Environment

Some Park Point Residents Buried In Silt After Beach Nourishment Project

City officials say the 'nuisance' is better than Lake Superior swallowing up property from chronic erosion.

DULUTH, Minn. – Some homeowners on Park Point are getting buried in fine sand and silt, and some are even losing their yards to inches of the super fine particles. The problem is a result of the beach nourishment project from last year that built back multiple feet of beach by using dredging leftovers from the harbor. The city calls…

Historic Flooding Taking Place at Rainy Lake

KOOCHICHING COUNTY, Minn. — Although the rivers in Duluth don’t seem to be too affected, just two and a half hours north, they’re experiencing what they’re calling historic flooding, and they expect it to get much worse. Residents of Rainy Lake up by the Canadian border and near International Falls, have not seen water levels like this since 2014, and…

Swollen St. Louis River In Scanlon Means More Business For Some

SCANLON, Minn. – Weeks of heavy rainfall after the snowmelt have sent the St. Louis River on a wild ride, including in Scanlon. “It’s the highest we’ve seen in 10 years, 2012 obviously — the 500-year flood was the highest,” explained Aaron Hanson, co-owner of River Inn Bar & Grill, which sits along the river. During the 2012 flood, Hanson…

More Federal Funding to Help Clean Up of Spirit Lake, St. Louis River

DULUTH, Minn. – Clean up of the former U.S. Steel Duluth Works site is getting a boost in funding. $113 million from the federal infrastructure bill passed last year will go towards the complete restoration of Spirit Lake, Munger Landing, and Scanlon Reservation. A key part of the project through next year is the dredging and removal of 406-thousand cubic yards…

Volunteers Needed to Help Sandbag Kabetogama Township, MN from Rising Floodwaters

According to a spokesperson with the Township, floodwaters are expected to exceed the 2014 flood event and could reach the all-time high set in 1950. 

Photo: St. Louis County, when they delivered supplies to the community Friday. KABETOGAMA, Minn.- Kabetogama Township is asking for volunteers to help with sandbagging to protect properties from the rising floodwaters in the Namakan Water Basin. Kabetogama is a small community bordering Lake Kabetogama on the southern boundary of Voyageurs National Park. It includes approximately 200 lakeshore properties, among them…

Duluth Fire Rescues 2 Teenage Paddleboarders Off Shore of Park Point

The young paddleboarders had no injuries to report, fire officials said.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth Fire Officials rescued two paddleboarders who drifted off the shore of Park Point, due to a sudden wind change early Saturday afternoon. According to Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie, crews responded to reports of two teens that had drifted about 100 yards offshore of Park Point near the Beach House. Firefighters launched Marine units to make their…

Wisconsin DNR Warns of Very High Fire Danger Across Most of State

All DNR-issued annual and special burning permits for debris piles, burn barrels and prescribed burns were suspended Saturday in these counties.

MADISON, Wis. – Douglas, Ashland, and Bayfield Counties are among those with very high fire danger Saturday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, due to dry conditions and low moisture. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to stay vigilant and avoid burning because of very high fire danger across most of Wisconsin. Winds will…

DNR Warns Public Of Flooding, Dangerous High-Water Conditions Along North Shore

Severe storms have caused closure of multiple trails, roads, bridges and campgrounds.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning visitors to the North Shore of hazardous conditions caused by recent storms and snow-melt, sharing images of washed-out trails across many state parks. According to the DNR, many tributaries to Lake Superior are breaching trails, roads, and bridges and have resulted in closures to portions of state parks and trails…

Windy Dry Conditions Pose Wildfire Dangers in Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin

Saturday’s high winds and dry conditions are posing dangers of wildfires in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, the state Department of Natural Resources has listed 52 counties in the “very high risk” category for fires, mostly in northern areas. Eight counties are listed as “high risk” and all other counties are at “moderate risk.” Officials said high winds, dry…

Hartley Nature Center Expansion

DULUTH, Minn. — We got an inside look at the new multimillion dollar building expansion of Duluth’s Hartley Nature Center. This $2.9 million dollar project was outlined in the 2014 Hartley Park Master Plan. It features new restrooms, community gathering centers, parking, and park-wide signage. The classrooms will also be upgraded to help nurture the educational component of their operations….

