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Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)3

 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 240

Saint Paul, MN 55114

Phone: 651-647-9590

1-877-MLT-LAND

Email: mnland@mnland.org

 

Staff Directory

Office Locations & Directions

 

Located on the Green Line, across the street from Raymond Station. On bus routes 16, 21, 63 and 67. Nice Ride location across the street, available seasonally. Parking available on the south side of the building and on the street (metered).

 

 

 

 
Land Trust Accreditation Commission    Charities Review Council


 

Interest for Others  Guidestar Platinum

 

Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

St. Louis River Restoration Initiative

In its largest and most ambitious restoration effort to date, the Minnesota Land Trust has begun work on restoring the St. Louis River Estuary in the Lake Superior Region.

The 12,000 acre wetland complex lies between Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. It is currently listed as an Area of Concern due to its industrial history which left several hundred thousand cubic yards of sawmill debris coating its bottom and deeply polluted waters from unregulated chemical dumping, untreated sewage releases and other physical disturbances in the last century.

This year, the restoration plan focuses on Radio Tower Bay and includes

  • Removing derelict pilings that once acted as support for a railway system which has since beenClick to see map abandoned
  • Dredging the bottom to remove sawmill debris
  • Restoration of Wild Rice habitat

 

Current Happenings in Radio Tower Bay

After much planning and preliminary work, we moved forward with dredging operations last fall. Unfortunately due to early poor weather, we were forced to stop before completion but in early May, 2015 we were able to start the dredging work again.

Some 115,000 cubic yards of debris will be removed from the bay and piped into the dewatering facility. There, the solids will be removed and the water will be cleaned and returned to the bay.

The former pilings have been removed.

Wild Rice restoration efforts, headed by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, are also underway.

Wild Rice will be restored throughout the estuary, including a goal of 150 acres by the end of this year.The correct time to plant Wild Rice is determined by the few remaining beds near the area; when they ripen and begin to drop seed, the conditions are right to begin planting. Photo used with permission from the Minnesota Historical SocietyThis requires collecting seed, prepping seed beds, and planting at the right time.

The photo at right shows open water that was once choked by cattail matss that had settled on top of wood debris. This area will be one of our wild rice restoration sites this fall.

You are looking at the process of creating habitat and critical shoreline throughout the estuary for the species that rely on it and a unique and accessible natural area for residents and tourists to use and enjoy for generations to come.

We are excited to forward our mission of creating a positive legacy for this unique natural area, once again making its waters drinkable, its fish edible, and its beaches swimmable.

 

Upcoming Projects

In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and other agencies, the Minnesota Land Trust (MLT) will move forward next year with more projects within the estuary.

This includes Grassy Point, a 180-acre area in the middle reach of the estuary which has also been impacted by heavy sawmilling operations in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Restoration objectives include

1) Restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation beds for species such as muskellunge, smallmouth bass,Lake Sturgeon--Photo by Wayne Davis walleye and lake sturgeon

2) Enhance the access by recreational anglers and boaters

3) Reconnect tributary spawning and rearing habitat. Stay tuned for more details!

 

To learn more about the St. Louis River Estuary and Radio Tower Bay, click here.