Grants and Research Office
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880
Grants and Research Office
News and Events Details
SUPERIOR, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Superior's Lake Superior Research Institute will receive $971,714 in federal funding to work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in monitoring the condition of coastal wetlands, tributaries and near-shore waters of Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin.
Lake Superior Research Institute was named a finalist for the grant last spring. It recently received notice that it has been chosen to receive the grant.
Money for the project is part of the $161 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative available through the Environmental Protection Agency. GLRI grants fund projects that address the most important Great Lakes priorities, including habitat and wildlife protection and restoration, coastal wetland assessment, reducing toxic contaminants, restoring the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, protecting beaches and beachgoers, keeping out invasive species and reducing polluted land-based runoff.
The three-year grant will enable LSRI scientists to work with the DNR to begin implementing the agency's Lake Superior Near-Shore Monitoring Plan.
LSRI scientists will establish 71 permanent monitoring sites for collecting biological, physical, and chemical data. Information collected from the sites will enable scientists to take a long-term look at the ecological condition of the coast so they can prioritize problems and manage and protect the resource.
The monitoring sites will include 17 stations in coastal wetlands and 34 stations in tributary streams. Most are located in Douglas and Bayfield counties, with remaining sites located in Ashland and Iron counties.
Scientists will use the stations to analyze water quality as well as observe the number, variety and health of invertebrates, plants, amphibians and birds. That information will be compiled into an index that reveals the overall "health" of a wetland or river and will be comparable to other work going on in the Great Lakes. The work will include analyzing the land cover in the watersheds around the estuaries.
As part of the project, LSRI scientists also will establish monitoring stations in 20 near-shore areas of Lake Superior. Some stations will be located near manmade structures such as breakwalls while others will be located near the mouths of high-quality streams. They will monitor organisms that live in the lake water and bottom sediment and analyze the stomach contents of larval fish to gain a better understanding of the food web.
The Lake Superior Research Institute conducts environmental research and provides environmental education and public information for the Great Lakes region. It is funded primarily through grants and other external funding. Scientists and staff members associated with LSRI possess a wide range of expertise in chemistry, biology, toxicology, microbiology, geology, statistics, database management, data processing, computer programming, and geographic information systems. Many UW-Superior students participate in LSRI research as research assistants or interns.
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