St. Louis River Alliance

Past Projects

Stream Monitoring

The SLRA has been organizing volunteers to test the water quality of streams in the St. Louis River Watershed since 2008. In 2010, the SLRA expanded its monitoring reach to streams along the North Shore. This project utilized two part-time Stream Monitoring employees who were in charge of data collection and management. These monitoring projects are funded by Minnesota Legislature through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as part of the Clean Water Act for Surface Water Assessment Grant funding.

GLISTEN: Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network

The St. Louis River Alliance is 1 of 20 community-based organizations involved in the GLISTEN program.

Duluth Stream Corps Partnership

The St. Louis River Alliance is partnering with Community Action Duluth on a project called the Duluth Stream Corps. Funded by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the project has hired a crew of six to perform stream restoration work in the Duluth area. The project’s goal is to help restore Duluth’s coldwater streams by planting 20,000 trees on privately owned streamside land throughout the Duluth area.

Adventure Recreation Program

This program is providing opportunities for youth to explore the St. Louis River through canoeing and hiking.

Watershed Guardian Program – (a) Stream Bio-Sentinel Project, funded by Cargill, Inc., via The Conservation Fund.

The CAC has school groups and other volunteers monitor water quality by placing ventilated plastic bottles containing fathead minnows in area streams for test periods of two weeks.

Watershed Guardian Program – (b) Stormdrain Stenciling Project, funded by Cargill, Inc., via The Conservation Fund.

The CAC has school groups and other volunteers stencil storm drains with educational messages that promote environmental stewardship and (i.e., “Don’t dump, Drains to river”); educational brochures are also delivered to neighbors and passersby.

Watershed Guardian Program – (c) Miller Creek Habitat Restoration Project, funded by the Great Lakes Commission and by the DuPont/American Greenways Award Program, via The Conservation Fund.

The CAC purchased potted evergreen trees for Miller Creek near Kohls Dept. Store, organized volunteers to plant them, and subsequently had a contractor erect mesh fencing to protect them from browsing animals. This was part of a project coordinated by the Miller Creek Task Force, aiming to keep Miller Creek (which flows through a developing retail corridor) cool enough to support the remaining self-sustaining brook trout population.

Historic Land Use Reconstruction Project, funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

This project identifies industrial sites that may have (had) past, present or future environmental impacts on the river. The CAC contracted with a local historian to identify past uses and ownership of land along and near the St. Louis River. The results are summarized for three time periods and depicted on maps.

Historic Reconstruction of Property Ownership and Land Uses along the Lower St. Louis River (109K PDF)
Historic Reconstruction Map – 1880s (535K JPG)
Historic Reconstruction Map – 1950s (530K JPG)
Historic Reconstruction Map – 1980s (527K JPG)

Head of the Lakes River Rally (October 9-10, 1998), funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (with additional sponsors, listed below).

This free community event featured a poster contest and other fun for kids, plus music, a slide show and videos, technical sessions and a special river tour aboard the Vista King. Major sponsors were Laurentian RC&D, MPCA, MDNR, Seaway Port Authority of Duluth, and USEPA. Supporting sponsors were Douglas Co. (Wis.), Minnesota Power, and Minnesota Sea Grant, with Clean Water Action, EAGLE, Great Lakes Aquarium @ Lake Superior Center, andNahgahchiwanong Dibahjimowinnan.

CAC Web Site Development, funded by Cargill, Inc., via The Conservation Fund, and by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The CAC hired a contractor to work with volunteers to develop a Web site. Until our own site was completed, we promoted electronic access to our information through EPA’s Web site, which features all of the U.S. Areas of Concern on the Great Lakes. After our own site was completed, we continue to have a presence on EPA’s site, but are able to offer much more information and update it more frequently on our own site.

Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load Project, funded by the River Network’s Watershed Assistance Grant.

The TMDL project will identify as many sources of mercury to the St. Louis River as possible, calculate the amount of coming from each one and identify ways to reduce it.

Natural & Cultural History of the St. Louis River On-The-Water Guide for Canoeists, Kayakers & Boaters, funded by the Beneficiary Group for Environmental Improvement.

This guide features maps of the St. Louis River from Fond du Lac to Grassy Point. It also contains historical and cultural information of the “Head of the Lakes” area as well as specific points along the river. Good fishing and birding areas are noted along with put in points and parking areas.

Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, The Nature Conservancy, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Interactive Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan. Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan pdfs.

The vision for the Lower St. Louis River is of a thriving human community connected to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the river. The river ecosystems are diverse, productive and healthy, with natural processes (such as hydrologic regimes, biological productivity, and nutrient cycling) operating within the natural range of variation. The diversity of plants and animals and the composition of natural communities present at the time of European settlement is reflected in the sustainable ecosystems of today.

State of the St. Louis River, funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources through the Nemadji Spill Settlement.

This colorful brochure features pictures from along the St. Louis River and explains some of the key issues affecting the river.

Lake Superior 2004: A Year of Protecting the Greatest of Lakes, funded by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee, Christie Printing Company, Midwest PrintGroup, and Sappi Fine Paper, Cloquet Operations.

To celebrate the beauty of the Lake Superior basin and to show that there is still room for improvement, a collaboration of Wisconsin and Minnesota environmental organizations decided to create a Lake-oriented calendar and solicited photos that capture both the “beauty” and the “beast” aspects of the area. We hope the “beauty” will support the precious resources still in need of protection; the “beast” will show examples of how things can go wrong when we don’t support the resources.

The Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan: An executive summary for local decision-makers, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Coastal Environmental Management Program.

The vision for the Lower St. Louis River is a thriving human community connected to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the river.

The Lower St. Louis River Habitat Plan: A summary for citizens, funded by the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, Great Lakes Commission; the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation; and the State of Minnesota Community Technical Assistance, Department of Natural Resources.

The vision for the Lower St. Louis River is a thriving human community connected to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the river.

Don’t Muddy the Water Poster, funded by Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, Great Lakes Commission; the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation; and the State of Minnesota Community Technical Assistance, Department of Natural Resources.

The poster is a collaborative project between the St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee and Harriet B. Stowe Elementary School 4th grade.

Wild Rice and Wetlands of the St. Louis River, funded under the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in conjunction with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. Funding was also received from the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation; and the State of Minnesota Community Technical Assistance, Department of Natural Resources.

The poster is a collaborative project between the St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee and members of the Hermantown High School Science Class.