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).
Vermilion Community College will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development objectives of collecting data and completing watershed assessments for the Rainy River Headwaters, Vermilion River, and Little Fork River watersheds. Services will include providing support for field water monitoring, other field sampling and measurements and related field data management, analysis, and assessments in these watersheds.