St. Louis River

St Louis River Alliance/Facebook

The St. Louis River isn't going to take a back seat to Lake Superior any longer.

There's no better proof of the years of successful cleanup efforts than its newest accolade: Minnesota's newest National Water Trail.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began to dredge contaminated sediment out of Howards Bay in Superior, Wisconsin.

St. Louis River Alliance

For decades, the St. Louis River Alliance has been leading the charge to heal the badly polluted St. Louis River.

Spurred by the enthusiasm of more and more people drawn every year to the water to volunteer, recreate or just sit and watch the water flow by, the St. Louis River has continued its comeback story.

From cleaning up the pollution left by decades of dumping in the river, to fostering habitat for wild rice, sturgeons and piping plovers, people have been working hard to heal the St. Louis River.

St. Louis River, Carlton State Park
Tommie Davis, skyewalkerphotography

We talk with Karina Heim, Coastal Training Program (CTP) Coordinator, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve about tonight's River Talk, part of a monthly series of informal talks about the St. Louis River Estuary.  This evening's topic is "Handling Hazards and Dealing with Disasters: Emergency Management in the Estuary." 

©Hansi Johnson

Designating the St. Louis River a National Water Trail is a chance to move the conversation around the river from phrases like "area of concern" and "Superfund site" to something positive.

Which is why Hansi Johnson, director of Recreational Lands for the Minnesota Land Trust is quick to scotch rumors that anyone's access to the river will be affected.

You can find out more about the National Water Trail designation and submit your comments and questions here:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

We speak with Nelson French, a supervisor for the Great Lakes/Lake Superior Project of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, about the completion of a three-year pilot project that used 350,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Duluth Harbor Basin by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help restore aquatic habitat in the St. Louis River estuary.