Environmental researcher to educate public on NERRSue O’Halloran, an experienced environmental educator and researcher, will work with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve to educate the public on coastal land preservation practices.
By: For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
Sue O’Halloran, an experienced environmental educator and researcher, will work with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve to educate the public on coastal land preservation practices.
As head of the coastal training program at the reserve’s new research center in Superior, she’ll be working to educate landowners and city decision-makers on how to preserve and protect waters of the St. Louis River and Lake Superior.
O’Halloran is determining who she needs to reach out to in the Twin Ports and how to present them with information regarding coastal land preservation. She said her experience of the past 12 years doing similar work with the Lake Superior Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Superior leaves her well prepared for the job.
“The fact that I’ve been a researcher with LSRI puts me in a really good position to be able to translate or bring the research information to the decision-making audience,” O’Halloran said. “Working with LSRI gives me a good foundation.”
O’Halloran already has plans to develop community workshops. She’d also like to use LSRI’s research vessel L.L. Smith Jr. to take people on trips to see some of the in the St. Louis River estuary.
“The more they understand the more they’ll develop stewardship around these resources. People will make better decisions regarding land use around them and how that impacts water quality,” O’Halloran said. “Our goal is to protect and preserve.”
The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve covers nearly 16,700 acres of marshes, uplands, rivers and Lake Superior shoreline that are part of the St. Louis River estuary in Douglas County. The reserve will serve as a site to study natural resource management techniques and apply what is learned to problems facing coastal communities, such as maintaining clean water, protecting wildlife habitat, and preventing and controlling invasive species. The reserve’s educational programs will enable people to experience freshwater estuaries and their unique resources, making it a community asset and a destination for students and visitors.