reports index General North Shore Duluth Area St Louis River / Duluth-Superior Harbor South Shore

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St. Louis River


St. Louis River Alliance River Voice Newsletter

The “River Voice” is the Alliance’s e-newsletter which will keep the people who work on the river informed of the many projects that are happening. The newsletter will be published and distributed via email six times per year, thanks to a grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation. To be added, send your email address to Kris Eilers at the St. Louis River Alliance:


[ 6.2 MB pdf file ]




St. Louis River Area of Concern, Benefical Use Impairment Restoration Report. 2013.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and citizen groups identified nine Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) to target for improving the river. This update shows the current status (Summer 2013) of the removal phases for nine impairments of the St. Louis River AOC

[ 2.0 MB pdf file ]




Thomson Reservoir Sediment Sampling Report. 2011.
Prepared by Minnesota Power, Environmental and Land Management Department, Dec 19, 2011.

The mercury deposits in Thomson Reservoir are largely the results of historical anthropogenic point-sources upstream of the reservoir, which have largely been eliminated. Therefore, mercury loading since the 1994 sampling event can be assumed to have occurred primarily through sediment shifts and/or minor changes due to atmospheric or natural loading of mercury.

This report summarizes both general mercury concentration and sediment depth trends from the 1994 and 2011 sampling events, during which the affected sediments have been subjected to 17 years of hydrologic processes, including potential scouring and sedimentation. While general trends are noted in this report, it is acknowledged that no definitive conclusions on the specific hydrologic mechanisms, or the final downstream fate of the mercury deposits, can be drawn from these results.

[ 2.3 MB pdf file ]


Sulfate and Mercury Chemistry of the St. Louis River in Northeastern Minnesota. 2009.
A Report to the Minerals Coordinating Committee. Michael Berndt & Travis Bavin, MN DNR Division of Lands and Minerals. Final Report December 15, 2009.

The St. Louis River and its major tributaries were sampled upstream from Cloquet during periods of high, medium, and low flow between September 2007 and October 2008. Special emphasis was placed on measuring sulfate (SO4) and mercury (Hg) distributions as well as other chemical parameters that might help to determine whether SO4 releases from the Iron Range have an impact on Hg speciation in the St. Louis River.

[ 1.4 MB pdf file ]

2007 - 08  

A Study of the St. Louis River. 2006.
John Lindgren (DNR-Duluth Area Fisheries), Nancy Schuldt (Fond du Lac Resource Management), Brian Borkholder (Fond du Lac Resource Management), Tom Howes (Fond du Lac Resource Management), Andrew Levar (DNR-Tower Area Fisheries), Carlye Olson (1854 Treaty Authority), Jeff Tillma (DNR-Grand Rapids Area Fisheries), Darren Vogt (1854 Treaty Authority). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Section of Fisheries. St. Paul, MN. Minnesota F-29-R(P)-25, Area 220, Study 3, Job 4, August 29, 2006.

This report summarizes data collected from the outlet of Seven Beaver Lake to the Knife Falls Dam in Cloquet during the open-water seasons of 2004 and 2005. The investigation was a cooperative effort between three MNDNR fisheries field stations, Fond du Lac Resource Management and 1854 Treaty Authority and represents the most comprehensive investigation of physical, chemical and biological conditions within the mainstem of the St. Louis River.

[ 21 MB pdf file - large file! ] [ Website ]

2004 - 05  
European valve snail Valvata piscinalis (Müller) in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin. Grigorovich, I.A., E.L. Mills, C. Richards, D. Breneman, and J. J.H. Ciborowski. 2005. J. Great Lakes Res. 31(2):135-143. 2003-2004  

Impact of Western Lake Superior Sanitary District advanced wastewater treatment plant on water quality in St. Louis Bay. McCollor, S. MPCA

This early MPCA report examines changes over time in the chemical water quality in the St. Louis Bay as a result of the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District operations.

[ 0.4 MB pdf file ]


Turb., Conductivity, BOD, COD, Total Solids, TSS, Organic N, Total Ammonia, Nitrate-Nitrite, Kjeldahl Nitrogen, TP, Magnesium, Chlorides, Sulfates, Copper, Lead, Total Coliform, Fecal Coliform, Color, pH, Mercury….

Superfund Site

St. Louis River Interlake/Duluth Tar (SLRIDT) Superfund Site

  • offers updates and access to recent information from the responsible parties regarding the SLRIDT Superfund site in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Updates and access to recent information from the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) regarding the SLRIDT Superfund site.
St. Louis River - U.S. Steel Superfund Site
This website provides information about the U.S. Steel Superfund site in Morgan Park, Minnesota.
Lower St Louis River Habitat Plan
May 2002, The St Louis River Citizen Action Committee.
[complete plan: 1.45 MB pdf file]
[download by section: SLRCAC Website]

St Louis River and Estuary Sediment Studies

GIS-based sediment quality database developed for the lower St Louis River and Duluth-Superior Harbor
developed by MPCA and MacDonald Environmental Sciences Ltd.
Available as three project CDs that contain contain the following files:

CD #1

  • GIS data ("STLR_GIS Project" subdirectory) for ArcView 3.2 projects and ArcMap 8.3 map documents
  • Microsoft (MS) Access 2000 sediment quality database
  • Help Section for Database Users
    (final_Help Section_Database_PH2.pdf)
  • Help Section for ArcView Users
    (Help Section_ArcView_PH2.pdf)
  • Technical Documentation
  • Mean Probable Effect Concentration Quotient (PEC-Q) Analyses

CD #2

  • GIS data
    ("Quads_Orthophotos" subdirectory)
  • GIS data
    ("ccap_nad83" subdirectory)

CD #3

  • Query Manager - compatible Database files
    (stlouis subdirectory and several other files)

