Priority Area: St. Louis Bay
St. Louis Bay, including the St. Louis River and Beartrap-Nemadji watersheds.
PROBLEMS: Historic pollution and habitat destruction made the St. Louis River a Great Lakes Area of Concern. Pollutants from the land, air and water prompted restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption and have caused beach closings; the bay is a hotspot for new aquatic invasive species from ballast water discharges; there are ongoing threats of new contamination within the watershed, particularly from new mining operations; coastal alterations damaged wetlands and other nearshore habitat; several tributaries north of Duluth suffer from abnormally high water temperatures; and excessive nutrients and sediments degrade many streams in the area.
RESTORATION OPPORTUNITIES: Improve stream habitat for Coaster brook trout; improve fish habitat and restore coldwater regimes in select streams by removing dams; prevent development in ecologically sensitive areas to protect critical fish and wildlife habitat; and restore wetlands in the St. Louis River and bay.