Designing Towards Restoring High
Quality Habitat in Degraded
"Areas of Concern"
Photo by USFWS; Zachary Jorgenson
January 9, 2014
The St. Louis River is the largest U.S. tributary to Lake Superior, and while supporting a major Great Lakes port, has been the site of 100 years of industrialization and urban development. The lower 21 miles consists of a 12,000-acre estuary providing important wetland, sand beach, forested, and aquatic habitat types for a wide variety of fish and wildlife communities. The lower portion of the St. Louis River and surrounding watershed was designated an Area of Concern in 1989 due to the presence of chemical contaminants, poor water quality, reduced fish and wildlife populations and habitat loss. The Environmental Contaminants program at the Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office has been an active partner within the lower St. Louis River conservation community for more than 15 years, assisting Area of Concern recovery efforts through investigations of chemical effects, advising on contaminated sediment remediation, spill contingency planning, assessing natural resource damages, and supporting a variety of other fish and wildlife habitat projects.
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