuelow@uwsuper.edu)

April 11, 2018

River Talk Series: Ancient Algae and Plankton

Euan Reavie, Senior Research Associate and Water Initiative Associate Director with the Natural Resources Research Institute, will present: "Tiny Fossils Shed Light on the Past and Future of Water Quality"

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs have teamed up to offer this series of informal evening talks about the St. Louis River Estuary. Everyone is invited!

7 - 8 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium (Barker's Island); 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI 54880

April 10, 2018

Superior Speakers Series: Regional Citizen Science Opportunities

Do you want to learn more about the world around you from experts in the field? Are you looking for a way to give back to your community or volunteer for a good cause? Perhaps you want an excuse to get outside or a way to get to know your neighbors. Whatever your reason, join us at the Superior Speaker event to learn about Citizen Science opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Speakers from the Lake Superior Citizen Science Collaborative and the City of Superior will provide information on ways to get involved in ctizen science in the region!

6 - 7 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium (Barker's Island); 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI 54880

April 4 & 5, 2018

Public Meetings on Duluth Urban Area Streams Watershed

The MPCA is hosting two public meetings to share information about the streams, their impairments, the strategies for both fixing the existing problems and preventing future ones, and -- most importantly -- listening to ideas on what needs to be done. The public is encouraged to comment in person at one of two public meetings, which are free and open to all.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking public comment on two Duluth Urban Area Streams Watershed draft water quality reports. The reports cover streams from the Lester River in the east to Mission Creek in the west, and detail existing water quality problems, present strategies for how impairments can be removed or mitigated, and lists suggested best ideas for preventing and reducing future pollution. The documents and additional information is available on the MPCA Duluth Urban Area Streams Watershed webpage and at the MPCA Duluth office, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, Minnesota.

April 4, 2018
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Midway Town Hall
3230 Midway Road
Duluth, MN 

April 5, 2018
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Chester Bowl Ski Chalet
1801 E. Skyline Parkway
Duluth, MN

April 2018

MPCA Reports on Duluth-area Watersheds Open for Public Comment

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking public comment on two Duluth Urban Area Streams Watershed draft water quality reports. The reports cover streams from the Lester River in the east to Mission Creek in the west and detail existing water quality problems, present strategies for how impairments can be removed or mitigated, and lists suggested best ideas for preventing and reducing future pollution. 

The public comment period is through April 18, 2018.

The Water Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report summary

Draft Duluth Urban Area Watershed Restoration and Protection

Draft Duluth Urban Area Streams Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The documents above and additional information is available on the MPCA Duluth Urban Area Streams Watershed webpage and at the MPCA Duluth office, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, Minnesota.

Written comments should be submitted between March 19 and April 18, 2018 to Brian Fredrickson, MPCA, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802, or by email to brian.fredrickson@state.mn.us. No comments will be accepted by telephone. For further assistance or clarification, contact Fredrickson at 218-302-6604.

Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL or WRAPS report, a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL or WRAPS reports you believe should be changed, and, specific reasons supporting your position.

After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the draft reports and submit them to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for finalization. The reports will form the basis for projects and watershed implementation strategies that will follow.

March 19, 2018

City of Superior Annual Stormwater Training

Participants will learn about: City of Superior and State Regulations; City and State Permitting; Erosion Control BMPs; Site Inspections; Site Design; Operation & Maintenace; and, DNR Technical Standard Review and Updates

This training is specifically for contractors and consultants working in Superior.

9 am - 3 pm

$25 - includes lunch & snacks

Lake Superior Estuarium (Barker's Island); 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI 54880

Registration link. 

March 2018

MPCA Reports on St. Louis River Watershed Open for Public Review

The two reports open for public comment are the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) report. The two are companion documents that quantify pollutant levels, identify pollution sources, and propose ways to return water quality to an acceptable level.

The WRAPS report summarizes information, tools and stakeholder input that can be used by local governments, landownders and others to decide on the best strategies and most effective places for those strategies to protect and restore water quality.

The draft reports are available on the MPCA’s St. Louis River Watershed webpage. The reports are also available at MPCA’s Duluth office at 525 Lake Avenue South. Comments should be submitted in writing by March 22, 2018, to Mike Kennedy, MPCA, 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802, or by email to mike.kennedy@state.mn.us. Questions about the reports can be directed to Kennedy at 218-302-6629 or 800-657-3864.

Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the report, a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft report you believe should be changed, and specific reasons for your position.

Community. Action. Research. We're Lake Superior's Information Flow.

Visit their website and sign up for their newsletter to learn more about their environmental restoration and protection projects around Lake Superior.

March 13-14, 2018

2018 St. Louis River Summit

This year’s theme is “Reflecting on the Blue Mind and a Blue Economy.”

Learn more here.

Yellowjacket Union, UW-Superior, 1605 Catlin Avenue, Superior WI 54880

February 28, 2018

Free iNaturalist Training

You will learn how to use your smartphone or other device to contribute observations to the Twin Ports City Nature Challenge. No smartphone? No sweat! Bring your camera and a way to upload your images to a computer.

Space is limited. Please click here to register: https://umn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_08mgKNLI2ZbmBpz

Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Ave, Duluth, MN 55803

Questions? Contact Marte Kitson, Minnesota Sea Grant, Environmental Literacy Extension Educator, mkitson@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8305.

February 22, 2018

Stormwater U Workshop: Fundamental of Lake Processes & Nutrient (Phosphorus) Impairment

A one-day workshop designed for natural resource managers, technicians, lake managers, lake associations and early career practitioners to learn and communicate the framework of de-listing a lake using nutrient (TP) criteria.

This workshop is designed to engage all learners through presentations, case studies, and exercises. Learners will be supported by pre (2/16/18) and post (3/5/18) workshop webinars.

Registration link. Flier link.​

February 20, 2018

Twin Ports Climate Coalition Conversation

"Healthcare, Climate Change and Being Well Together" by Jamie Harvie P.E. founder of Commons Health and Executive Director of the not-for-profit organization Institute for a Sustainable Future (ISF).

Jamie is nationally recognized for his extensive experience at the intersection of health, community, environment and healthcare.

This event is free and open to the public. 12 p.m.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 525 S. Lake Avenue, Duluth, MN 55802

February 14, 2018

Wisconsin Sea Grant River Talk Series: Muskie research and tracking in the estuary

This event is free and open to the public. 7 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Barker's Island, Superior, WI 54880

February 13, 2018

Superior Speaker Series: Sturgeon in Wisconsin, living fossils in a modern world

Join Paul Piszczek, WDNR Fisheries Biologist, to learn about sturgeon in the St. Louis River and Estuary.

Paul will weave together a story of history, general biology and ecology, research, fisheries management, and Lake Superior...all via sturgeon.

This event is free and open to the public. 6-7 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Barker's Island, Superior, WI 54880

February 9, 2018

St. Louis River Alliance 2018 Clean Water Gala

Shake off the winter blues and celebrate the St. Louis River with a silent auction, live music, and outstanding local food and drink samples!

Tickets are $40/person and available online

Event starts at 5:30 p.m. at Clyde Iron Works

2920 W. Michigan Street, Duluth MN 55806

February 8, 2018

Freshwater Society 2018 Road Salt Symposium

Icy liquids, liquid deicers, and urban legends

Last year pickle juice and solar roads...this year myth busting at the annual Road Salt Symposium

Learn more here

Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Avenue North, Plymouth, MN 55447

February 1, 2018

Blue Accounting Launches Major Effort to Protect Sources of Drinking Water in the Great Lakes Region

The Blue Accounting Initiative launched an effot to protect the waters that serve as the source of drinking water for 48 million people within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin.

The five main goals include:

  • Sources of drinking water are protected from nutrient impacts.
  • All public water supply systems are guided by up-to-date management strategies designed to protect source water.
  • Effective systems for spill prevention and response are accessible and in use by diverse stakeholders.
  • Actions are undertaken to improve our ability to monitor and decrease the number and volume of contaminants of emerging concern entering source water from municipal, industrial, commercial, and institutional sources.
  • Great Lakes states and provinces actively engage to build binational consensus on strategies for source water protection across the Great Lakes basin.

To put these goals into action, the coalition – Blue Accounting’s Source Water Initiative – is recruiting suppliers of water, and organizations working to protect local sources of drinking water, to showcase their unique local strategies and investments that support regional achievement of the five shared goals. These “Showcase Communities” will power the Blue Accounting process and support the Source Water Initiative in delivering a big picture view of progress toward reaching the five goals for source water protection.

Learn more here.

January 30, 2018

January 2018 Minnesota Stormwater News

Click here for the most recent bulletin sent from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

January 26-28, 2018

The Lake Superior Ice Festival

Come on down to Barker's Island in Superior, Wisconsin for ice sculptures, pond hockey, a huge snow slide, bonfires, s'mores, fireworks, kids activities and more!

You can contribute to the icy the event by donating ice orbs to Orb365, a community art collaborative (follow the link for more details)

Learn more about the Festival by visiting the website.

January 23-25, 2018

Minnesota Erosion Control Annual Conference

19 Education Session Opportunities Over Two Conference Days

4 Educational Workshop Opportunities on Pre-Conference Day

Unlimited Network Opportunities

Check out the agenda and registration links.

Double Tree Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd, Minneapolis MN

January 10, 2018

Wisconsin Sea Grant River Talk Series: Terns in the Estuary - A Species in Need

Annie Bracey, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota and Fred Strand, former WDNR biologist will focus the talk on Interstate Island, a protected bird nesting site in the Duluth-Superior Harbor

This event is free and open to the public. 7 p.m.

Lake Superior Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Barker's Island, Superior, WI 54880


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This page was last updated: December 4, 2018 11:16 AM