St. Louis River Alliance

2011 Tour of the St. Louis River Estuary

Area of Concern to Area of Recovery

Approximately 125 people were aboard the Vista Star as it toured the St. Louis River Estuary on August 16th.  Those on board included members of Minnesota’s Clean Water Council, many local business and community leaders, state legislators as well as staff members of Congress representing both states.  In addition, the Commissioner of the MN Pollution Control Agency, Paul Aasen, and MN DNR Assistant Commissioner, Mary McConnell, also attended.

The purpose of this river tour was to bring local leaders together with key state agency and funding decision-makers from both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Stories were shared to demonstrate how signifigant investments have led to much progress in restoring and protecting the St. Louis River since it was designated as an Area of Concern of the Great Lakes.

The tour also impressed upon these leaders that there is now unprecedented opportunity for leveraging state and federal funds to finish the job of cleaning up the river, which will lead to sustainable economic development and increased recreational opportunities.

The St. Louis River Alliance is very appreciative of the support provided by the following partners and sponsors who help put this tour together and/or provided financial support:

Minnesota Environmental Partners

Minnesota Land Trust

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

University of Wisconsin Extension Services

Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Barr Engineering

SEH (Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.)




Sharla Gardner, President of Duluth City Council

Bob Browne, City Council, Superior

Diane Nelson, St. Louis River Alliance

Keith Hanson, Minnesota Clean Water Council

St. Louis River Estuary: Area of Concern to Area of Recovery

Paul Aasen, Commissioner, MPCA

Mary McConnell, Assistant Commissioner, MN DNR

Bill Smith, Northern Region Land Leader, WI DNR

Project Success Stories

Stryker Bay/Tallas Island/Knowlton Creek:

Mike Bares, MPCA; Susan Johnson, MPCA; John Lindgren, MN DNR

Wisconsin Habitat Protection:

Nancy Larson, WI DNR

Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve:

Ralph Garono, NERR Manager

Opportunities for the Future
Sediment Characterization/Framework:

Marc Hershfield/Susan Johnson, MPCA; Nancy Larson, WI DNR

Remediation to Restoration:

Kris Larson, Minnesota Land Trust

Thanks and Wrap Up

Julene Boe, St. Louis River Alliance