September 23, 2020

Lake Superior Reserve, City of Superior, Parks, Recreation and Forestry awarded funds for Pokegama Bay launch improvements

The unimproved launch site at Pokegama Bay, fall 2019.

The unimproved launch site at Pokegama Bay, fall 2019.

Improvements include a dock and motorized boat launch pad, vault restroom facility and improved parking spaces

Residents of the City of Superior will have improved access to the Pokegama River next summer thanks to $128,482 grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The funds, awarded to the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve in partnership with the City of Superior, will be used by the city to improve a rustic boat launch on the Pokegama River in the Superior Municipal Forest along Billings Park Drive.  

The design for this project was completed by AMI in 2019. Funding for this design was made possible with a Wisconsin Department of Administrative Coastal Management Program Grant.   

“Improving access to our coastal recourse is an important mission of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program,” said Mike Friis, Wisconsin coastal management program manager. “We are always thrilled when the plans are able to be implemented.”  

Improvements include a dock and motorized boat launch pad, vault restroom facility, improved parking spaces, a separate kayak and canoe launch access, interpretive signs, trash and recycling facilities and improvements to the road to reduce erosion of clay into the river.  

The Superior Municipal Forest, where the rustic launch sits, is owned and managed by the City of Superior.  

“I cannot express enough the gratitude of partnerships,” said Linda Cadotte, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. “The need, concepts, design, and ultimately the implementation of an important access improvement project like this would not be possible without the feedback from the stakeholders and funding support.”  

The City of Superior will contribute roughly $50k for the vault restroom facility and garbage and recycling cans.

The site is a primary research and education program location in the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and is one of two Superior stops on the proposed St. Louis River Estuary National Water Trail. The Douglas County Fish and Game League, St. Louis River Alliance, and Northland Paddlers Alliance also provided support for the proposal.

“These improvements to Pokegama Bay will not only provide critical access to the estuary for school students, educators, and researchers, they will increase access for all user groups including paddlers, duck hunters, fisherman, visitors, and community members,” said Deanna Erickson, interim reserve manager.

The unimproved launch site at Pokegama Bay, fall 2019.

The unimproved launch site at Pokegama Bay, fall 2019.

The Lake Superior Reserve encompasses over 16,000 acres of public land along the St. Louis River estuary and is part of the UW-Madison Division of Extension. It is one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the United States led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

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