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Sediment in Poplar River on North Shore decreases by 35 percent

The amount of sediment in the Poplar River on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior is down 35 percent after ongoing efforts to reduce erosion in and near the Lutsen ski hill.

The amount of sediment in the Poplar River on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior is down 35 percent after ongoing efforts to reduce erosion in and near the Lutsen ski hill.

The Poplar River Management Board on Monday said the amount of soil eroding into the river had been cut from about 1,000 tons per year in 2006 to 660 tons by 2011.

"We have worked since 2005 identifying the most significant sources of sediment and implementing best management practices and conservation projects," Tom Rider, president of the Poplar River Management Board, said. "It is gratifying to see the work has achieved the desired results."

The river has been on the state's impaired waters list for sedimentation, with the lower river far more silted than the upper Poplar. The sediment impedes fish, especially trout. Rider said the goal is to reduce sedimentation enough to remove the river from the impaired list.

Efforts so far have worked to reduce erosion along natural and manmade pathways along the North Shore hills into the river. They include projects to restore vegetation and soften the slope leading into the river as well as soften the impact of rain and snowmelt. More projects are in the works, including reducing the volume of water running off lodge developments and along roadways.

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Over the past decade, using data from numerous scientific reports and research, the management board, in partnership with the Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other stakeholders, identified and undertook $1.7 million in sediment-

reduction projects along the river.

Upcoming efforts include gaining a more precise measurement of how much sedimentation comes down the ski runs at Lutsen Mountains. Current data on sediment contribution by ski runs presents a wide range of possible values and will require more work to develop a more definitive assessment. The effort will help develop a stormwater plan for the ski hill area.

The amount of sediment in the Poplar River on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior is down 35 percent after ongoing efforts to reduce erosion in and near the Lutsen ski hill.

The Poplar River Management Board on Monday said the amount of soil eroding into the river had been cut from about 1,000 tons per year in 2006 to 660 tons by 2011.

"We have worked since 2005 identifying the most significant sources of sediment and implementing best management practices and conservation projects," Tom Rider, president of the Poplar River Management Board, said. "It is gratifying to see the work has achieved the desired results."

The river has been on the state's impaired waters list for sedimentation, with the lower river far more silted than the upper Poplar. The sediment impedes fish, especially trout. Rider said the goal is to reduce sedimentation enough to remove the river from the impaired list.

Efforts so far have worked to reduce erosion along natural and manmade pathways along the North Shore hills into the river. They include projects to restore vegetation and soften the slope leading into the river as well as soften the impact of rain and snowmelt. More projects are in the works, including reducing the volume of water running off lodge developments and along roadways.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the past decade, using data from numerous scientific reports and research, the management board, in partnership with the Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other stakeholders, identified and undertook $1.7 million in sediment-

reduction projects along the river.

Upcoming efforts include gaining a more precise measurement of how much sedimentation comes down the ski runs at Lutsen Mountains. Current data on sediment contribution by ski runs presents a wide range of possible values and will require more work to develop a more definitive assessment. The effort will help develop a stormwater plan for the ski hill area.

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