The River Talks
A free, informal speaker series about the St. Louis River Estuary in Duluth-Superior


Credit: Logo designed by Wisconsin Sea Grant

Groundwater Issues Headline River Talk Series

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs are starting the sixth year of science café-type evening talks about the St. Louis River Estuary in October. These informal public talks will be held monthly through May 2019 at the Reserve’s Lake Superior Estuarium on Barker’s Island in Superior.

In northwestern Wisconsin, residents receive drinking water from over 56,000 wells. Regional groundwater issues will be the topic of the first River Talk of the 2018-19 season.


The talk, “Shedding Light on Groundwater,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium (3 Marina Drive, Superior, Wis.). Kelsey Prihoda, a researcher with the Lake Superior Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, will answer questions about private well water testing, describe contaminants that are of concern in groundwater and outline efforts to acquire baseline data for groundwater conditions in northwestern Wisconsin. She will also provide water sample kits to people who are interested in collecting their well water to contribute to a public groundwater database.

Do you have questions, or would you like to get on the series email list? Contact series organizer, Marie Zhuikov with Wisconsin Sea Grant: mzhuikov@aqua.wisc.edu or 715-399-4084.

Dates and tentative topics for other talks are:

Nov. 14, 2018 -- Sediment plumes in the harbor and Lake Superior, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

No talk in December

Jan. 9, 2019 -- Watersheds and urban streams, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Feb. 13, 2019 -- Emergency management in the Estuary, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

March 5, 2019 -- This talk will be held in conjunction with the St. Louis River Summit. Topic and place TBA

April 10, 2019 -- Soil health, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

May 8, 2019 -- Newton Creek monitoring, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Previous River Talks have left lots of knowledge in their wake. Relive the series through blog posts on the talks. Click on individual hotlinks below.

2017-2018 Talks:
Oct. 11, 2017 -- Phrag in the Bag: Phragmites Control in the St. Louis River Estuary, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Nov. 8, 2017 -- St. Louis River Area of Concern project updates, progress on cleaning up the estuary, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Jan. 10, 2018 -- Terns on Interstate Island, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Feb. 14, 2018 -- Muskie research and tracking in the estuary, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

March 13, 2018 -- Spiders in the estuary, 6:30 p.m. at the Yellowjacket Student Union, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior, WI 

April 11, 2018 -- Ancient algae and plankton in the estuary, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

May 9, 2018 -- The making of the Estuarium, 7 p.m. at the Estuarium, 3 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

2016-17 Talks:

Oct. 12, 2016 -- Big and Small: Plastic Garbage in the St. Louis River, Great Lakes and Pacific Ocean, 7 pm at the Iron Mug Coffee & Ale House, 1096 88th Ave. W., Duluth, MN

Nov. 9, 2016 -- Piping Plover Habitat Restoration, 7 p.m. at Black Woods Grill & Bar, 2525 London Rd., Duluth, MN

Jan. 11, 2017 -- Wisconsin Point Habitat Restoration, 7 p.m. at the Iron Mug Coffee & Ale House, 1096 88th Ave. W., Duluth, MN

Feb. 8, 2017 -- Steel Corrosion in the Harbor, 7 p.m. at Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Mar. 14, 2017 -- River History and Stories, 6:30 p.m. at Yellowjacket Student Union, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior, WI

Apr. 12, 2017 -- Mercury Research Project, 7 p.m. at Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

2015-16 Talks:

Oct. 28, 2015 -- Bringing Climate Change Home: Implications for the Twin Ports, 7 p.m. at Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Nov. 18, 2015 -- The Story Behind the River Talk Sponsors: What the Heck is a National Estuarine Research Reserve and a Sea Grant? 7 p.m., Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Jan. 27, 2016 -- Clough Island Restoration Project, 7 p.m., Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Special Bonus Talk by Natalie Warren in conjunction with the St. Louis River Summit:
Feb. 3, 2016 -- Hudson Bay Bound, 7 p.m., University of Wisconsin Superior, Swenson Hall, Erlenbach Conference Hall (first floor), Superior, WI

