Lake Superior Basin


The Minnesota part of the Lake Superior Basin encompasses portions of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Lake, Pine and St. Louis Counties, covering approximately 6,200 square miles. Major watersheds in the basin include the Cloquet, Nemadji and St. Louis River systems, as well as the North Shore tributaries to Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Basin is Minnesota's only basin that is on a Great Lake coastline. As such, the basin is in a unique position to take advantage of international, national, and multi-state efforts to manage and protect the Great Lakes.


What is basin management?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is implementing basin management to better identify water quality problems and or successes, create alliances with communities to establish shared goals and priorities, and develop integrated solution strategies for point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The state has been portioned into ten major river basins.

Key principles of basin management.

  • Focus on water resource priorities
  • Emphasize environmental outcomes
  • Focus on customer/public involvement
  • Integrate pollution reduction strategies for point and nonpoint sources