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News From 91.3 KUWS
Big, old Clough Island to be restored
An event will be held in Superior Wednesday to shine light on the restoration and protection of the largest island in the St. Louis River Estuary. Brad Phenow reports.
The restoration of Clough (cluff) Island, otherwise called Whitesides by locals, is taking place thanks to a $250,000 grant provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Coastal Wetland Protection and Restoration program.
The island was purchased from a private party in 2010. After the Nature Conservancy purchased the island they turned it over to the State of Wisconsin. The 358 acre island is home to 45 species of native fish and as many as 230 different birds have been identified there, making Clough Island what the Nature Conservancy calls "a critical habitat for migrating and breeding for birds and fish".
Julene Boe is the Director at the St. Louis River Alliance. She says the Alliance and the Wisconsin DNR are turning the island around.
“They’ve been planting some trees, they’ve been doing some invasive species inventory, and our organization also did a clean up last year.”
Boe says when the restoration is completed, it’s going to be open to the public.
“It’s going to be more casual use; people can go over there and do some exploring. But they’re not going to be able to spend the night or do any camping over there.”
DNR St. Louis River Coordinator Matt Steiger says they planted the trees that have the best chance of thriving on Clough.
“Historically they believe that it was mostly a mix of large conifer trees out there. So they identified a couple specific areas based on soil type and conditions that we thought different species would thrive. The species they put out there were white spruce, balsam fur, white pine, and white cedar.”
Steiger says the clean-up that the Alliance did was incredible.
“400 pounds of recyclables were taken in, so there was quite a bit. They did a very extensive clean-up of the island.”
The event will be held at WITC Convention Center in Superior on January 22 at 6:30 p.m., registration is required.
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