Residents of the City of Superior will have improved access to the Pokegama River next summer thanks to $128,482 grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The funds, awarded to the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve in partnership with the City of Superior, will be used by the city to improve a rustic boat launch on the Pokegama River in the Superior Municipal Forest along Billings Park Drive.
The design for this project was completed by AMI in 2019. Funding for this design was made possible with a Wisconsin Department of Administrative Coastal Management Program Grant.
“Improving access to our coastal recourse is an important mission of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program,” said Mike Friis, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program Manager. “We are always thrilled when the plans are able to be implemented.”
Improvements include a dock and motorized boat launch pad, vault restroom facility, improved parking spaces, a separate kayak and canoe launch access, interpretive signs, trash and recycling facilities and improvements to the road to reduce erosion of clay into the river.
The Superior Municipal Forest, where the rustic launch sits, is owned and managed by the City of Superior.
“I cannot express enough the gratitude of partnerships,” said Linda Cadotte, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. “The need, concepts, design, and ultimately the implementation of an important access improvement project like this would not be possible without the feedback from the stakeholders and funding support.”
The City of Superior will contribute roughly $50k for the vault restroom facility and garbage and recycling cans.
The site is a primary research and education program location in the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and is one of two Superior stops on the proposed St. Louis River Estuary National Water Trail. The Douglas County Fish and Game League, St. Louis River Alliance, and Northland Paddlers Alliance also provided support for the proposal.
“These improvements to Pokegama Bay will not only provide critical access to the estuary for school students, educators, and researchers, they will increase access for all user groups including paddlers, duck hunters, fisherman, visitors, and community members,” said Deanna Erickson, Interim Reserve Manager.
September is Coastal Awareness Month and National Estuaries Day is September 26. A beach clean-up, organized by the Friends of the Lake Superior Reserve, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day offers another opportunity to celebrate. All are welcome and registration is outside the Lake Superior Estuarium at 3 Marina Drive in Superior. Contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit their website at folsr.org