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LSSU to launch new green stormwater demonstration project this year

Project will be one of 27 funded projects through the U.S. Forest Service
20210119CFRE
A rendering of the forthcoming Richard and Theresa Barch Center for Freshwater Research and Education Building and the site of the St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project.

A news release issued today by Lake Superior State University (LSSU) states that in 2021, the school will launch the St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project, creating the first green stormwater demonstration project along the St. Marys River. The $250,000 project will be located in proximity to LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) and the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Alford Park.

“This project will create high-impact experiences related to sustainability for our undergraduate students and our high school career and technology education students by engaging them in rain garden design and planting,” said Dr. Ashley Moerke, director at CFRE, in the release. “This project is particularly exciting because it will help return a former industrial and contaminated site into a natural area that will more sustainably manage stormwater runoff and protect the water quality of the St. Marys River. The site will be an example used to guide sustainable waterfront development in the future.”

This LSSU project is one of 27 funded through the U.S. Forest Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project plans to achieve the following:

  • use green infrastructure to increase runoff infiltration and pollutant removal
  • create wildlife habitat in a unique riparian area
  • provide community education opportunities on the importance of sustainable stormwater management

LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education also plans on developing rain gardens, pollinator habitats, and treescapes that will include new trees and flowers planted across the CFRE and Alford Park properties. 

“It’s part of our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Great Lakes region. And sustainability is one of the pillars in our strategic plan,” said LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley in the release. “Through the support from the U.S. Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the St. Marys River Green Stormwater Demonstration Project will help grow campus- and community- based sustainability initiatives focused on our cherished freshwater resources and give our students vital experiences in the process.”