Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program - Funded Projects

Natural Resources Enhancement, Protection & Management


306-14-11: Bats and Wind along the North Shore of Lake Superior

Provide initial data on locations and relative densities of bats in the Lake Superior coastal zone. It is unrealistic to completely eliminate mortality from wind power sites, but it is realistic to identify preferred sites that would reduce threats to birds and bats. This project will facilitate a more comprehensive site selection process with recommendations for environmentally-sound development of the wind industry in the forested regions of MN by identifying areas of risk to migratory and breeding bats. It is the first study in NE MN on the potential effect of wind power development on bats.

306-13-11: Mitigating Conflicts between Potential Wind Turbines and Migratory Birds on the North Shore - Phase 2

Continue the assessment of the bird migration along the North Shore to best identify consistent patterns in magnitude, location, and flight height of migrating birds. These data will be combined with weather data, topographic features, and wind pattern data collected by Dr. Michael Mageau in a previously funded Minnesota Coastal Program project. It is our overall goal to aid in the future potential development and placement of wind turbines along the North Shore to avoid or minimize potential impacts on migrating birds.

306-STAR06-10: Lake County Courthouse Rain Garden and Green Space

Purchase 1,650 native rain garden plants for a 1,600 square foot rain garden to treat storm water runoff from a newly resurfaced Lake County Courthouse parking lot. The rain garden plants will be selected from locally grown, native species that have proven to perform well in a rain garden situation.

306-STAR01-10: Spring Migration Monitoring (West Skyline Hawk Count)

Spring migration monitoring of birds is important in documenting trends and changes in bird populations. Changes in bird populations serve as environmental indicators and significant data can be collected during the migration seasons to assess these changes. The two raptor count site used are Enger Tower (city park) and the Thompson Hill rest area; both are located along the West Skyline Parkway in Duluth, Minnesota. The topographical features of both count sites concentrate northbound migrants, which collect along the ridge before continuing north. Each year an average of 26,000 raptors have been recorded migrating through Duluth from March through May. This count is among the overall top five highest spring counts in North America, including the top five highest species spring counts for Osprey and Golden Eagles.

306-13-10: Exotic Earthworm Invasions: Intragrated Research & Education to Achieve Natural Resource Protection

Surveys for earthworms in each of 8 state parks in the Coastal Zone (Jay Cooke, Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock, Tettegouche, George Crosby Manitou, Temperance River, Cascade River, and Judge Magney). Walk through surveys of each park will provide distributional data on earthworm presence and absence across each park. A minimum of 12 stands in each park will be surveyed to access the relative abundance and diversity of earthworm populations and the level of impact earthworm invasions are having on forest soils in a range of forest habitat and soil types in relation to human centers of activity in the parks. www.greatlakeswormwatch.org


306-12-10: Mitigating Conflicts between Potential Wind Turbines and Migratory Birds on the North Shore

In order to avoid or minimize ecological consequences on birds that use this major migratory flyway, this project is critical in gathering data needed to aid in the potential development and placement of wind turbines along the North Shore of Lake Superior.


306-11-10: Soil & Water Nonpoint Technical Assistance, County Road Inventory, and Wetland Initiatives

Address specific concerns and objectives identified in the Cook SWCD Comprehensive Plan or the Local Water Management Plan. Targeted and Documented Nonpoint Technical Assistance.


306A-02-09: Storm Water Control - Temperance River State Park Wayside

The purpose of this project is to correct storm water drainage issues on the wayside parking lot at the Temperance River in Temperance River State Park. The project will be a demonstration project and will interpretive information panels that explain water quality issues and natural water control methods being used to reduce the impact from impervious surfaces such as the parking lots. This information will reach a large audience and provides an excellent opportunity to educate the public on important issues.


306A-01-09: Community Center Rain Water Gardens and Site Restoration Area

Phase I of the recreation area plan that was developed encompassing the ~ 50 acres between the Cook County Community Center and Cook County Schools the summer of 2007. Phase I includes moving the hockey rink and building a skateboard park in the 1-2 acres between the Community Center building and the Little League field. Before we can even begin construction we need to address the storm water issues and looking at as many environmentally correct ways to deal with it through rain gardens, pervious pavement and restorative plantings. These environmental projects will enhance and help with our overall environmental plan within those 1 -2 acres and are planned for implementation over a time period from Summer 2007 - Fall 2008.


306-15-09: Erosion & Sediment Control for Temporary Wetland & Stream Crossings Booklet/CD

The objective of the educational booklet/CD is to minimize impacts on water resources by providing instruction on techniques that will reduce erosion and sedimentation. Lake Superior and the streams and wetlands that drain to it within the Coastal Zone are prone to substantial damage due to improper erosion and sediment control practices during construction and silviculture activities. This booklet will provide written instructions and photos demonstrating erosion and sediment control practices for stream and wetland crossings that minimize damage to the resources. The booklet will be distributed to grading contractors, forestry workers, local governments and others that work around streams and wetlands or move dirt. Since it will be in a booklet/CD format, this information will be more readily available to many. It could be distributed by MECA, County staff and others.


306-08-08: Real-time data to estimate sediment, nutrient and Hg loading from Northshore L.Superior streams

DuluthStreams.org, (1) operate this network for 2006-7 and add low level mercury sampling to develop accurate stream discharge/pollutant budgets and models relating "surrogate" sensor values to pollutants of interest (especially Hg and turbidity); and (2) provide an easy access web portal for citizens, businesses, and decision makers to understand the environmental and public health issues and regulatory framework associated with the actual pollutant monitoring data.


306-06-08: Stream Protection at the Lake Superior Zoo: Internal Audit & Best Management Practices Training

The Lake Superior Zoo, City of Duluth's Stormwater Utility and the South St. Louis Soil & Conservation District will conduct an internal audit to assess current maintenance and cleaning policies. The audit will provide a comprehensive plan to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) for grounds maintenance that will help to reduce erosion and animal fecal waste from entering the water of the creek. Zoo staff will be trained in BMPs.


306-STAR07-07: Reclassification of Portions of Lakes for Resource Protection

In 2005 the Cook County Water Advisory Committee completed a step toward lake reclassification. They used the recently-completed, voluntary MN DNR Alternative Shoreland Standards as a guide in building a data matrix (spreadsheet) displaying lake and shoreline conditions of the 96 developed lakes in the County. The Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District intends to conduct such a study in the coming year as part of a lakes reclassification project. This will ultimately protect water quality in lakes and portions of lakes requiring greater amounts of protection. It will finalize lake criteria to be used for reclassification, design GIS and field data gathering methods and protocols, and select lakes to be studied for the project. Phase two, the GIS phase, will be completed with Clean Water Legacy funds (or other) and will match for the STAR grant. Phase two work includes gathering of GIS data files and interpretation of the data using ArcGIS software. Aerial photo interpretation of cover types, shoreline rectification with parcel layers, lake depth and water quality data, slope and soils analysis, density analysis, and build-out scenarios are operations that will be completed during this phase.


306A-03-07: Green Roof Retrofit: Duluth Motor Pool Building Evaluation

Remove the existing parking surfaces and waterproofing to retrofit the upper most level of the building with a "Green Roof System".


306A-10-06: Landscape Level Restoration Forestry to Benefit Lake Superior's Water Quality

This project will use various techniques to restore long lived conifers on approximately 500 acres of Northern hardwood forest in the watersheds of the Manitou, Caribou, and Baptism Rivers. Restoration efforts will be guided by historical records of conifer abundance and surveys of baseline stands where timber harvesting has not occurred.

306A-04-06: Shovel Point Vegetation Restoration

This project will continue efforts to restore the native vegetation to visitor worn areas of Shovel Point.

306A-03-06: Shovel Point Climbers Platform

This project will continue efforts to protect and restore the native vegetation to visitor worn areas of Shovel Point. Project Summary Sheet 340 kb


306-07-06: Investigation and Design for Sediment Traps for Miller and Coffee Creeks

The City of Duluth would like to install sediment devices to remove material prior to discharge in the St. Louis River. However significant investigative work and initial design work must be done to determine an effective method of removing sediment from a high velocity stream.


306-06-06: Lake Superior Marine Unit

Purchase of a water craft to be used as the primary patrol vessel for the MN DNR Lake Superior Marine Unit. The MN DNR Lake Superior Marine Unit enforces all state natural resource laws and rules on the MN waters and shoreline of Lake Superior. This new water craft will replace a 1988 25' Boston Whaler which has been the primary patrol vessel since 1988 and is 5 years past the projected replacement date. The vessel will be stationed in the Duluth Harbor and patrols all of the MN waters of Lake Superior. The patrol boat will perform the following duties: search and rescue operations for boats and persons, recovery of drowning victims, commercial, charter and sport fishing law enforcement, boat and water safety law enforcement for both recreational boating and fishing activities, and on water support of biological surveys, response and investigation of pollution impacting Lake Superior waters and adjacent shorelines.


306-08-06: Investigation of Potential Wetland Restoration and Creation Sites

The South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District seeks funding to complete a project to identify potential wetland restoration and creation sites within the South St. Louis SWCD's portion of the Coastal Boundary and Lake Superior Basin. The deliverable for this project will be a report: Investigation of potential wetland restoration and creation sites with in the South St. Louis SWCD portion of the Lake Superior Basin. The report will be posted on our website, and the posting will be noticed by email to resource managers that have an interest in the Lake Superior Basin.


306-STAR07-05: Interactive Animation and Visualization Tool for Exploring Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program Bacteria Data

Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program and Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI-UMD) staff to developed an interactive online tool for viewing lake and estuary indicator bacteria data with a new perspective. This data visualization tool will be installed on the www.lakesuperiorstreams.org website with appropriate links from the Lake Superior Beach Monitoring website www.mnbeaches.org to allow users to visualize changes in bacteria counts over time compared to temperature, precipitation, wave height and wind direction.

306A-11-05: George Crosby Manitou State Park Land Acquisition

The 260 acre proposed acquisition will consolidate lands into a contiguous unit containing hiking trails, backpacking campsites and protect ecologically significant resources and scenic vistas in the park.


306A-10-05: Lake County Demonstration Forest

Construct hiking trails, install location/educational signs, develop two brochures ("History of the Area" and "Forest Management Tour"), and complete the development of a practical forest management plan utilizing state-of-the-art forest management practices and techniques.


306A-06-05: Two Harbors High School Expanded and Enhanced Wetlands and Native Plant Restoration

Construct retention and wetland basins, restore disturbed areas around the new building with a grass mixture applied by hydromulch. Expand the wetlands area of approximately twice, from 2 to 4 acres total. Reshape the wetlands for emergent vegetation growth, fish life, and bird life. Replant most of the disturbed acreage with native grasses, and forbs rather than a maintained turf. Construct a demonstration pervious parking area for 24 cars.


306-15-05: The Risk to Native MN Beach Grass Posed By Historical Restoration Efforts That Used MI Plants

The long-term goal of this research is to determine the extent and impact of hybridization on Park Point to provide site managers with information to make sound conservation decisions regarding the threatened status of the MN population and guide future management and restoration of Lake Superior coastal populations. This proposal presents the first steps toward this goal. The specific aims of the proposed work are: 1) To determine whether outbreeding depression occurs when MN and MI grasses are intentionally hybridized, 2) To identify morphological traits that distinguish MN and MI plants on Park Point, and 3) To produce a map of Park Point based on historical records and field surveys that shows areas where MI grass is already established.


306-05-05: The Importance of the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Distribution and Abundance of Bats

Surveys that evaluate the importance of the MN Lake Superior Coastal Area to bats. The MN County Biological Survey proposes to (1) document the arrival and department of migratory bats to/from the North Shore, and to (2) locate and evaluate potential over-wintering sites for cave bats along the North Shore coastline.


306-STAR08-04: Special Native Seed Mix for Gitchi-Gami State Trail Development

The purchase of additional special native seed mix that will be planted on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This is a great opportunity to improve the vegetation adjacent to the Gitchi-Gami Trail by planting this native seed mix.


306-34-04: Development of a Hydroacoustic Survey Design for the MN Waters of Lake Superior

Design a viable hydroacoustic survey using the present MNDNR vessel and gear to generate annual biomass estimates of prey in Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior.

306-18-04: Rare Herpetofauna and Important Seasonal Ponds within the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Region

Conduct surveys for rare and undocumented amphibians and reptiles in the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal (MLSCP) area and (b) identify important seasonal ponds for amphibians.

306-17-04: Identification of Potential Coaster Brook Trout Spawning Areas Along the Minnesota Shore of Lake Superior

Identify and map critical ground water source areas. These maps will serve as valuable planning tools for the protection and rehabilitation of coaster brook trout in the future.


306A-11-04: George Crosby Manitou State Park Land Acquisition

The 640 acre acquisition consolidated lands into a contiguous unit containing hiking trails, backpacking campsites and protect ecologically significant resources and scenic vistas in the park.


306A-07-03: Lincoln Park Miller Creek Wall Restoration Project

The restoration and preservation of the creek walls. The walls of Miller Creek were built during the City Beautiful Movement, during the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Built mostly of large natural stones from the area, they have withstood extremely high water levels during many flash floods over the years; however, this activity has caused a great extent of deterioration to those walls in the lower and central part of the park.

306A-05-03: Northern Hardwoods Management to benefit Lake Superior's Water Quality

Develop methods of selective timber harvest that can maintain or improve the water quality in nearby streams.

306A-03-03: Lake County Wetland Creation to enhance Migratory Bird Habitat

Incorporate county owned gravel pit rehabilitation and closure with the creation of palustrine emergent, and associated palustrine forested and palustrine shrub wetlands, for migratory birds.

