After more than two years of work taking the lead on securing funds for the clean up of contaminated sediments, the St. Louis River Alliance is excited to announce that The Minnesota Legislature passed their $988 million bonding bill in June of 2017. Among the projects included in the bill is $25.4 million in funding for the St. Louis River Estuary Restoration Project. These funds will trigger $47.2 million in federal funds made available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to accelerate the cleanup efforts of the St. Louis River and Duluth/Superior Harbor.
“On behalf of our more than seventy-five partners and supporters we applaud the Legislature for recognizing and supporting the importance of the St. Louis River Estuary Restoration project,” said Kris Eilers, executive director of the St. Louis River Alliance (SLRA). “We appreciate the broad support from the Legislature, the strong partnerships generated by our Duluth and Northeastern delegation in the Legislature. We look forward to Governor Dayton signing this into law.”
“We have made so much progress on restoring the St. Louis River and Duluth Harbor, this will put us over the finish line on the largest segment of the Remedial Action Plan,” added Eilers. “We look forward to the day when this area will be delisted as an Area of Concern. We are excited not only for clean water but for the restoration of a unique freshwater estuary and the economic revitalization that will follow and has already begun.We look forward to celebrating the era of vitality on the river.”
These state and federal funds will be used to implement the largest project in the Remedial Action Plan for the St. Louis River and Duluth/Superior Harbor. The project calls for managing polluted riverbed sediment and industrial waste and setting the area on a path to restoration and improved water quality. Cleanup actions must be done by 2020.
The St. Louis River Area of Concern was designated in 1987. It includes Duluth and Superior, the Nemadji River Watershed, stretches up 39 miles of the St. Louis River to the Fond du Lac Reservation and 10 miles up the North Shore. The Remedial Action Plan, which is the basis of the cleanup project, was developed in July of 2013 and was adopted and approved by the US EPA. It was created by over 40 partner organizations, and outlines the major cleanup actions that will be completed by 2020. The site will be delisted by 2025.
For more information please visit our Clean Water Campaign page here.