New Grant To Increase Water Quality Monitoring in St. Louis River Estuary

TWIN PORTS – A lot of action has taken place to clean up the St. Louis River of nutrients and sediment dumped in the past.  A new grant hopes to keep improving that water quality in the future.

Scientists with the UW-Madison Extension Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute will use the $400,000 to increase how many water samples they collect.

The goal is to create a baseline for the river’s current water health, and create a plan to track changes for future challenges.

“So there’s climate change,” says Hannah Ramage, Monitoring Coordinator with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. “There’s other source of nutrients, and we don’t fully understand how all of that is interacting or what the future may look like for the estuary.”

Scientists with this project will examine how changes to the water’s temperature, nutrients, and oxygen levels could lead to harmful algae blooms and other dangers to the health of humans and animals.  They plan to deploy sensors to collect over 300 water samples through next year.

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