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Lake Superior NERR hosts summit on St. Louis River

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve holds its fourth annual St. Louis River Estuary Summit Feb. 25-26 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior in the Yellowjacket Union. In addition to traditional presentations about the natural science of the estuary, talks during the second day focus on how people relate to and interact with the environment.

“We are excited to present a panel of social scientists from diverse backgrounds who will share key research, methods, and tools relating to the human dimensions of the estuary and watershed,” said Erika Washburn, Lake Superior NERR director. “All told, an incredible range of talks and posters will be given, from fish tumors and restoration projects to economics and K-12 education. All presentations are meant to be understood by a wide audience, so come check it out.”

Todd Ambs, director of Healing Our Waters, will open the summit with a presentation about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and how it is funding local efforts to remediate the estuary and remove it from the list as an “Area of Concern.” Duluth Mayor Don Ness and Mary Morgan, Superior director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry will kick-off the second day of sessions.

The goal of the summit is to share information about the St. Louis River among people in the community, students, scientists, industry, and natural resource managers. Other featured presentations involve the 21st Avenue West pilot project, wild rice growth, mercury in the estuary, monitoring efforts going on at Clough Island, mining impacts, and piping plover shorebird restoration. The audience will break into work groups during lunches both days to address issues with contaminated sediments, wetlands, and social science topics. A poster session will take place the end of the day on Tuesday and a K-12 student poster session will take place on Wednesday.

The St. Louis River Estuary Summit is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register and to see the agenda, go to http:// For those who can’t attend, the summit will be tweeted by UW Sea Grant (@UWiscSea Grant).

Sponsors include Enbridge, LimnoTech, the Minnesota Coastal Program, Minnesota Land Trust, Minnesota Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, West Wisconsin Land Trust, Wisconsin Coastal Management, Wisconsin Sea Grant, University of Wisconsin Extension, and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

The Yellowjacket Union is located at 1605 Catlin Ave. on the UW-Superior campus. For maps and directions go to uwsuper.