What's New

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2004-2005 "What's New" entries:


Minnesota Stormwater Manual

Minnesota Stormwater Manual released December 2, 2005

The final, full-color version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual is now available at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/stormwater/stormwater-manual.html with information about how to register for Training Events around the state in early 2006.

We have more information about it here.


We've posted some new presentations:

See a slide show about the RSPT (Regional Stormwater Protection Team):
   HTML Version or download the PDF file (5.4MB) -- the links open in a new window.

An overview of the LakeSuperiorStreams project and how the stream data illustrates how the streams respond to our activities in the watershed:
   HTML Version or download the PDF file (4.7MB) -- the links open in a new window.


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has updated its information detailing the Saint Louis River Area of Concern (AOC). Go to our reports page for the links to their site.


LakeSuperiorStreams.org is chosen as the site of the month by the Great Lakes Information Network.


icy creeks
No more real-time stream data for now...

... the sondes that collect the data in Amity, Chester, Tischer, and Kingsbury Creeks were all buried in anchor ice -- so they can no longer record reliable data.

If/when the anchor ice goes away we will put the sondes back in (without the modems) and download the data periodically.


The LakeSuperiorStreams.org project (formerly called DuluthStreams.org before broadening its scope to include the larger Western Lake Superior Region) received a Technical Excellence Award in recognition of "Outstanding Research in Stream and Lake Restoration, Protection and Management" from the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).

For details read this.


Amity Graph

We are now collecting "real-time" data from Amity Creek.

Like the Stream Monitoring Units (SMUs) at Chester, Tischer, and Kingsbury Creek, it is sampling at 15 minute intervals for depth, flow, temperature. conductivity, and turbidity.

This SMU uses newer technology -- allowing us to update the website 3 times a day -- currently at 12:30 AM, 8:30 AM, and 4:30 PM. The data from the other streams is usually updated once daily (generally by 10 AM) -- although the phone line at Kingsbury Creek is currently down so we are updating its data manually about once a week.

You can use our Java-based Data Visualization applet to explore the data from the SMUs and create plots like the one above. Weekly data files from Amity Creek can be found here.


The Kingsbury Creek sensors are back in business.


The Kingsbury Creek sensors are still out of commission, apparently from a power surge during the evening thunderstorm on 6/28/05.


Congratulations to Regional Stormwater Protection Team (RSPT) members Lynelle Hansen and Joe Stepun.

Binational Environmental Stewardship Awards for the Lake Superior Basin were presented to the St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee in the Organization Category (Lynelle is Executive Director) and to Joe in the Individual category. Joe recently retired after 32 years with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) and has been a key partner in the development of the RSPT, Duluthstreams.org and now Lakesuperiorstreams.org. We also salute LHB Engineers for the Business Award (for sustainable and green building projects) and Lake Country Power, Cooperative Light and Power, and the City of Grand Marais for the Industry Award (for PCB contaminant removal).

Minnesota Power won the 2004 award for an Industry for their efforts to reduce mercury in the environment.

Go to the Lake Superior Binational Forum (new window) for more information.


UMD rain garden project filters water flowing off acres of blacktop before it flows to Oregon Creek and Lake Superior. See the Duluth News Tribune article (new window) for more details.

Celebrate our local streams, rivers and lakes at the Watershed Festival on Saturday, June 4th! The fun, family-oriented festival will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. in the Kmart parking lot (1734 Mall Drive) in Duluth, MN. The event is free to the public and will held in an enclosed tent, rain or shine. Visit over 30 exhibits focused on landscaping, gardening and home maintenance practices that benefit our watershed. Get more details.

There are still spots available at Wednesday's(5/18/05) Stormwater workshop in NPDES stormwater rules
and erosion/sediment control.


  1. To provide the construction industry and stormwater professionals with a training program that delivers a clear, consistent messages about the state’s stormwater requirements
  2. To meet the basic needs of construction professionals working in the field

Find out more.

no swimming

Bacteria testing will resume this week at selected North Shore and Duluth area beaches.

Get the details.


monitorManaging our lakes and streams properly requires keeping track of their condition. We have so many water bodies in the Northland that we need to rely on citizens and students to help monitor them.

Learn about the MPCA's Citizens Stream-Monitoring Program and their Citizens Lake-Monitoring Program.

wastewater treatment

The U of Minnesota Extension's Onsite Wastewater Treatment website has recently undergone some changes and there is lots of great information for homeowners, communities and contractors.

plant pride

Learn what the UMD Storm Water Steering Committee is doing to raise awareness about the litter problems at UMD and the surrounding watershed.


The Stream Monitors for Chester, Tischer, and Kingsbury Creeks are all live.
Use the Java DataViewer to plot the latest data.


World Water Day 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 is World Water Day.

It marks the start of the Water for Life Decade, 2005--2015, a decade-long effort to reduce by 50% the proportion of persons without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

See what the Center for Disease Control is doing. (new window)

Learn more from the World Health Organization. (new window)

ripoh oh

Safety issues:
Check out our outdoor safety pages:
Danger! Thin Ice! and
Rip Currents


Clean Beaches Logo
Sustainable Beach Conference :

Sustainable Beach Conference to be held in St. Petersburg, FL from Oct 31-Nov 2 , 2005. The Clean Beaches Council and Clean Up the World have entered into a partnership together to work towards promoting and supporting beach and coastal care initiatives in North America. Clean Up the World (CUW) is a global campaign that promotes community action as the key to environmental protection. For more information see www.cleanbeaches.org (new window).


Salt Shaker Freshwater Society website Road salt issues :
In the Twin Cities region -- KARE Channel 11 did a nice feature (Jan 11, 2005) on road salt and water quality on their Water for Life series.

View the KARE 11 news report (Windows Media):
     high-speed / dial-up

Go to the KARE 11 website (new window) to read the story.

There will be a Road Salt Symposium, March 30, 2005 in St. Cloud, MN. The symposium focuses on techniques to reduce the effects of deicing materials on the environment, without compromising safety.

Here is data from a US Geological Survey (USGS) study of Shingle Creek -- a metro area creek which is thought to be adversely impacted by decades of de-icing salt applications.

Find out more about road salt issues in the Duluth region.


The “Clean Water Legacy: a partnership to restore Minnesota’s impaired waters,” is a coalition planning to raise $80 million a year to clean up Minnesota’s contaminated waters. The coalition includes business community leaders, environmental organizations and farm groups, have suggested raising the funds by charging Minnesotans a $3 per month fee on their water bill or on property taxes. For more about this issue go to Minnesota Environmental Partnership.



EPA Report
We've posted our final report to the EPA for the Duluth Streams project.

Read the Report (PDF file -- 0.9 MB)

Read the Appendices (PDF file -- 10.0 MB)
warning: this is a LARGE file


NERCC Report
We've posted a report (PDF file -- 1.2 MB) that summarizes the performance data for the peat and sand filters and constructed wetlands at our alternative treatment systems research site (at the Northeast Regional Correctional Center in Duluth).

See our onsite wastewater treatment page for more details.


Erosion and Sediment Workshop for Contractors and Developers.

Date: January 14th, 2005
Time: 7:30am-3:30pm
Place: Hermantown Public Safety Building
5111 Maple Grove Road
Hermantown, MN

Get the details and registration form (new window)


MPCA Announces Statewide Plan for Mercury in Lakes and Rivers. Most (>99.5%) of the mercury (Hg) causing fish consumption advisories in our lakes comes from the atmosphere, most (>70%) is generated by human activities, and most (90%) comes from outside the state. This means that within-state, human-caused sources of Hg must be reduced by 93% in order to lower fish levels and remove fish consumption advisories. This goal is driven by the state's Northeastern region, where lakes are more sensitive to mercury, and becomes the statewide goal because air deposition is relatively uniform across the state.


New DEMO Utility -- Flash Flood interactively illustrates the effect of different intensity rainstorms, more development, and less development on Miller Creek streamflow, and water quality.

Court RulingAn important California Court ruling about stormwater BMP enforcement

We've added a page with a satellite image from NASA that vividly illustrates the "lake effect snow" phenomenon
The Watershed Moments TV Ads produced by the Regional Stormwater Protection Team (RSPT) are now viewable on-line.
Rain Barrel

The St. Louis River Citizens Action Committee in partnership with
the City of Superior invite you to build your own

Rain Barrel Join our workshop:
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
at 7:00pm

Duluth City Center West
5830 Grand Ave., Duluth

superior logoYou can learn more about rain barrels on our site.
Or visit this webpage (developed by the City of Superior Wisconsin's Pollution Prevention and Stormwater group) to find instructions for building a rain barrel like those in the workshop.


Autumn is here!
The start was "officially" marked by the autumnal equinox on September 22, but the brightly colored leaves all around are an even better indicator. maple leavesHoping to see some great fall colors?
For up-to-date reports on the fall colors in Northern Minnesota, visit the following sites: Minnesota DNR fall color report for leaves, grasses and wildflowers

Minnesota Fall Tours from the MN Office of Tourism Fall Color Tours from the Minnesota Northshore of Lake Superior Guide


Hartley Nature Center offers weekly educational programs for the entire family.
Learn what is being taught this week at the Hartley Nature Center website. Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for preschoolers and families
Wednesdays at 7 p.m.for adults
Thursdays at 10 a.m. for preschoolers and families
Saturdays at 10 a.m. for families and the general public
Cost varies for each program. Contact:
Chris Sterner
Environmental Education Director at Hartley Nature Center
csterner@hartleynature.org or 218-724-6735

Thinking about weeding your lawn before winter?
You might want to consider an organic alternative: corn gleuten meal.
Read all about it in this University of Minnesota News story.

Stream Temperature: Water Quality Impact

Dye tracing illicit discharges Strange Colors in the Creeks

One of the important tools for identifying and eliminating illicit discharges and connections into the Stormwater system and ultimately in to creeks is ?dye testing?.