306A-02-03: Conifer Restoration to benefit Lake Superior's Water Quality

This project is a pilot effort, initiated in subwatersheds with the greatest opportunity for improvement by forest management activities, to develop methods of selective harvest that can maintain or improve the water quality in nearby streams. All activities will be located on public lands in the Manitou Forest landscape near Finland, MN.


310-14-03: Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods Scientific and Natural Area Land Acquisition

A 159.5 acre tract of northern hardwoods with old growth forests comprised of sugar maple and eastern white cedar as well as early successional forests. Rare species include white baneberry, Chilean sweet cicely, blunt fruited cicely, and Carolina Spring Beauty. The parcel to be acquired abuts an existing state scientific and natural area. As a natural area, the parcel will be preserved for nature observation, education and scientific research uses consistent with protection of the natural resources found on the site.


310-12-03: Reserve Mining Groundwater and Surface Water Contamination Control

Reserve Mining-Silver Bay Scrapyard and Diesel Range Organics (DRO) Plume Site is located approximately .5 miles from Lake Superior and .1 mile from the west part of the City of Silver Bay, Minnesota. There are two known source areas, the Drum Burial Pit and the Landfill, together called the Scrapyard. The Scrapyard is approximately 4.5 acres and was formerly used as an industrial landfill until May 1980. It contains both hazardous (lead) and nonhazardous drums of leaded grease and diesel range organics. Other contaminants include methyl ethyl ketone, low levels of other volatile organic compounds, dioxim-like PCBs, and metals. The Scrapyard was also reportedly used for disposal and burning of used grease and storage of old transformers. The source of the DRO has not been identified. Soil, groundwater and surface water have been impacted by the source areas, mainly from metals and DRO. This project will only focus on the investigation of groundwater and surface water impacts for the restoration and protection of Lake Superior


310-09-03: Miller Creek Sediment Trap

This project will complete an in-stream sediment trap behind the Miller Hill Mall. Preliminary design has been completed. Agreements and permits with the City of Duluth are also in order.


306-17-02: North Shore State Parks Spruce Beetle Study

The North Shore State Parks Spruce Beetle Study aims to determine the extent of the infestation of D. rufipennis in state parks along the North Shore of Lake Superior. A ground survey of North Shore State Parks and selected state forest lands will be conducted to find areas of spruce beetle infestation and determine beetle population trends. An important outcome of this study will be to provide information to local land managers and interested members of the public on spruce beetle outbreaks.


306-09-02: State Park Vegetation Mapping

MCBS and State Parks produced digital maps showing the location of native plant communities and rare plants and preparing natural history information and management recommendations for three parks along the Lake Superior shore.

306-08-02: Shoreline Plant Communities Survey

A collaborative project between MCBS and State Parks designed to survey vegetation types (native plant communities) along the Lake Superior shoreline that are strongly influenced by the lake. The survey will be designed to evaluate the impacts of high visitor use on public lands, by comparing areas of high use in state parks to areas of moderate and low use on public and private lands.


306A-04-02: Wetland/Upland Restoration Trail and Educational Materials Development Program

Sugarloaf Cove Construction of two sections of trail: extending a boardwalk on an existing portion of the trail on the Scientific and Natural Area at Sugarloaf Cove, and building a spur from the existing trail into the recently restored wetland. Design and build informational kiosks, to be placed along the spur into the wetland. Update the trail guide to include information about the wetland and upland restoration project. 


310-02-02: Remediation of Sargent's Creek Dump Site

The project is a complete remediation of the site, utilizing a standard process of evaluation and assessment operations as developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


310-03-02: Two Harbors Old City Dump Site Restoration

City of Two Harbors restoration of the old dump site in three phases.


310-01-02: Managed Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in the Lake Superior Basin: Outreach and Education

Onsite treatment systems Wastewater Education in the Lake Superior basin.

306-17-01: Lake Superior Drainage Mussel Survey
This project seeks to complete a prerequisite step to sustaining aquatic resources of Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal region for future generations - taking inventory of our natural assets. Accounting for the mussel resources of rivers and streams throughout Minnesota's Lake Superior Drainage will allow us to better measure our successes and failures in avoiding the decimation that has visited many human civilizations throughout history. As the sentinels of river health, mussels provide us with an important measure of our society's impacts on rivers, and how well we are sustaining these natural resources for our future.


306A-05-01: Minnesota Point Restoration and Protection

Continued protection and restoration of the sand dunes on Minnesota Point on the western end of Lake Superior. The dunes are severely eroded and barely 100 yards separate Lake Superior from Superior Bay. This is a heavily utilized recreation area, and the beach grass that unites the dunes in other areas of the Point cannot grow here due to the relentless foot traffic of beach-goers.