Environment

St. Louis River Alliance Continues to Make Progress Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

A Small Skeletal Crew Continues to Work on Restoration Projects Impacting the St. Louis River Estuary

DULUTH, Minn. – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting projects small and large across the Twin Ports, and restoration along the St. Louis River estuary is no exception. Kris Eilers, Executive Director of the St. Louis River Alliance (SLRA), says her team has had to rethink the way they are doing things amid the ongoing pandemic. She’s thankful the river has…

Wildfires in Superior National Forest, BWCA on Fourth of July

MINNESOTA — According to the U.S. Fire Service, multiple wildfires burned in the Superior National Forest and BWCA on the Fourth of July. In the Superior National Forest, four wildfires were reported in the west area. Three wildfires were reported in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness within St. Louis County, as well as another fire outside of the Boundary…

Saharan Dust Cloud Moves Through Midwest; Not Very Visible Through Minnesota Clouds

The cloud of dust from Africa creates vibrant sunsets and hazy skies, but cloudy skies keep Minnesotans from seeing it.

DULUTH, Minn.- If you were hoping to catch a glimpse of a hazy sky or a vibrant sunset here in Minnesota Sunday or Monday, caused by the phenomenon known as the Saharan Dust Cloud, you may be out of luck due to our pesky clouds. The Saharan Dust Cloud is dust picked up by thunderstorms and winds in Africa’s Sahara…

Denfeld Students Keep Up Course Cleanup Tradition Despite Grandma’s Cancellation

Denfeld Girls Soccer Team has picked up trash along the shore the day after race day for about 10 years.

DULUTH, Minn.- The cancellation of Grandma’s Marathon didn’t stop Denfeld High School students from their nearly 10-year tradition of picking up trash along the course the day after race day. “We’re a part of the community and it’s nice to get our name out, y’know get some supporters for our team,”said Denfeld Junior Kamryn Hill. After Grandma’s every year, it’s…

YMCA’s Camp Miller Announces They Will Be Open for Summer Season

Camp Miller, With Permission from Governor Tim Walz, Will Be Allowed to Host Family Camps Only

  STURGEON LAKE, Minn. – The YMCA’s Camp Miller in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, is celebrating its 122nd summer season this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership learned earlier this week from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, they will be allowed to open this summer for family camps only, with restrictions in place to prevent further spread of coronavirus. “We want…

2020 Duluth Monarch Festival Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Duluth Monarch Buddies Made the Announcement Tuesday Morning on Social Media

DULUTH, Minn. – Monarch butterflies will soon be fluttering back into the Northland, but there won’t be a festival to celebrate them this year. Duluth Monarch Buddies took to social media Tuesday morning, announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Duluth Monarch Festival. The event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 13. Members of the group say an outdoor…

Minnesota Company to Close North Dakota Coal-fired Plant

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that operates the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota announced Thursday it will close the factory and replace most of its energy with new wind farms in Minnesota. Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Great River Energy said its Coal Creek Station near Underwood in west-central North Dakota will be shuttered in the second half of…

Duluth Trails Open After Freeze/Thaw, No Plans to Close Beaches So Far

Walkers, runners and bikers flock to their favorite trails.

DULUTH, Minn.- Just in time for the nice weather, Duluth Parks and Recreation announced that most of the city’s multi-use natural surface trails are now open after being closed due to wet conditions. “It’s been a long time coming this spring,” said Parks and Rec Trail Cooridinator Matt Andrews. “We’ve all been patiently waiting for these trails to open up….

Lakes, Local Businesses Busy for Wisconsin Fishing Opener

While social distancing and practicing guidelines, anglers stocked up on bait and tackle and took to the water.

