By John Michaelson
Minnesota News Connection
ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 8, 2015) — Minnesota has long been the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and it’s now also the home of one of the most endangered rivers in the nation.
The group American Rivers’ 2015 list of the 10 “most endangered rivers” includes the St. Louis River. It’s facing threats from heavy metal and sulfide pollutants from a proposed copper and nickel mine in the river’s headwaters, said Steve Morse, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership.
“The pollution from that mine threatens human health,” he said. “It threatens wild rice and food supplies, as well as that economic development on the lower reaches of the river.”
Morse said it’s expected that the final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed mine should be completed this year – and potentially a decision on the permit as well.
The most endangered river in the nation for 2015 is the Colorado River in Arizona’s Grand Canyon. The report claimed it is being threatened by development, groundwater depletion and uranium mines.
Morse said protecting the health of the St. Louis River is vital because it also impacts the health of Lake Superior.
“It’s actually the largest tributary of Lake Superior through the headwaters for Lake Superior, which is the largest of the Great Lakes,” he said. “I believe it’s one of the top freshwater resources in the world, so it’s really a global resource that we’re talking about here.”
Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake by volume in North America and the third largest in the world.
The report is online at b.3cdn.net.