The State of Minnesota has adopted a watershed approach to address the state's 80 major watersheds (denoted by 8-digit hydrologic unit code or HUC). This watershed approach incorporates water quality assessment, watershed analysis, public participation, planning, implementation, and measurement of results into a 10-year cycle that addresses both restoration and protection as part of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report. This WRAPS report addresses a portion of the waterbodies within the Lake Superior South (LSS) Watershed (HUC 04010102) that is located north and east of the Duluth Urban Area. The watershed constitutes 551 square miles and lies within the Northern Lakes and Forest ecoregion. Lake Superior shoreline comprises the entirety of the eastern border of the LSS Watershed. The dominant land cover is forest and wetland, and the majority of the watershed is undeveloped. Thirty-six assessment units in the LSS Watershed were assessed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to identify impaired waters and waters in need of protection. Seven stream reaches were identified as impaired for aquatic life and one stream reach was identified as impaired for both aquatic life and aquatic recreation. Two Lake Superior beaches are also impaired for aquatic recreation. All impaired streams and beaches require restoration activities. In addition, all lakes and streams in the watershed require protection, including those listed as impaired. Stream vulnerability based on biological integrity and lake water quality risk were considered in protection efforts. For the purposes of this WRAPS report, stream reaches and lakes vulnerable to degradation were prioritized, in addition to those with high value and high quality.
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Body of Water
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency