Enhancing the Lower St. Louis River
Duluth / Superior, MN

Grantee: St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee
Basin Program Funds: $6,822
Non-federal Funds: $27,240
Project Duration: 07/2003 - 08/2005
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Land use patterns have changed regional watersheds from those dominated by forests and wetlands to those containing significant amounts of impervious surfaces (such as roads, rooftops, and parking lots), maintained lawn, and agricultural fields. This has resulted in undesirable changes in stream flow. Local residents are unaware that some of their activities are causing the erosion and non-point pollution that is affecting the water quality and habitat value of the Lower St. Louis River.

Background
The St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee (SLRCAC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is devoted to continuing the development, implementation and public awareness of the needed remedial actions required for the restoration of the St. Louis River Area of Concern. The "Enhancing the Lower St. Louis River" is a comprehensive watershed outreach effort to educate watershed inhabitants about the Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan, and the importance of protecting critical remaining natural areas, of reducing peak stream flows that result from land use patterns, and of pushing forward on priority restoration projects and sites. Through Enhancing the Lower St. Louis River, SLRCAC provides the information, technical assistance, regional networking and public outreach needed to advance citizensí efforts to protect the coastal resources of the largest U.S. tributary to Lake Superior.

Activities
The "Enhancing the Lower St. Louis River" outreach effort has four educational components that relate to implementing the Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan. (1.) Riverkeepers who will meet with members of the 7 watershed communities (14 meetings) to talk about watershed planning and the vision of a thriving human community connected to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the river. (2.) A strategies implementation planning worksheet to assist with moving forward on priority restoration of riparian and wetland sites associated with the river. (3.) An educational brochure/poster (1000 copies) on the non-point pollution and biological aspects of the Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan will be printed for classroom, business and office display. (4.) An interactive web site that links the identified aquatic habitat types to conservation goals, threats, and strategies and with information and graphics, as well as data collected through the development of the Habitat Plan.

Results
A total of 15 presentations in four different venues were given. There were 700 citizen guides produced and distributed. A rain barrel workshop was conducted and 20 rain barrels were distributed. Riverkeepers met with members of the watershed communities in twelve monthly meetings to share information about watershed planning and discuss Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs). The Strategies Implementation Planning worksheets were created for natural resource professionals and decision makers. This document is flexible to adapt to changes as projects are implemented, as more partners are joined together, and as additional potential mechanisms for accomplishing the projects are identified.

The "Donít Muddy Our Water" environmental poster was completed in collaboration with students from the local elementary school. The publication provides simple steps, such as covering bare ground quickly and maintaining deep-rooted plants (native trees and shrubs) on hillsides that students can do on their own or with their parent or guardian. Copies of the poster were distributed to 35 elementary schools in the area. We were featured in three newspaper articles reaching over 10,000 homes. We had a direct mailing sent to 205. The interactive website has been published on the web at www.stlouisriver.org and has had 1391 hits in the first six months.

Contact: Ms. Lynelle Hanson, 218-733-9520

 

Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150.  projects.glc.org. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner