Great Outdoors – St. Louis River Offers Many Opportunities to Get Outside

Summit at UW-Superior Addressed How Northlanders Can Improve and Protect River Corridor

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The St. Louis River Summit is happening at UW-Superior.

We’ll take a look at how important the St. Louis River is to our region and how Northlanders use it for all kinds of outdoor recreation.

“Once I was out kayaking in the St. Louis River on opening day of fishing.” says Deanna Erickson, the Education Coordinator for the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. “There’s tons of people that love to be out on the St. Louis River, to the point where they can almost walk from boat to boat to boat.”

“This is where tribal members lived and were sustained by all the natural resources that are a part of this region,” says Nancy Schuldt, Water Projects Coordinator for the Found Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. “Everything from the fish and the wildlife, the wild rice, the berries. Everything that this place provided.”

The St. Louis River has a huge impact on everyday life in the Twin Ports Region.

“The wilderness quality of the river in the city gives us a great place to go just in an afternoon or in a morning or to take a walk,” says Erickson. “It makes the character of our neighborhoods and our lives better.”

Many current projects that are focusing on cleaning the river and restoring wild rice habitats aim to protect the river plus the animals and people who rely on it.

“Tomorrow and the next day as we improve that system, anglers will be able to actually walk out in front of the zoo and go fishing. Today they’d walk out into a mud flat full of non–native invasive species,”says Joel Hoffman, a research biologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The St. Louis River Summit addressed many of these efforts and what more can be done moving forward.

“As we learn more about what it means to restore the river, that means that the city’s going to come back stronger with more vitality than ever and that’s exciting for the future,” says Hoffman.

So future generations can continue to benefit from everything the river gives us.

“It’s where we meet the water on its own terms. You can be in a kayak, you can be in a jet boat, you can enjoy the water in any number of ways, but it’s the common thread we have here,” says Schuldt.