Early June meetings set to discuss results of water quality monitoring in the St. Louis River

Contact: Anne Moore, 218-302-6605

Duluth, Minn. -- Fish will certainly one of the important topics included in upcoming meetings about the St. Louis River’s water quality. St. Louis River residents and others interested in the condition of the river are invited to attend one of six meetings during early June, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced today.

The informational meetings, sponsored by the MPCA and the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District, are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, June 3, 5:30 p.m., Giants Ridge, Biwabik;
  • Wednesday, June 4, 11:30 a.m., Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, Eveleth;
  • Thursday, June 5, 11:30 a.m., Inn on Lake Superior, Duluth;
  • Thursday, June 5, 5:30 p.m., Morgan Park Community Center, Duluth;
  • Saturday, June 7, 12:00 noon, Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm; and
  • Tuesday, June 10, 5:30 p.m., Floodwood School, Floodwood.

Public participation is critical to restoring the more than 4,000 streams or lakes that are currently listed as “impaired” (or polluted) in Minnesota. These meetings will focus on the MPCA’s role of assessing the “swimmable and fishable” status of our lakes and streams.

MPCA water quality experts spent two years collecting as much data as they could on the lakes and streams in the St. Louis River watershed as part of a new watershed approach to assessing Minnesota waters on a 10-year cycle. Scientists evaluate the condition of the river and its tributaries by studying the fish, aquatic invertebrates, and plants as well as the water flow and chemistry. If water samples do not meet the expectations of a healthy river system, the sampled stream or lake could be considered impaired. If that occurs, the MPCA would look more closely at potential or likely causes and find ways to correct them. The management of the myriad ways we use and appreciate the resources of our water-rich state is handled by several state agencies.

The monitoring effort is a part of a statewide commitment to learn more about the state’s water quality. All 81 watersheds are in various stages of this large-scale assessment. Once a 10-year cycle is completed, MPCA staff and their partners repeat the monitoring, assessment, planning and restoration cycle. This work is funded by the Clean Water Fund from the constitutional amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.

Each meeting will give local citizens an opportunity to share stories and information about lakes and streams that are important to them.

For more information about the meetings, call the South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District at 218-723-4946 or visit its website at http://www.SouthStLouisSWCD.org.

For more information about water quality monitoring, visit the MPCA’s Water quality condition monitoring webpage.