EPA Recommends Against Reissuing Permit for PolyMet Mine

The Environmental Protection Agency says the project could raise levels of mercury and other pollutants downstream from the site in northeastern Minnesota.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Federal regulators are recommending that the Army Corps of Engineers decline to reissue a key permit for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine. The Environmental Protection Agency says the project could raise levels of mercury and other pollutants downstream from the site in northeastern Minnesota. It’s just a recommendation, but Minnesota Public Radio reports it could…

UMD Students Hold ‘Duluth Power Dialogue’ Discussing Environmental Justice

DULUTH, Minn.- Young environmentalists over at UMD kept the conversation around climate change fresh today with the help of a unique friend. This larger-than-life owl puppet made by the Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe helped attract people to the Duluth Power Dialogue in the Kirby Student Center. “We wanted to find a way to bring art and performance into the environmental…

Minnesota Extends Temporary Ban On Poultry Events Amid Bird Flu Outbreak

(FOX 9) – Minnesota’s ban on poultry events has been extended until June 1 amid the outbreak of bird flu in the state. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health last month enacted a temporary ban on poultry exhibitions, including swaps, fairs, and other events where live poultry and other birds are brought together, as part of its response to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)….

One-On-One: Duluth Pack CEO Talks 140 Years Of USA-Made Company

DULUTH,  Minn. — Homegrown Duluth Pack is the oldest canvas and leather bag/pack maker in the USA, and the company is celebrating its 140th anniversary with a limited edition Legacy Pack. FOX 21’s Dan Hanger recently chatted with Duluth Pack CEO Tom Sega about the new product and the company’s long success. Click on the video for that conversation and…

WI Conservation Congress Respondents Support 350-Wolf Limit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A majority of respondents to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress’ spring survey say they support limiting the state’s wolf population to 350 animals. The congress is an influential group of sportspeople who advise the state Department of Natural Resources on policy. The congress holds a survey each spring asking respondents for their thoughts on a host of…

Lester River Race Marks Unofficial Open to Whitewater Kayak Season in Northern MN

DULUTH, Minn. — The Lester River Race happens during the spring thaw challenging expert paddlers from the Midwest to help kick start the white-water kayaking season. The date of this year’s race has been up in the air this past month with organizers waiting for perfectly thawed conditions. After the snow melts, it’s much easier to avoid rocks when flying…

Through Rain, Cold 50 Volunteers Push On Picking Up Trash Along Lakewalk

DULUTH, Minn.- At Lester River Saturday morning, more than 50 lakewalk-lovers gathered once again to celebrate earth day picking up around 20 bags of trash along the lakewalk through Brighton Beach. Organizers with friends of the lakewalk said the weather’s nothing when it comes to taking care of the planet. “Right now it started to pour and people are still…

Gardening Guidance at Depot’s Spring Gardening Extravaganza

DULUTH, Minn.- Another environment-loving event over at the Depot Saturday provided some gardening guidance and also promoted support for the people of Ukraine. The St. Louis County Extension hosted their Spring Gardening Extravaganza at the depot for the first time. About 150 people showed up to check out displays and presentations on growing all types of fruits and warm-season veggies,…

Public Works Crews Responding to Road Washouts in Northern St. Louis County

With the continuing rain forecast this weekend, Boder said, more washouts are likely.

County Road 65 is temporarily closed approximately 1.2 miles west of State Highway 73 due to a culvert washout. Repairs are expected to be done next week. ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn.- St. Louis County Public Works crews closed parts of several roads in the Northern part of the county, due to excessive rain and snowmelt Saturday. According to Public Works…

Live Interview: WLSSD Talks Recycling, Reducing, Reusing On Earth Day

DULUTH, Minn. – AJ Axtell, environmental program coordinator at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD), stopped by the 8 a.m. hour of FOX 21’s morning show to talk about ways to be better to the planet.  Click the video for Axtell’s chat with Dan Hanger and Ken Slama, and see some information below. “Earth Day is an opportunity to…

New Jets in UMD Pool Simulate Surfing, Rafting Waves for Training

It has one setting for swimmers to practice in smaller waves, another for surfers to work on maneuvers, and the last setting -- river flow similar to whitewater rafting and sea kayaking.

DULUTH, Minn.- Thanks to upgraded jets, the pool in UMD’S Sports and Health Center can now better train kayakers, surfers, and swimmers in rough water conditions through their Rec Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP). The lap pool now has a “flow pump” system. It has one setting for swimmers to practice in smaller waves, another for surfers to work on maneuvers,…

WI DNR Restarts Effort To Set Bacteria Standards In Groundwater

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Department of Natural Resources has restarted efforts to set standards for bacteria in groundwater after conservatives on the agency’s policy board killed the attempt in February. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the board on Wednesday authorized a public hearing and comment period on a new rule-making process to set groundwater standards for E….

