We’re working hard to protect our watershed.

Protecting Lake Vermilion

The North St. Louis Soil & Water Conservation District, Vermilion Lake Association, and Minnesota Lakes & River Advocates (MLR) have worked together over the last year to protect Lake Vermilion through a Lake Steward Program. Landowners interested in the program started by taking a 10-question quiz developed by MLR to “Score Your Shore.” A volunteer…

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North Saint Louis SWCD Aquatic Invasive Species Program – Summer 2021

North St Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) hires two interns every summer to work with the aquatic invasive species (AIS) program. This year, Charles Greenberg and Jack Hasty were hired to work alongside Natalya Walker, the SWCD’s AIS Program Coordinator. Together, along with their team of 24 watercraft inspectors, they completed boat inspections,…

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Storm Drain Stenciling Continues to Be a Cross-Border Project!

Painting messages beside storm drains to help the public understand that only rain should go down the drain, because they divert water to either the Rainy River or Lake of the Woods, began several years ago as a cross-border project in Fort Frances, ON and International Falls, MN.  The project has grown every year with…

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LakeSmart – One Dock at a Time

LakeSmart is an award-winning environmental outreach program unique to the Lake of the Woods area of northwestern Ontario. A signature program of the Lake of the Woods District Stewardship Association (LOWDSA), it is focused on environmental education and helping lake users “live and play green” at the lake. The LakeSmart team is equipped with knowledge and…

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Series Intro: WRAPS (Minnesota) And Broadscale Monitoring (Ontario): Two Approaches, One Watershed

The Rainy-Lake of the Woods Basin is shared between Minnesota and Ontario, with a small portion in Manitoba, Canada.  When broken down into its ten major watersheds, it becomes even more obvious that water knows no boundaries and the watershed boundaries are what matter.  However, the way in which data are collected, water is monitored…

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Series: WRAPS: The Minnesota Approach

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) takes a watershed approach to restoring and protecting Minnesota’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands and, in the case of the binational Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed, works in collaboration with agencies in Canada wherever possible. In the U.S., the funds used to accelerate efforts to monitor, assess, and restore impaired…

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Series:The Ontario Approach: Broadscale Monitoring

In Ontario, fisheries management planning and Broadscale Monitoring are done on the basis of Fisheries Management Zones (FMZ). The Rainy-Lake of the Woods Basin is mostly contained within FMZ5 although the far eastern part of the basin is within FMZ6.  In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is responsible for fish and…

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Series: No. 1 – Rainy River Headwaters

This is a watershed shared almost equally between Canada and the U.S., the majority of it being undeveloped and utilized for timber production, hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreational opportunities. The majority of land within the Ontario portion is within Quetico Provincial Park where no development is permitted (logging, mining, hydroelectric development). One community, Lac…

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Series: No. 2 – Big Turtle River-Rainy Lake

This watershed is entirely within Canada and, for water quality and fisheries management, it is within Ontario’s Fisheries Management Zone 5.  The vast majority of the watershed is undeveloped with logging and related road construction the major land use activities.  There are no hydroelectric facilities or currently operating mines and no managed water systems.  As…

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Series: No. 3 – Vermilion Watershed

The Vermilion Watershed is entirely within the U.S. – it is 662,427 acres in size, contains 565 lakes and 84,333 acres of wetlands and includes a portion of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The BWCAW is roadless, undeveloped country that is interconnected with lakes, rivers and portages.  Lake Vermilion itself is a unique…

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