Feb. 24, 2016 -- The Value of Nature's Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed, 7 p.m., Barker's Waterfront Grille, Barker's Island Inn, 300 Marina Dr., Superior, WI

Mar. 30, 2016 -- Smile, You're on Candid Camera! Mammal Cams in the Estuary, 7 p.m., Vikre Distillery, 525 Lake Ave S., Suite 102, Duluth, MN

Apr. 27, 2016 -- Radio Tower Bay to 'Restoration Bay,' 7 p.m., Vikre Distillery, 525 Lake Ave S., Suite 102, Duluth, MN

May 25, 2016 -- Mucking Around in the Harbor: The 21st Ave W. Project, 7 p.m., Vikre Distillery, 525 Lake Ave S., Suite 102, Duluth, MN

2014-2015 Talks:

Oct. 16, 2014 -- An Industrious River: How Business Relies on Fresh Water, 7 p.m., Red Mug Coffeehouse, 916 Hammond Ave., Superior, WI

Dec. 18, 2014 – What’s the Point? Ojibway History and the Unique Value of Wisconsin Point, 7 p.m., Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve Learning Center, 3 Marina Dr., Barker's Island, Superior, WI

Jan. 22, 2015 – Formation Story: How the St. Louis River Came to Be, Geologically, 7 p.m., Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve Learning Center, 3 Marina Dr., Barker's Island, Superior, WI

Feb. 18, 2015 – Making the St. Louis River Hip: The River Corridor Project, 7 p.m., Amazing Grace Café, 394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth, MN

Mar. 18, 2015 – Restoring the Spirit to the River: The U.S. Steel Superfund Site on Spirit Lake, 7 p.m., Amazing Grace Café, 394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth, MN

Special Bonus Talk in conjunction with the St. Louis River Summit:
Mar. 31, 2015 -- The St. Louis River in Your own Words: Results from NOAA's Stakeholder Engagement Interviews in the St. Louis River Estuary, 7:30 p.m., Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve Learning Center, 3 Marina Dr., Barker's Island, Superior, WI

Apr. 15, 2015 – Remembering the Cultural History of the St. Louis River Estuary Through Maps, 7 p.m., Amazing Grace Café, 394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth, MN

May 20, 2015 – Researching the Invisible Ways Estuaries Benefit Us, 7 p.m., Amazing Grace Café, 394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth, MN

Jun. 10, 2015 – Pollution, Poetry and Photography: Celebrating the River’s Restoration Through Words, 5:30 p.m., Amazing Grace Café, 394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth, MN

2013-2014 Talks:

Sept 24, 2013, 7 p.m., Red Mug – Pat Collins with the Minnesota DNR discussed the history of the St. Louis River and gave an overview of restoration efforts

October 29, 2013, 7 p.m., Red Mug – Diane Desotelle with the Minn. Pollution Control Agency and Matt Steiger with the Wisconsin DNR discussed current efforts to restore the river.

November 26, 2013, 7 p.m., Red Mug – Shon Schooler with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve talked about the ecological mysteries of the St. Louis River.

No talk in December

February 11, 2014 (rescheduled from January 28) 7 p.m., Clyde Iron Works – Gene Clark with Wisconsin Sea Grant delved into the issue of dredging in the estuary.

February 25, 2014, 7 p.m., Clyde Iron Works – Emily Graham from the University of Colorado in Boulder discussed how microscopic critters and mercury impact the health of the estuary.

March 25, 2014, 7 p.m., Clyde Iron Works – Thomas Howes with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa discussed wild rice management, research and restoration.

April 29, 2014, 7 p.m., Clyde Iron Works – John Lindgren with the MN Department of Natural Resources and Paul Piszczek with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources talked about sport fishing in the St. Louis River.

May 27, 2014, 7 p.m., Clyde Iron Works – Trivia Night. Staff from Sea Grant and the Lake Superior NERR quizzed audience members about facts learned throughout the series. Door prizes went to those who answered the questions correctly.






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