In-Person Feedback Sessions for Parks and Rec Return to City Hall

DULUTH, Minn. — If you enjoy using the parks and trail systems throughout Duluth, and maybe have a couple of ideas on what you would like to see improved, Duluth Parks and Rec is holding in person feedback sessions this week to hear your thoughts. Wednesday was the first of three community workshops to share feedback on Duluth parks and…

Great Outdoors: Spring Weather Draws People to North Shore

With the Spring Weather Here to Stay, People are Heading Out to Enjoy the Views on The North Shore

-Minnesota North Shore With the spring weather returning to the Northland, some folks are eager to once again get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the North Shore. Rick Pelky, of Brainard, put it simply, “It’s just a nice, calming, relaxing place to come to. Beautiful.” From sunrise to sunset, the North Shore of Lake Superior boasts stunning rocky…

Wolf Fair & Art Exhibit at Lake Superior College

DULUTH, Minn. – Erickson Library at Lake Superior College played host to a wolf fair Tuesday. Representatives from the International Wolf Center, the Wildlife Science Center, Timber Wolf Alliance, Wildwoods, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission provided information on the role wolves play in the Northland’s ecosystem. “We have a passion for wolves,” says Kath Rolfe, one of…

Duluth Fire Dept: Sunday Grass Fire a Reminder Brush Burns Easier in Spring

Crews knocked that 1 acre fire down within a couple of hours.

DULUTH, Minn.- A brush fire Sunday out in Gary New Duluth is a reminder, firefighters say, that we’re entering one of the seasons where grass and wildland fires are common. According to firefighters out at Station 10 in Gary, sparks from railway tracks off Becks Road, which is near Grand Avenue, likely started a brush fire that burned for about…

Troop 25 Boy Scouts Giving Back In Conservation Service Project

DULUTH, Minn. — Sunday evening over in West Duluth, Scouts of Troop 25 got together to continue working on their conservation service projects. Last spring the scouts visited the Sax-Zim Bog, and this spring, they’re building ways to give back and help preserve it. They’re building bird houses for the blue bird and kestrel population to provide a place for…

UMD Engineering Students Raising Money to Return to Kenya with Water Distribution System

After a trip to Kenya in 2020 to assess water needs, UMD's Engineers without Borders is raising $30,000 to travel back and drill a well in that village.

DULUTH, Minn.-UMD students in the engineers without borders group are on a mission to help provide clean water in Kenya, and on Friday they were looking for help from the community at hoops brewing in Canal Park. In 2020, a few students visited Nyansakia in Kenya, a village of about 2,000 people, to assess the village’s water needs. They found…

Several Duluth Area Leaders Call for Climate Bill to Pass U.S. Senate

DULUTH, Minn. – Several of Duluth’s local and statehouse leaders are pushing for more action in Washington to combat climate change. Duluth Council Member Mike Mayou cites recent extreme weather events, from the flooding in 2012, to storms damaging the Lakewalk, to last year’s wildfires, as signs that action needs to be taken soon. “That’s when the climate crisis really hits…

Poultry Sales, Exhibits Temporarily Banned due to Bird Flu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota animal health officials are imposing a ban on all poultry sales and exhibitions through the month of April after the presence of bird flu was found in the state. The ban, which includes poultry community sales, swaps, fairs, exhibitions, and other events where birds are brought together, is effective Friday and lasts through May…

Duluth Selected for Communities LEAP, Will Get Federal Assistance in Climate Change Efforts

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s efforts to combat climate change is getting a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy. The city was one of 22 locations selected to take part in the Communities LEAP pilot program.  Federal officials will be working with the city to provide guidance on how they can reduce air pollution, increase energy resiliency, and lower energy costs…

Great Lakes Aquarium Highlights Deep Sea Art Exhibit

The Merrill Lynch Fine Arts Gallery is a rotating gallery that showcases local and regional artists whose work captures the essence of Lake Superior.

