Protecting Our Local Streams

By KBJR News 1

August 11, 2010 Updated Aug 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM CDT

The health of Northland streams and rivers have been declining in the past several years.
Now a major restoration project is underway to clean them up and try to prevent future damage.
Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson tells us more about this effort.

Erosion, storm runoff and pollution have combined to cause significant damage to many of the Northland's beautiful trout streams.
The Weber Stream Restoration Initiative was created to fight that battle...the group's first project was Amity Creek in east Duluth.

"One of our missions when we look at a restoration project is to also include some finds to do monitoring," says Dan Breneman with NRRI.

Dan and his team go to work every day with something called a backpack collector fisher. This allows the team to quickly gather a large sample of fish to analyze the health of the population.

The first step is to assess the damage.

"We like to look at the whole assemblage, all of the different kinds of fish that are there," said Dan.

For the past several years the Natural Resources Research Institute has been conducting tests and measurements in various creeks, examining the quality of the fish population and the places within that stream where fish live and hide.

Using the information gathered by NRRI the Weber Creek Restoration team is working to repair the local watershed and do what it can to prevent more erosion and limit the amount of untreated storm runoff getting into the region's streams and rivers. One of the major ways they hope to do that is by working with developers.

"A lot of the neighborhoods have been developed in a way where there is more water entering the streams than what would happen prior to development," said Andrea Crouse with NRRI.

Another major part of the initiative is to recruit the average citizen to help out. They're recommending people invest in rain barrels to collect downspout runoff and build rain gardens to allow water to slowly soak through soil before hitting the water table. Simple efforts that could have major consequences. In Duluth, Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northlands NewsCenter.

On Friday July 16th, Rob Weber who helped to fund this initiative will receive the 2010 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Lake Superior Bi–national Forum.

If you are interested in learning more about our streams across the Northland visit: