Barkers Island buildings leased for estuary reserve - Jan 6, 2011 - University News - UW-Superior News and Events

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Barkers Island buildings leased for estuary reserve

Posted on Jan 6, 2011
Two vacant buildings on Barkers Island will serve as the headquarters for the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.
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The former Vista Landing and the former Boathouse Restaurant, visible in the background, have been leased to provide a visitors center for the Lake Superior NERR.

The former Vista Landing and the former Boathouse Restaurant, visible in the background, have been leased to provide a visitors center for the Lake Superior NERR.

Two vacant buildings on Barkers Island in Superior will become headquarters for the new Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve after the University of Wisconsin-Superior leased the structures in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Extension.

UW-Superior recently completed a lease for the former Boathouse Restaurant and the former Vista Landing gift shop along with each building's dock. UW-Superior and UW-Extension are exploring the feasibility of purchasing the properties as part of their partnership in the research reserve.

The buildings will be used as an interpretive visitors center and headquarters for the Lake Superior NERR, which was established in October 2010 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Parts of the buildings also will be used by UW-Superior for laboratory and educational space.

Among the buildings' first occupants will be the Lake Superior NERR's new manager Dr. Ralph Garono, who began his job Dec. 20. Garono holds a doctorate degree in aquatic ecology from Kent State University. Since 1996 he has worked as an environmental consultant in Corvallis, Ore., and held faculty positions at Oregon State University and Western Washington University.

The location of the two buildings makes them ideal for the Lake Superior NERR, said Dr. Faith Hensrud, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Superior.

"We looked at a several locations to place facilities for the reserve, and found Barkers Island to be the best choice. The facilities are on the water, they have boat access to the estuary, they are visible to the public and can be a destination for visitors to the NERR, and they're close to campus," she said.

The Lake Superior NERR covers nearly 16,700 acres of marshes, uplands, rivers and Lake Superior shoreline that are part of the St. Louis River estuary in Douglas County. The reserve will serve as a site to study natural resource management techniques and apply what is learned to problems facing coastal communities, such as maintaining clean water, protecting wildlife habitat, and preventing and controlling invasive species. The reserve's educational programs will enable people to experience freshwater estuaries and their unique resources, making it a community asset and a destination for students and visitors.

University of Wisconsin-Extension is the lead state agency in the project and will manage the reserve. UW-Superior is a partner in the project along with the city of Superior, Douglas County, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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