DULUTH, Minn.– There’s a vibrant new art exhibit being featured at the Great Lakes Aquarium’s rotating fine arts gallery, one that captures the beauty of the creatures of the deep. Naomi Christenson, a local Duluth artist says her inspiration for the collection, titled Deep Sea Dances, comes from her longtime interest in sea life, as well as he background in…

Mayor Larson’s 2022 Focus: Economic Development, Public Safety, Connectivity, Sustainability

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Mayor Emily Larson was face-to-face with fellow leaders and supporters Tuesday evening for her first in-person State of the City Address in two years because of the pandemic. The theme of the speech was “lighting a path forward” to focus on economic development, public safety, connectivity and sustainability. As for economic development, Larson said the city…

Bird Flu Confirmed in Two Minnesota Poultry Flocks

The state Board of Animal Health says the poultry flocks are in Meeker and Mower counties.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The bird flu has been confirmed in two poultry flocks in Minnesota. The state Board of Animal Health says the poultry flocks are in Meeker and Mower counties. Samples collected from both flocks were tested on March 25 and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture The state Board of Animal Health says it’s the first confirmed…

City of Duluth Asks for the Community’s Help with Lake Superior Shoreline Resilience Survey

Officials seek the public's help by participating in an online survey about coastal resilience along Lake Superior

As part of the Advanced Assistance (AA) Coastal Resilience and Mitigation Study, the City of Duluth is asking for the public’s help to provide feedback through an online survey. Within the survey, citizens are asked questions about what coastal resilience concerns residents and visitors have in regards to Lake Superior’s coastline. The AA Coastal Resilience Mitigation Study is part of…

Partially Sunken Tugboat In Duluth Harbor Now Leaking Oil Into Slip

DULUTH, Minn. – Environmental concerns are growing involving that partially sunken retired tugboat in the Duluth Harbor. This comes as at least a gallon of oil has leaked out into the slip’s water, according to the Duluth Coast Guard. “We do now have some sheening from the vessel. And that’s where we have the contractor putting sorbent material in the…

Retired Tugboat Remains Partially Submerged In Duluth Port

DULUTH, Minn. – The U.S. Coast Guard released new information Wednesday about the retired tugboat partially sunken in the Duluth Harbor since Monday. The tugboat called Lake Superior remained partially under water Wednesday. The Coast Guard in Duluth said contractors are keeping the boat afloat and working to remove all potential pollutants like diesel fuel and oil. There have been…

Wildwoods Preparing for Spring, Warning About Rabbit & Bird Diseases

DULUTH, Minn. – The arrival of spring weather means the emergence of baby animals in the wild. Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation took their first assistance call of the season March 21, reuniting a baby squirrel with its mother.  They are reminding people to watch for nests, burrows, and dens as they begin yard, tree, and garden work.  Removing a baby animal’s home…

Minnesota DNR: Line 3 Work Harmed Groundwater More Than We Knew

The state Department of Natural Resources says Enbridge Energy crews ruptured three groundwater aquifers while building the 340-mile pipeline across northern Minnesota last year.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9/AP) – The damage to public groundwater resources in Minnesota from missteps during construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline is more severe than previously known, state environmental regulators said. Enbridge Energy crews ruptured three groundwater aquifers while building the 340-mile (550-kilometer) pipeline across northern Minnesota last year and the company faces…

City of Duluth Spent $1.6 Million on Water Main Breaks, Leaks In 2021

According to Duluth's Chief Engineer for Utilities, Eric Shaffer in 2021 the City of Duluth spent roughly $1.6 million, fixing 103 water main breaks and 88 leaks.

DULUTH, Minn.- Water main breaks in the City of Duluth this year have not only been gushing out water but they’ve been forcing the city to gush out money for repairs. According to Duluth’s Chief Engineer for Utilities, Eric Shaffer in 2021 the City of Duluth spent roughly $1.6 million, fixing 103 water main breaks and 88 leaks. The record…

Day Two of UMD Environmental Summit

DULUTH, Minn. – Friday was the second day OF UMD’S Environmental Summit, an event put on by SEE Change and other local environmental organizations. SEE Change is an acronym for Social, Environment, and Economic Change, and that what the summit was all about. Thursday, the event featured a sustainability fair with community organizations from throughout the state and today presentations…

Fire Officials: Stay Off Lake Superior’s Ice As Temps Rise Above Freezing

DULUTH, Minn. – The deadline to get those ice fishing shelters off the water for the season may be Monday, but the boost in melting air and more of it to come this weekend have officials hoping they don’t have to respond to any emergencies, especially on Lake Superior. “There’s never really a safe time to be on the ice….

Duluth’s ‘Wild Birds Unlimited’ To Close Storefront, Try Online-Only Business

DULUTH, Minn. – Wild Birds Unlimited, the only bird feeding franchise store in northern Minnesota, is closing its storefront in Duluth next month. But the owners are going to try to keep doing business online. Misty Bristol has owned Wild Birds Unlimited since 2013 in the Burning Tree Plaza. She bought the business from longtime owner Bob Heller, who opened…