To obtain these CDs and get on the mailing list for updates please contact:

Judy L. Crane, Ph.D.
Research Scientist 3
Environmental Analysis and Outcomes Division
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Rd. N.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194
phone: 651-297-4068
fax: 651-297-7709

Comparison of Surficial Sediment Quality in the St. Louis River Area of Concern (MN/WI), with other North American Sites.
Crane, J.L., MacDonald, D.D., Smorong, D.E., Fisher, L.J., Hamilton, S.L., Huntington, C.A. Published in the Environmental Bulletin, Issue Number 5, March 2005, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Abstract (9 KB pdf file)  |  Bulletin (290 KB pdf file)

Contaminated Sediment Studies: St. Louis River Area of Concern

In 1987, concerns over environmental quality conditions prompted the designation of the lower St. Louis River as one of 43 Great Lakes areas of concern (AOCs). This includes the segment from Cloquet, Minnesota, to Lake Superior.

This MPCA web page includes links to:


July 2006:

The Phase IV GIS-based sediment quality database project has been completed. The final project reports have been added to the web page.


June 2006:

Pamphlet on Sediment Quality Conditions in the Lower St. Louis River, Minnesota/Wisconsin [web page]


April 2006:

The Phase IV sediment quality database is now available on the MPCA's ftp site. MS Access 2000 users should download MS Access '97 users should get Here is some documentation on the new query interface (MS Word file - 240 KB).

The following two reports for the Phase III database project for the St. Louis River Area of Concern (AOC)--Minnesota focus have been finalized and are available on the MPCA's web page:

  • Phase III Addendum to the Phase II Technical Documentation
    [449 KB pdf file]
  • Overview of Sediment Quality Conditions in the St. Louis River AOC
    [1.3 MB pdf file]

November 2005:

Sediment Quality Database Presentations:

Phase III (1.2 MB pdf)

Phase IV (686 KB pdf)

Phase IV Project Team Roles and Responsibilities (106 KB pdf)

  Development of a Framework for Evaluating Numerical Sediment Quality Targets and Sediment Contamination in the St. Louis River Area of Concern.
Crane, J.L., MacDonald, D.D., Ingersoll, C.G., Smorong, D.E., Lindskoog, R.A., Severn, C.G., Berger, T.A., Field, L.J. 2000. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA 905/R-00/008.
  Lake Superior / Duluth-Superior Harbor Toxics Loading Study
King, P. 1999. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Environmental Outcomes Division, Groundwater and Toxics Monitoring, St. Paul, MN.
  Preliminary Contaminant Assessment of the Thomson, Forbay, and Fond du Lac Reservoirs
Schubauer-Berigan, M., Crane, J.L. 1996. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Water Quality Division, St. Paul, MN.
  Sediment Assessment of Hotspot Areas in the Duluth/Superior Harbor
Crane, J.L., Schubauer-Berigan, M., Schmude, K. 1997. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA-905-R97-020
  Assessment of Contaminated Sediments in Slip C, Duluth Harbor, MN.
Crane, J.L. 1999. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA-905-R99-007.
  Survey of Sediment Quality in the Duluth/Superior Harbor: 1993 Sampling Results
Schubauer-Berigan, M., Crane, J.L. 1997. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA 905-R97-005.
  Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (R-EMAP) Surveying, Sampling, and Testing: 1995 and 1996 Sampling Results

Evaluating methods for assessing sediment quality in a Great Lakes embayment
Crane, J.L., Richards, C., D. Breneman, S. Lozano, and J.A. Schuldt. In Press. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management.

Evaluation of a fluorometric screening method for predicting total PAH concentrations in contaminated sediments.
Peterson, G.S., Axler, R.P., Lodge, K.B., Schuldt, J.A., Crane, J.L. 2002. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 78:111-129.

Environmental influences on benthic community structure in a Great Lakes embayment.
Breneman, D., Richards, C., Lozano, S. 2000. Journal of Great Lakes Research 26:287-304.


Analysis of Sediment Cores to Assess Chlorinated Bornanes and Bornenes in the St. Louis River.
King, P. 2001. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, MN. Final report submitted to United States Environmental Protection Agency.
September, 2001. GL985919-01-0. [484 KB pdf file]

  Sediment Remediation Scoping Project in Minnesota Slip, Duluth Harbor.
Crane, J.L., Smorong, D.E., Pillard, D.A., MacDonald, D.D 2002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA 905-R-02-002. [477 KB pdf file]

In progress information about the following studies is provided for:

Bioaccumulation of Contaminants in the Duluth/Superior Harbor

Comprehensive Sediment Management Plan for the Lower St. Louis River

Phase III: GIS-based Sediment Quality Database for the St. Louis River Area of Concern

Minnesota Slip Sediment Investigation and Remedial Evaluation.


Nemadji Watershed Red Clay Studies

  Impact of Nonpoint Pollution Control on Western Lake Superior. The Red Clay Project Final Report: Summary.
Andrews, S.C., Houtman, D.S., Lontz, W.J., 1979. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. [2.1 MB pdf file]
  Impact of Nonpoint Pollution Control on Western Lake Superior. The Red Clay Project Final Report: Part II Biology and Vegetation.
Andrews, S.C., Christensen, R.G., Wilson, C.D., 1980. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA 905/9-79-002-B [21.1 MB pdf file]
  Red Clay Turbidity and Its Transport in Lake Superior.
Sydor, M., Clapper, R.T., Oman, G. J., Stortz, K.R., 1979. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office, Chicago, IL. EPA 905/9-79-004. [5.35 MB pdf file]
Learn more about the SLR AOC from the EPA and the MPCA.    

reports index General North Shore Duluth Area St Louis River / Duluth-Superior Harbor South Shore