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Estuary reserve moves office to Barkers Island

Posted on Jun 13, 2011
The core staff of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is now operating from its office on Barkers Island.
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Dr. Ralph Garono, director of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Sue OHalloran, coastal training program coordinator, outside the reserves office on Barkers Island.

Dr. Ralph Garono, director of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Sue O'Halloran, coastal training program coordinator, outside the reserve's office on Barkers Island.

The staff of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is now operating out of its office on Barkers Island as reserve manager Dr. Ralph Garono prepares to hire additional employees and launch programs for the public.

The Lake Superior NERR, designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in October 2010, covers nearly 16,700 acres of publicly owned 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 for research and education about freshwater estuaries.

More jobs coming soon
The reserve's staff currently consists of Garono and Sue O'Halloran, the coastal training program coordinator. Garono said he expects to hire a research coordinator and education coordinator in the next several weeks, and fill several additional jobs by the end of the year. Hiring will continue over the next year until the reserve has 12 to 15 employees by next summer.

Facilities on Barkers Island
Garono and O'Halloran recently moved their offices from the University of Wisconsin-Superior to one of two buildings on the western end of Barkers Island that have been leased for the reserve. The office is not yet open to the public, but Garono said he expects the reserve's visitor center will be open this fall or early next year.

"When the dust settles, we hope to have administrative offices and a dockside laboratory in the former Boathouse restaurant and have the former Vista Fleet building serve as a visitors' center and classroom education center," he said.

Public programs coming
As more employees join the staff, the Lake Superior NERR will launch its programs for researchers and the public.

"The theme is research, education outreach and stewardship," Garono said.

The NERR will host scientists conducting research on estuaries and fresh water, offer training programs for landowners and public officials on how to protect water resources, and provide education programs to students and the general public.

Volunteer opportunities
As the Lake Superior NERR hits its stride, it will offer more opportunities for the people to become involved in its programs.

"We'll be organizing groups of volunteers to do specific activities like water-quality monitoring, and we'll host presentations or sponsor presentations by scientists and people who work in and around the watershed," Garono said.  

 

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