SOLON SPRINGS, Wis.- The near perfect weather Saturday lured Wisconsin anglers out for the day many have been waiting all year for: the 2020 Fishing Opener. “It’s been a long winter and get some walleyes, maybe some crappies, bass, whatever it’s, whatever’s biting,” said Kyle Tikkanen, fishing with his son, Kegan on Upper Saint Croix Lake. “Just getting out, enjoying…

Minnesota DNR: Take Feeders Down, Utilize Preventative Measures

As Bears Begin to Roam, The Minnesota DNR Reminds Residents to Use Caution

DULUTH, Minn. – Spring has sprung and now bears are all the buzz, waking up from a long winter slumber with new cubs who are ready to eat and roam with the parents. The Minnesota DNR is receiving reports of bear sightings near the Duluth Lakewalk and other urban areas. Officials want to remind residents that black bears are generally…

Minnesota DNR Encourages Hunting, Fishing License Sales

Revenue From License Sales Help Fund Critical Field Work for the Minnesota DNR

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resource is urging outdoor enthusiasts to continue purchasing fishing and hunting license this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Tim Walz has officially allowed fishing season to begin as planned on Saturday, May 9. Turkey season is already well underway in many parts of the state. Much of the revenue collected from…

St. Louis River Quest Canceled for the First Time in Program History

Organizers hope to bring those that missed out this year aboard next year.

DULUTH, Minn.- The 28th Annual St. Louis River Quest, the three-day waterfront and water safety education program for sixth graders, has been canceled for the first time due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled for the beginning of May, River Quest has never been canceled since its start in 1993. 1,500 sixth graders from 13 area schools come to the…

Volunteers Keep Duluth Clean for First Virtual Cleanup Day

City launches first ever virtual cleanup after spring lakewalk cleaning gets canceled.

DULUTH, Minn.- In honor of Earth Day and the canceled spring lakewalk cleanup, the City of Duluth launched their first “Keep Duluth Clean Virtual Cleanup” Saturday. People are encouraged to grab an old bucket or bag, put on their gloves, and start picking up trash. They can share their progress with the hashtag #keepduluthclean. Volunteers cleaning up said they’re surprised…

All Natural Surface Trails in Duluth Closed due to Wet Conditions

Temporarily closure done regularly.

DULUTH, Minn.- All surface trails in Duluth have been closed for a few weeks by the city due to trail conditions. Trails like Superior Hiking Trail are routinely closed this time of year when conditions are too wet for foot or bike traffic. According to city staff, this ensures good quality for the trails once things dry out. “What we’re…

Getting Out of House to Clean Up North Shore

Two friends spend their time without a job picking up garbage along Brighton Beach all the way to Two Harbors.

DULUTH, Minn.- As more people are enjoying activities outdoors, two folks decided to show the environment some love, and pick up trash along the North Shore. After losing their jobs at Duluth Woman’s Club, Lane Prekker and Karina Bite decided to get out of the house and head to Brighton Beach. “We came up here to get out in the…

Angler’s Isolation: Fishing on the Brule River

Coronavirus doesn't keep anglers from fishing for steelhead trout.

BRULE, Wis.- Since solitary outdoor activities in state parks are considered essential in Governor Tony Evers’s Safer-at-Home order, some anglers took advantage of that, casting their rods on the Brule River. The babbling brooks feeding into the rushing river are the only sounds that greet you out along the Brule. “This is about as isolated as we can get,” Eric…

State Allocates Funds for Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species

Each year the state legislature delegates funds to attack Aquatic Invasive Species.

DULUTH, Minn.- The fight against Aquatic Invasive Species in St. Louis County lakes continues as the County Board has approved the distribution of funds for their prevention and elimination. Each year the state legislature allocated funding to counties to be used to prevent the introduction and limit the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or AIS. These species disrupt the health…

Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation Reopens after Five Months Closed

Center officially opens March 21st.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation in Duluth is opening later this month, and on Sunday they invited the public to an open house to see the facilities before animals start arriving. Wildwoods was closed for 5 months to renew its permit with the Minnesota DNR. Once open, it will continue to house and rehabilitate certain animals at their facility,…

Free Solar Energy Workshop Held in West Duluth

Families learned about renewable energy at the Family Freedom Center.

