This project will provide a protocol for prioritizing sites in the St. Louis Area of Concern (AOC ) for restoration based on site-specific bioavailability considerations. Despite large data collection efforts focused on sediment chemistry, the extent to which sediment with moderate levels of contamination is available for uptake into biota and therefore contributing to Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI)s is still largely unknown.
This project will provide technical, planning and engineering assistance to the MPCA for the development and implementation of the St. Louis River Remedial Action Plan (RAP). USACE and USEPA in partnership with the MPCA will administer work plans to complete a sediment assessment for Minnesota areas within Superior Bay, St. Louis Bay, Lower St. Louis River and the Upper St. Louis River, encompassing approximately 5,349 acres of the St. Louis River and Estuary.
The St. Louis River watershed is one of the largest watersheds in northern Minnesota and the largest single contributing watershed to Lake Superior. Surface waters are abundant with 353 lakes and 97 streams segments. Large areas of forest and wetlands help to sustain areas of exceptional water quality. However, land use changes have degraded many lakes, rivers, and streams. 21 stream reaches have aquatic life impairments, as identified by high turbidity (1 reach), poor quality aquatic macro-invertebrate community (16 reaches), and/or poor quality fish community (12 reaches).