Tischer graphFollow a storm through Tischer Creek.

Over 12,000 pounds of habitat smothering, gill fouling mud came past our sensor in just a few hours from this storm...

Summer Fun!
barrelThe City of Superior is hosting Build Your Own Rain Barrel workshops. Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at 1:00pm
Thursday, July 29, 2004 at 6:30pm
Friday, July 30, 2004 at 3:00pm
Saturday, July 31, 2004 at 10:00am.
Topics covered during the workshop include: Function and benefits of Rain Barrels, Cascading Barrels and Rain Barrels with Rain Gardens, all of which help control stormwater on your property! 

The workshop features step-by-step instructions to help you construct a rain barrel you can take home with you! The cost is $27.00 per barrel.


Don't Muddy the Water

See the new Saint Louis River Citizens Action Committee poster.


US map
Click the above map to view results from the past 10 years

The Great North American Secchi Dip-In Returns!
Between June 18 and July 26, 2004, volunteers all over the continent will be checking out the transparency of their local water waterbodies. Interested in joining them? Check out the Secchi Dip-in website. They accept data from all turbidity instruments, not only Secchi disks, as well as temperature and pH. They welcome data taken with more than one type of turbidity instrument; using it to correlate the instruments to produce a single value used for mapping.

Duluth mapOn June 3, 2004, Basin 6 will be designated for mandatory I&I inspections.
A community informational meeting about the designation will be held at: Ordean Middle School
301 N 40th Ave E
Thursday, June 3 from 7 - 8 PM. Attendees will learn about the I&I program, get answers to questions, and have an opportunity to schedule inspections. Residents in Basin 6 will receive an informational letter in the mail.

The EPA has posted its National Water Program Strategic Plan, 2004 - 2008
and its National Program Guidance for 2005.
Both of these documents are available here.


draining rock pond
Dumping of Aquarium Fish Causing Trouble in Duluth
(or Something's Fishy in Rock Pond)
Read about the draining of Rock Pond
(located near UMD in Duluth)
in this press release. click on the picture to see a larger version.

Starting to clean up your yard after the long winter?
Do it in a stream-friendly manner! Check out these tips to learn more.
Check out the liquid science speaker series! Presentations are free and for the public. All talks are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. with receptions immediately following to encourage conversations with the researchers The upcoming talks are:
April – WOW! Water on the Web
Duluth, Hartley Nature Center, April 13
Grand Marais, North House Folk School, April 14

May – Linking Land Use to Water Quality
Duluth, Hartley Nature Center, May 11
Grand Marais, North House Folk School, May 12 You can learn about upcoming talks and get the latest information at the Minnesota Seagrant Website.

Have you ever seen a Canada Lynx? These cats have been known to occasionally wander through Duluth. Check out a new website with information about Canada Lynx that are being radio-collared and tracked in Northern Minnesota.
Contacting the City of Duluth Stormwater Utility? Note that the phone numbers have changed. duluth logoGeneral stormwater number: (218) 730-4130
24-hour stormwater number: (218) 730-4050 Also, the regional stormwater protection team has a voice mail box at (218) 529-3281

dihydrogen monoxide
Thanks to Water on the Web (WOW) National Advisory Team member Earl Byron in California for bringing the following to our attention:

Posted on Sun, Mar. 14, 2004 in the San Jose Mercury (California) News from the Associated Press.

SoCal city falls victim to Internet hoax, considers banning items made with water. This article went on to report that well meaning officials in the City of Aliso Viejo, California were considering banning foam cups after they learned that the chemical dihydrogen monoxide was used in their production. Although there may be other reasons to consider such a measure, and although the chemical is odorless and tasteless and can be deadly if accidentally inhaled, it is also essential to life on earth and the major reason for the current explorations of Mars. They should have been subscribing to the WOW Newsletter.

Announcing Earth Week open house at the Duluth EPA, April 21, 2004
You are invited to join an Earth Week celebration at the Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Continent balloonEcology Division in Duluth. where the effects of pollutants and other stressors on freshwater systems are studied. Specific topics of interest include bioaccumulation, endocrine disruption, metabolism, environmental indicators, landscape ecology, genomics, and proteonomics. Learn about these studies at the EPA facility open house from 10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, 2004. Demonstration stations will highlight current research from water and sediment chemistry and molecular biology to field work in the Great Lakes, Great Rivers, and associated wetlands. A separate area will allow focused hands-on activities for youth, school groups, and families. This open house is a great opportunity to bring scientists and students together to increase our environmental awareness and stewardship. A detailed agenda will be posted by March 30 at the EPA website. A pdf poster about the event is available here (953 kb). If participating as a group of 10 or more, please call ahead to schedule an appointment at 218-529-5000, or contact MEDOUTREACH@epa.gov

Other "What's New" pages:

Latest | 2016-17 2014-15 | 2012-13 | 2010-11 | 2008-09 | 2006-07 | 2004-05 | 2002-03