Ecological Services: Environmental Contaminants
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Environmental Contaminants Investigations

Minnesota Highlights


Early Warning Program to Detect and Identify Contaminants of Emerging Concern and Their Effects to Fish and Wildlife

The "Early Warning Program to Detect and Identify Contaminants of Emerging Concern and Their Effects to Fish and Wildlife" and “Remediation to Restoration” Projects in the St. Louis River were topics of recent presentations by Fish and Wildlife Service staff at a conference and a science summit.


Early Warning Program

The "Early Warning Program to Detect and Identify Contaminants of Emerging Concern and Their Effects to Fish and Wildlife" is a Great Lakes-wide investigation of the sources, routes to exposure and impacts to fish and wildlife and their habitats of new contaminants or of older contaminants with a newly expanded distribution, altered release, or a newly detected presence in the environment. Read more 


St. Louis River Area of Concern (Minnesota) - Twin Cities Field Office Continues Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Work to Restore Habitat

Fish and wildlife habitat in two areas of the St. Louis River (the 40th Ave West Complex and 21st Ave West Complex) are limited by contaminated sediments and other factors. We are working with local and state partners in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to develop ecological design plans. Collection of ecological characterization data in the 40th Ave West Complex was completed in the summer of 2010.  Collection of ecological characterization data in the 21st Ave West Complex is in the process of being collected.  The Environmental Contaminants Program will more specifically look at ecotoxicological characteristics of each complex to help determine how contaminated sediments should be managed in these areas to protect fish and wildlife resources. 


Upon collection and evaluation of data, partners will use the ecological characterization to assist with determining the most appropriate and desirable ecological communities and fish and wildlife habitat types which may be restored and developed in the complexes following remediation.  Funding support for remedial and restoration construction is anticipated to be made available through a variety of sources, including the Great Lakes Legacy Act, Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, and others.  These projects are specifically designed to fulfill strategies identified to remove Beneficial Use Impairments limiting fish and wildlife in this Great Lakes Area of Concern, and complements continuing TCFO EC Program efforts to restore fish and wildlife habitat at a Superfund Site upriver through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program.


Twin Cities Field Office Environmental Contaminants Program Investments in Landscape Conservation Result in St. Louis River Habitat Conservation

The Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office celebrated with conservation partners this year the successful conservation acquisition of Clough Island in the St. Louis River after several years of effort and support with the local conservation community.  Long-regarded as the “Jewel of the St. Louis River” estuary, Clough Island provides significant wetland habitat to support migratory waterfowl and Great Lakes fisheries, as well as wooded upland habitat.  Protection of the Island had been identified through potential natural resource damage assessment and restoration actions and other means.  When the Island first came up for sale, the Twin Cities Field Office worked with the Habitat Workgroup of the St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee and the Service’s Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration to develop a successful National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program funding proposal to support acquisition.  Although the Island was subsequently sold to a developer at that time, the Service continued to assist local efforts to maintain the focus and capability for conservation acquisition, and in late 2010, the Nature Conservancy was able to purchase fee title to the property and deed it to the State of Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will now develop and implement a management plan to protect and enhance the substantial fish and wildlife habitat afforded by Clough Island.





Midwest Environmental Contaminants Home


Last updated: April 2, 2018