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  Lake Superior
What's New | Overview | General Resources | Programs and Projects
Research | Tourism | Related Resources

 
What's New
Shipping season begins today, marking latest start ever
CBC News (4/21)
Two ships are due to arrive in the port of Thunder Bay on Monday, marking the latest start to a shipping season there. An extremely cold winter left most of Lake Superior frozen over, and the ice in Thunder Bay harbour is still as much as a metre thick in some places.

Whitefish shortage: Slim chance for price drop on this Great Lakes staple, say experts
MLive (4/18)
The shortage in whitefish is not looking like it will end any time soon due to many different factors including the recent harsh winter, overfishing, and invasive species.

COMMENTARY: Tar sands oil expansion is risky
Journal Sentinel (4/12)
Expanding proposals for more pipeline capacity by pipeline companies as well as plans to ship tar sands crude oil across Lake Superior and other Great Lakes create worries among residents of the midwest.

Study: Mussels improve lake property values
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune (4/4)
Nobody wants to see lakes infested with zebra mussels. But from a strictly economic perspective, could their presence and their ability to improve water clarity actually boost the value of shoreline property?

Moose prosper while wolves struggle on Isle Royale
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (4/3)
Wildlife researchers who spent the winter on an island in Lake Superior report that Isle Royale's moose population is booming while wolf numbers remain near an all-time low.

Marquette Harbor on waiting list for ice breakers
The Associated Press (4/2)
The U.S. Coast Guard says ice as thick as six feet on Lake Superior will keep its icebreakers from reaching Marquette Harbor in Marquette, Mich., for a few days.

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Overview
Not only is Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes, it also has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in the world. It contains almost 3,000 cubic miles of water, an amount that could fill all the other Great Lakes plus three additional Lake Eries. With an average depth approaching 500 feet, Superior also is the coldest and deepest (1,332 feet) of the Great Lakes. The lake stretches approximately 350 miles from west to east, and 160 miles north to south, with a shoreline almost 2,800 miles long. The drainage basin, totaling 49,300 square miles, encompasses parts of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario. Most of the Superior basin is sparsely populated, and heavily forested, with little agriculture because of a cool climate and poor soils.

References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995

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General Resources
Bathymetry Map
Ohio State University and NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)
The Great Lakes Forecasting System provides physical data about the lake, including this bathymetry map.

Fish of Lake Superior
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Color illustrations or photographs, size, coloring and other information about many Lake Superior fish species.

Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis
NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)
A map using NOAA satellite data to show recent water temperatures of the Great Lakes.

Historical Data - Lake Superior
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District
The Army Corps provides current and historic data on the Great Lakes, including yearly water levels from 1918, monthly storm probability, outflows and precipitation.

Let's Go Sailing: Lake Superior
Canada's Aquatic Environments
Physical attributes, watershed facts and more. See also: Lakes Library.

North Shore Weather Wisdom
Minnesota Sea Grant
Outlines the seasonal weather patterns triggered by the lake's influence.

Superior Pursuit: Facts About the Greatest Lake
Minnesota Sea Grant
Focuses on the lake's size, creation, weather, water quality, shipping, tourism and fishery.

Surface Water Temperature
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Check out the Sea Grant Coastwatch, which provides real-time surface water temperatures for Lake Superior and its ports.

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Programs
Inland Sea Society
Works toward maintaining a Lake Superior Basin with a naturally diverse and heathly ecosystem.

Keweenaw Interdisciplinary Transport Experiment in Superior (KITES)
KITES is a five-year study, which began in 1997, of the Keweenaw Peninsula on the south shore of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior - Duluth Streams
U.S. EPA/NOAA
This project's primary goal is to enhance public understanding of aquatic ecosystems, the influence of land uses in the watershed and these systems, and the importance of these systems to both economic and environmental sustainability.

Lake Superior Binational Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
The Lake Superior Binational Program focuses on the entire ecosystem of Lake Superior and presents its progress in a series of reports titled the Lake Superior Lakewide Management Plan.

Lake Superior Binational Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
This program has focused on the entire ecosystem of Lake Superior, its air, land, water and human and wildlife. Provides links to the most updated information on the Lakes Superior LaMP.

Lake Superior Initiative
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Research program on various topics, including factors affecting the sustainability of Lake Superiorís recreational and commercial fisheries, and the flow of mercury and other trace metals from tributaries into the lake.

Minnesota Shoreline Management Resource Guide
This guide provides easy access to information about sustainable shoreland practices to improve management of Minnesota's lakes and rivers.

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Research
Fisheries Research in Lake Superior
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Great Lakes Science Center
Including population and community dynamics of Lake Superior fishes, and status of the shortjaw cisco.

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Tourism
The Great Lakes Circle Tour
Ride along on the 6,500-mile Great Lakes Circle Tour: a scenic, international road system connecting the five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River! For new visitors to the region, this online travel guide offers informational maps, road routes and estimated mileages, and links to major cities, camping and recreation areas, and natural attractions.

Lake Superior Marine Museum Association
LSMMA seeks to acquire, preserve and exhibit marine artifacts and to present programs pertaining to Lake Superior and to disseminate such information to the general public through museum attendance, newsletters and meetings.

Lighthouses of Lake Superior
Seeing The Light
Join lighthouse buffs Terry and Sue Pepper on a voyage of discovery around the Great Lakes and through history. This site features extensive photography, research and observations of the lights.

Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota's beach monitoring program collects samples from 37 Lake Superior beaches and analyzes them for water-borne diseases and human health risks. During beach season, this site offers daily and historical beach status information, including weather, photos and maps.

Minnesota's Superior Scenic Byways
Use this site to explore four beautiful Minnesota Superior Scenic Byways on the western shores of Lake Superior. Each byway is illustrated in an easy-to-follow interactive map that offers recreational opportunities, cultural or historic sites, information centers and various attractions.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Lake Superior Facts and Figures
GLIN: Lake Superior Current Conditions

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Updated: April 23, 2014
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