Kingsbury Bay – Grassy Point restoration project input sought

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting to present project details and receive public input on a restoration project proposed for Kingsbury Bay and Grassy Point in the St. Louis River. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Center West/Evergreen Center at 5830 Grand Ave., Duluth. 

The meeting will begin with a short presentation about the project followed by time for the public to ask questions and provide comments on the draft project design.  Project partners from the Environmental Protection Agency, city of Duluth, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the DNR will be available to answer questions.

The Kingsbury Bay – Grassy Point project will restore 245 acres of open water, coastal wetlands and stream channels in two locations in the upper St. Louis Bay.

Kingsbury Bay is a 65-acre shallow bay where sedimentation has reduced open water, hindered navigation, and encouraged the growth of narrow-leaved cattail which is less desirable habitat for native fish and wildlife populations. The project proposes to remove 165,000 cubic yards of excess sediment and materials, restore the bay with a more diverse mix of native aquatic plants and actively restore wild rice beds.

Grassy Point is a 180-acre shallow water wetland impaired by more than 500,000 cubic yards of wood waste from historic sawmilling operations, improper dredging and other industrial activity. The project proposes to excavate 300,000 cubic yards of wood waste and wood sediment mixes to restore the shallow bay habitat.

The excavated material from both locations will be used to cover remaining islands of wood waste to create upland features that will be restored to native forbs, shrubs and trees.

Construction for the project is planned to begin in January 2018 and is expected to be completed by December 2019.

The project is part of the larger partner-driven plan to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern and was designed in partnership with the city of Duluth, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Land Trust, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, 1854 Treaty Authority, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.

The Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Outdoor Heritage Fund are providing $9 million in funding support for the project.