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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.


Throughout Summer

MPCA LogoMPCA Citizen Stream & Lake Monitoring

Are you interested in monitoring water clarity in your local stream or lake??

More than 1,300 Minnesotans participate in the Citizen Monitoring Programs, but in order to reach all water bodies across Minnesota, more volunteers are needed.

“69,000 miles of rivers and over 12,000 lakes is a lot of water to cover,” says Laurie Sovell, coordinator of the MPCA’s Citizen Stream Monitoring Program. “We are looking for people curious about local water bodies and passionate about protecting our state’s water resources.”

As part of the program, volunteers are asked to perform a short and simple water clarity test at their favorite lake or stream, once per week throughout the summer. Equipment and training are provided by the MPCA and no prior experience is necessary.

For some lakes and streams, volunteer-collected data is the only data available, making citizen involvement critical to ensuring the lasting health of Minnesota’s waters.

Find out if your favorite lake or stream needs monitoring by using the MPCA’s interactive map at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/d4awwwd

To become a volunteer or learn more about the program, visit the program’s website at www.pca.state.mn.us/cmp, or call 651-296-6300 (Twin Cities) or 800-657-3864 (Greater Minnesota).

Classroom &

Field Sessions






Aquatic Invasives Species Sentry Program

The Saint Louis River Alliance is excited to announce they are beginning registration for their new Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Sentry Program.  Participants will have the opportunity to undergo extensive training on how to protect their favorite bodies of water from new invasive threats through monitoring protocols which can be incorporated into their favorite recreational activities.  
By becoming a volunteer Aquatic Invasive Species Sentry, participants will help protect the waters of St. Louis County by learning:
    St. Louis River Alliancehow to identify AIS along with native species
    impacts of AIS
    how they spread
    early detection, survey and reporting methods
Training will consist of two modules, a three hour classroom session and a three hour field session, led by Minnesota Sea Grant and St. Louis River Alliance instructors.  The total cost for the training series is $30, which includes take home materials and lunch from the Northern Waters Smokhaus during the classroom session.  

Currently, classroom sessions are planned for April 23rd (AM and PM), May 22nd(PM), June 25th (AM), and July 23rd (AM).  Field sessions are planned for May 21st(AM), June 11th (AM), June 25th (PM), July 23rd (PM), and July 30th (AM).  

MN DNR LogoRegistration required: http://stlouisriver.org/workshop-series/

Learn more on the website

For more information contact:  Katie Brey at 218-733-9520 or katie@stlouisriver.org

Mar 31

April 26

Superior WI logo

Superior Erosion Control Trainings

Trainings for Consultants (Mar 31) and Contractors (Apr 26) at UWS YellowJacket Union

The City of Superior is offering two Erosion Control Trainings this spring, one specifically for Consultants who write Erosion Control plans, and another for the Contractors who impliment Erosion Control BMPs.

More information, including registration, found on the City of Superior website.

Contact Kristy DeVera or Andrea Crouse with any questions. 715-394-0392

March 24

MPCA logo

MS4 Permit Workshop in Brainerd

March 24 in Brainerd, MN

The Minnesota Erosion Control Association (MECA) has partnered with the MPCA to bring you this MS4 training opportunity. The training will focus on the inspection aspects of meeting your MS4 permit requirements. Highlights include prioritizing construction sites, pre-inspection activities, completing inspections, post-construction activities, non-compliance, MS4 system inspections, and incorporating IDDE inspections into everyday activities. 

You will receive a certificate of completion for this workshop. MECA, in partnership with the MPCA is offering this MS4 outreach/educational workshop in two locations.

Instructors: Rick Baird-City of Mankato, April Ryan-SEH, John Paulson-City of Hutchinson and MPCA Staff.

For more information and to register for the conference, go to MECA's web site: http://mnerosion.org/

Or contact the MECA office at 320-685-5444 or email at meca@mnerosion.org

March 24


Upper Great Lakes Law and Policy Sypmosium: Managing Water Across Boundaries

Greysolon Ballroom, 231 E Superior St. Duluth, MN

The Upper Great Lakes Law and Policy Symposium is being crafted to zero in on how relatively recent activities (i.e. the Great Lakes Compact and the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative) might serve as models for tackling other Great Lakes trans-boundary issues like climate, mining, crude oil/energy movement, and water levels. The Symposium's goals are to:

  • Create a forum for a reasoned exploration of Lake Superior and Upper Great Lakes issues in a positive, informed way so that policies and laws will work toward sustainable solutions across jurisdictions.
  • Clarify mechanisms for integrating science into policy and regulations.
  • Generate at least six high-quality, high-impact articles about Upper Great Lakes challenges and solutions for the Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal
  • Highlight the critical importance of rational environmental laws and policies, and the University of Minnesota Law School and Sea Grant's efforts to encourage opportunities to that end.

Registration required:

Learn more on the website

Applications Due Feb 14

Citizen Stream Monitoring

Are you interested in conducting Total Phosphorus Monitoring at your WAV monitoring site??

The Water Action Volunteers (WAV) Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program has allocated funding for 2015 to encourage active WAV citizen monitors and/or WAV monitoring groups to obtain total phosphorus monitoring data at their stream monitoring site(s). To allow all interested individuals and groups the chance to use the available funds, a short application process has been developed.

Please go to the WAV Total Phosphorus website and follow the links to learn more!

To apply, please use the electronic application made available on the website. The application can be filled in electronically and then emailed to Lindsey Albright (lindsey.albright@wisconsin.gov) to apply. The deadline to submit applications is Sunday, Feb 14, 2016.


The Value of Nature's Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed

Weds. Feb 24th at 7:00 PM

Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Nancy Schudlt, water projects coordinator with the Fond du Lac Band will present, “The Value of Nature’s Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed.”

Join us at Barker's Island on the last Weds of each month for these informal and informative conversations!

Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Lake Superior NERR have teamed up to offer this series of science café-type evening talks about the St. Louis River Estuary. These informal “River Talks” are held monthly through May.

Check the River Talk website for details about upcoming talks. If you miss a talk, visit Wisconsin Sea Grant’s “Great Lakes Takes” blog for a summary.


New Lake Superior Webcams on LakeSuperiorStreams.org

Check it out!

Wonder what the conditions on Lake Superior look like right now? Check out LakeSuperiorStreams.org's new Webcam page. We looked for all the live views of the Lake Superior we could find and put links in one convenient location.

If you find more, let us know!



Climate Change Stats

Seeley, Mark W. "Minnesota Weather Almanac." 2nd ed.
St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015. Print

Since 1866, 12 rainfall events have occurred in Minnesota which included "a 6-inch one-day rainfall that encompassed more than a thousand square miles and a peak rainfall measurement of 8 inches somewhere within that area...five of these twelve mega-rainfall events happened since the year 2001. Further, the NOAA National Climatic Data Center reports that these types of storms are increasing in frequency across midwestern states." (p309-311)

2-inch thunderstorm rainfall events have doubled in frequency since 1991. (p308) paraphrased.

In 2012 "...portions of Minnesota were declared federal drought disaster areas, while other areas even within the same counties were declared federal flood disasters, the first time in state history that such a climatic situation emerged." (p308)

"Most of the state's climate stations show an increase in average annual precipitation that ranges from 1 to 4 inches over the past 60 years" The increase in Grand Rapids (Itasca County) was 4.58 inches. (p306)

"...many Minnesota watersheds have shown more consistent measures of high-volume flows on stream gauges in the spring, often at or above flood stage." (p306)

"...a larger fraction of annual precipitation is coming from intense thunderstorms...Evidence for an increased frequency of intense thunderstorms can be found at many climate stations." (p308)



Medications, cosmetic ingredients, and endocrine disruptors found in Minnesota lakes and streams

A new study released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency confirms that lakes and streams across Minnesota are contaminated by a variety of pharmaceuticals, ingredients from personal care products, and endocrine-disrupting compounds.  This is the latest in a series of studies investigating the presence of these chemicals in Minnesota’s surface water.

Because some pharmaceutical contamination of surface water is due to wastewater, the MPCA advises that people avoid flushing unwanted medicines down the toilet. Better alternatives include taking the drugs to a medication collection site, or mixing them with vinegar or cat litter to discourage ingestion and throwing them in the trash in a sealed container. Special recommendations apply to liquid chemotherapy drugs.

The full report is available on the MPCA’s website


flood_radar1973 Flood Booklet

Learn more about the 1970s Storms and Floods in the recently re-discoved booklet.

Then visit LakeSuperiorStreams.org's Flood page to read more about the 2012 Solstice Flood.

1973 Flood Booklet [8MB]


Which fish species spawn in North Shore streams during the fall?

The Minnesota waters of Lake Superior provide fall spawning runs of pink salmon, coaster brook trout, coho salmon, chinook salmon and the occasional brown trout. These runs are generally smaller and less consistent than other areas in Lake Superior. That’s because North Shore streams have limited spawning habitat available for migratory fish due to steep waterfalls that act as natural barriers to fish passage.

Pink salmon are the most abundant species observed in the fall spawning run. In October, native coaster brook trout will migrate to spawn in tributaries and shoal areas of Lake Superior.

The timing and frequency of fall runs on the North Shore depends on individual river conditions, including water temperature and fall rains.


Upstream Posted Boundaries for North Shore Streams

The Minnesota DNR released an updated listing of all streams with upstream posted boundaries. Posted upstream boundaries on Lake Superior Tributaries generally correspond to the areas accessible to andromous trout and salmo (andromous = born in streams, spends most of its life in Lake Superior and returns to streams to spawn). The upstream boundaries, as well as fish sancturay areas, are marked with signs.

Find a link to the document here and in the LakeSuperiorStreams Understanding - Fish section.

Other "What's New" pages: Latest | 2014-15 | 2012-13 | 2010-11 | 2008-09 | 2006-07 | 2004-05 | 2002-03


This page was last updated: April 15, 2016 10:50 AM