DULUTH, Minn.- Families learned more about renewable energy at a free Solar Workshop at the Family Freedom Center The workshop featured informational booths with training and job opportunities in renewable energy. There were also interactive solar-based games for kids. According to organizers, renewable energy is the right way to go in the Northland. “The interesting thing about renewable energy and…

2nd Annual Local Food Fair Happening Saturday in Cloquet

The 2nd Annual Local Food Fair is Happening at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet

CLOQUET, Minn. – Happening Saturday, March 7, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will host the 2nd annual Local Food Fair sponsored by the United Way of Carlton County. The event is set to bring together local farmers, bakers, and other food producers. The Local Food Fair is happening from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. This free, family-friendly event brings…

Enbridge Pays City of Mellen $1.5 Million for Land to be Used in Line 5 Reroute

If Line 5 reroute construction happens, Enbridge will pay city additional $3.25 million

MELLEN, Wis. – Enbridge is rerouting part if its Line 5 pipeline around the Bad River Reservation. Line 5 is now designed to pass through Mellen, Wisconsin. On March 3rd, a deal was finalized between the city of Mellen and Enbridge allowing the pipeline to be built underneath a piece of land just north of the city. Enbridge presented a…

Northlanders Enjoy Warm First Day of Meteorological Spring Outside

Temps reach low 40s as people enjoy the lakeside in Canal Park.

DULUTH, Minn.- Sunday was the first day of Meteorological Spring, the three month period of March, April and May which meteorologists use to calculate seasonal statistics. It sure felt like Spring here in the Northland, as temperatures got as high as 42 degrees in Duluth. So people got outside in Canal Park enjoying the melting lake and sunshine, as we…

“Sunscriptions” Filled on the SunSpot Bus

ACTIVE ADVENTURES: Mobile Unit Geared to Help Vitamin D Deficiency, SAD and Winter Blues

DULUTH, Minn. — In this weeks Active Adventures Fox 21’s Brittney Merlot takes on the SUNSPOT BUS! If you are battling the winter blues, cabin fever, vitamin D deficiency and finding yourself not being very active, light therapy can help you! ABOUT: The further one lives north of the equator, the less sunshine hits the surface of the earth or…

Park Officials Remind Pet Owners to “Pick Up Poop”

Piles of Poop Left Behind Causes Concerns from Park Officials, City Staff

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s warm, squishy, and it stinks. We’re talking poop. Chances are you’re guilty once or twice of watching your pet poo, and walking away in a public place. But it’s now becoming a problem within the Twin Ports, one pile leading to hundreds if not thousands left unattended. “No one wants to walk in poop when they’re…

The Ups and Downs of Unfrozen Lake Superior

Experts share different effects of the lake's low ice cover, while some Northlanders miss the ice.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Northland has gone through an unseasonably warm winter, eliminating the chance for much ice to form on the surface of Lake Superior. “I was excited for the ice build up and it’s just not coming yet,” Lindsey Ruhnke said. Lapping waves is a surprising sound to hear by the lake at the beginning of February. “I think…

Great Grey Owl Sighting Attracts Dozens of Bird Enthusiasts to Duluth

A Great Grey Owl Was Recently Spotted Along Interstate 35 Near 21st Avenue East in Duluth, a Rare Occurrence

DULUTH, Minn. – The Great Grey Owl typically resides toward the tip of North America and across the pond in northern Russia. Recently, residents in the Northland captured a rare sight, one that has bird enthusiasts speaking out in this week’s Great Outdoors. “Even people that were just driving by living in the neighborhood, they pull over and ask what…

Lake Superior Nearly Ice-Free this Warm Winter

Ice coverage at less than 5% as temps are higher than normal.

DULUTH, Minn.- This winter’s unseasonably warm temperatures have left Lake Superior almost entirely without ice. According to experts at the National Weather Service, less than 5% of the lake is covered so far, while at this time last year 40% of the lake was covered. While less ice may make the water seem warmer, experts said that it’s still icy…

Ready, Set, Ride! Winter Bike Week Kicks Off in Twin Ports

Zeitgeist Hosts the Annual Winter Bike Week to Encourage People Powered Modes of Transportation Year-Round

DULUTH, Minn. – Many Northlanders find themselves cooped up throughout the winter months, but one local organization is looking to promote activity with people powered modes of transportation year-round. Zeitgeist is proud to present the annual Winter Bike Week February 5 – 15. Currently, Zeitgeist’s active transportation coordinator, Shawna Mullen, is in Joensuu, Finland for the 8th Annual Winter Cycling Congress…

Park Point Residents Work to Protect Properties and Find Funding to Stop Erosion and Flooding

DULUTH, Minn. – If you could choose any neighborhood to live in in Duluth, Park Point is one of the most desirable. A beautiful six-mile isle on Lake Superior, there’s no better place to be close to the water in the city. However, in recent years, Duluthians who are living on Park Point are battling the power of Lake Superior…

300 Mile North Shore Journey Ends at Beargrease Finish Line

Ryan Reddington, Keith Aili, Ryan Anderson first three to cross finish line.

DULUTH, Minn.- An exciting night in Grand Portage, as crowds gathered at the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon finish line to welcome the mushers with cheers and support as they completed their nearly 300 mile journey. “The dogs know when they’re getting close to the end they can smell the smoke in the air,” said Race Marshall Stan Passananti. Around…

Giving Life to Old Stuff by Recycling, Repurposing and Restyling

Showing how to use old fabric items to make something new.

DULUTH, Minn.- If your New Year’s Resolution involved using more of the stuff you have lying around, you could try using the items to make something new. On Monday Mt. Royal Library hosted a “Recycle, Repurpose, and Restyle” class. Presenter Mary Mulari showcased different projects she’s crafted out of old fabric items. For example, doilies can become table runners, and…

Dogs, Spectators Energetic at Beargrease Starting Line

Mushers prepare for a longer and softer trail, thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures.

DULUTH, Minn.- The excitement was in the air at the starting line of the 40th Annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. “These dogs were meant to run, they were born to run, they’re trained to run,” said Race Spokesperson Monica Hendrickson, the yip of excited race dogs behind her. The dogs’ howls light a flame in everyone’s hearts. “Everything about…

Lake Superior Maritime Museum Hosts Talk on Ice’s Effects on Great Lakes Shipping

Talk focuses on how ice affects shipping paths, maintenance of ships, and other maritime activities.

DULUTH, Minn.- Ice is no stranger to the Northland or Lake Superior. On Friday folks could learn about how it effects the Great Lakes at the Lake Superior Maritime Museum. The Museum hosted “The History of Lake Ice and its Effects on Great Lakes Shipping,” where Ranger Scott Bjorklund spoke about how ice affects shipping paths, maintenance of ships, and…

Enbridge Holds Community Meeting to Sign Piece of Pipeline

Company leaders, Pete Stauber, and more attend and express support for Line 3.

DULUTH, Minn.- Enbridge and other companies working on the proposed Line 3 Pipeline Project gathered supporters of the project and others at United Piping in Duluth. The event was the final stop on Enbridge’s “Safest Way” Tour, the company’s campaign to share information on the project. After hearing from different company leaders, people could then sign a piece of the…

Clean Water Advocates Applaud Halt of Key PolyMet Permits For Copper-Nickel Mine

DULUTH, Minn. – Environmentalists and advocates of clean water gathered in Duluth Monday to celebrate the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ ruling to put a halt on two crucial permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes. Leaders from WaterLegacy, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and even Duluth City Councilor Joel Sipress were among those praising…

Many in Hoyt Lakes Frustrated as Court of Appeals Halts PolyMet Permits

Many in town say after 15 years work, more delay is detrimental to the town.

HOYT LAKES, Minn.- A three judge panel said the Minnesota DNR made a mistake regarding the PolyMet NorthMet project, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals put a halt on two crucial permits. “It feels like a slap in the face, to tell you the truth. It really does,” said Hoyt Lakes Mayor Chris Vreeland. The word on the streets of…

Climbing Cliffs in Snowshoes

ACTIVE ADVENTURES: Bluefin Bay Resort Activites Takes Us Along The Superior Hiking Trail

TOFTE, Minn. — In this weeks Active Adventures Bluefin Bay Resorts on Lake Superior takes Fox 21’s Brittney Merlot on a snowshoe hike up the Superior Hiking Trail Section 13, climbing cliffs to enjoy wonderful views of the Baptism River Valley. Join them as they blaze a trail through deep snow, on an advanced trail that goes uphill 450 feet….

