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Estuary center to move to Barker's Island

A new center dedicated to the health of the St. Louis River estuary will have headquarters in two currently vacant buildings on Barker's Island in Superior.

A new center dedicated to the health of the St. Louis River estuary will have headquarters in two currently vacant buildings on Barker's Island in Superior.

The new Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve will be housed in the former Boathouse restaurant and Vista Landing gift shop and tour boat dock.

The estuary effort is a federally funded program led locally by the University of Wisconsin-Superior and UW Extension.

The buildings will be leased at first, but officials are exploring purchasing the buildings for a permanent home. The buildings will be used as an interpretive visitors' center and headquarters for the center that was established in October by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Parts of the buildings also will be used by UW-Superior for laboratory and educational space.

The new estuary center will be led by 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.

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The Lake Superior estuary reserve 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 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 also are partners in the estuary effort.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONSUPERIOR
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