Proposed Solar Garden Could Power Over 100 Homes

Superior Water, Light & Power submitted proposal for 470 kilowatt solar garden.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Solar energy could soon be powering a large portion of homes in Superior. Superior Water, Light & Power submitted a proposal to the Public Service Commission last week for a community solar garden. The proposed site is at the corner of Hammond Avenue and 28th Street beside Heritage Park. At 470 kilowatts, it would be large enough to…

Superior Snow Removal on Hammond a Relief for Local Businesses

Local chiropractor said until now, it has been difficult for clients to get to their building.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Public Works crews in Superior spent their Wednesday clearing large snow and ice banks along Hammond Avenue. Staff at Luke Chiropractic along the busy street said they haven’t seen the tall banks touched since the snowstorm over Thanksgiving. It has been a big obstacle, they said, for handicapped clients or those with injuries. So to have them cleared…

Minnesota Fire Deaths on the Rise, Mostly Smoking-Related

Duluth Fire Officials share with us why, and how to further prevent one from starting.

DULUTH, Minn.- According to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal, 42 people died in fires statewide in 2019, a 14% increase from 2018, preliminary numbers say. The leading cause of these fires is smoking, with at least seven people dying in smoking related fires last year. According to Duluth Fire Department leaders, these fires tend to start outside by people improperly…

Tips to Keep Pipes from Freezing in Subzero Temps

ASP Plumbing shares how to protect your pipes from the cold.

DULUTH, Minn.- As temperatures are expected to drop below zero Tuesday night, pipes in your home are more likely to freeze, causing serious problems with your plumbing. Plumbers at ASP Plumbing say if you have pipes close to an outside wall, you should insulate the wall and around the pipes. Covering the pipes with insulation will trap the cold air,…

Lake Superior Levels High but Dropping This Winter

Experts say levels have dropped, and evaporation is expected to occur.

DULUTH, Minn.- The recent snow and rain the Northland has been getting has put experts on alert, watching Lake Superior lake levels. According to experts at the Minnesota Sea Grant, lake levels have remained about 20 inches above average, but decreased six inches since October. Levels are expected to drop another three inches through this month. Ice cover on the…

Ice Fishing More Like Slush Fishing Now, Hopefully Freezing Soon

Expert says go out next week, but still be careful.

DULUTH, Minn.- The weather and temperature hasn’t been ideal for ice fishing in the Northland, but that is subject to change. The owner of Marine General on London Road said the ice has been pretty slushy until now. He encourages anglers to get out next week when temps are expected to drop, and all that slush is expected to refreeze….

Winter Entertainment at Cable Natural History Museum

Cable Natural History Museum is Offering a New Program Request Opportunity in the New Year

CABLE, Wis. – Winter is a busy season for the educators at Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisconsin. From education to entertainment, the center is hosting something for folks of all ages to enjoy. Naturalist and Education Director Emily Stone stopped by FOX 21 Local News to chat about upcoming events. The center is also offering a new program…

Go Vegan this January with ‘Veganuary’

Initiative by Whole Foods Co-op aims to show people the benefits of a plant-based diet.

DULUTH, Minn.- If eating healthier is one of your New Year’s resolutions, a new initiative in Duluth wants to support you. Duluth Does Veganuary is part of an international movement to get more people to try plant-based diets. In Duluth it’s sponsored by the Whole Foods Co-op, with a Facebook group that currently has more than 300 members posting recipes…

Great Outdoors: Enjoying the Winter Magic at Gooseberry Falls

People come from all across the country to experience the falls.

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- While most dread seeing snow and ice here in Duluth they’re the cherry on top of the experience up at Gooseberry Falls. The fluffy white snow and icicles inching closer to the rushing water paint a pristine winter picture. “The sunset makes it look really nice,” said Amy Yip. The scene makes for the perfect background to…

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Offers Smart Salting Tips

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Says 60 Percent of Home and Business Owners Tend to Oversalt

DULUTH, Minn. – With the winter months upon us, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is reminding business and homeowners of smart salting and deicing tips. Officials with MPCA say over 60 percent of residents routinely over salt, resulting in harsh chemicals making way into our area lakes, streams and rivers. According to the MPCA, one teaspoon of deicing agent…

Gloria Dei Warming Center Activated Monday-Wednesday

Guests should arrive no earlier than 8 p.m. each night.

DULUTH, Minn.- With dangerously cold air on the way, a new warming center will be opening tomorrow in Duluth. That center is the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on 6th Avenue East. CHUM will activate it on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Temperatures are expected to drop below 10 degrees those nights, which is the new…