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Things You Should Know

  • Storm drains (a.k.a. catch basins) are designed only for rain and snow melt (not trash, leaves, or oil).
  • Whatever goes down a storm drain goes into a natural waterway untreated.
  • Fish don't smoke, purchase candy bars, sip soda, or swill beer, which means the litter on Minnesota's shores comes from dodgy human behavior.
  • A minor rain can become a gully washer when runoff from roofs, roads, and parking lots (impervious surfaces) adds volume and speed to normal runoff. Consequences: soil erosion, shoreline damage, water pollution, and hazardous situations.

Ways to be a Stormwater Steward

  • Adopt a storm drain.
  • Build and landscape with permeable surfaces where possible.
  • Wash cars where the soap and water will run onto grass.
  • Create and maintain rain gardens.
  • Use rain barrels to collect roof runoff for watering plants.
  • Participate in a beach sweep.
  • Pick up litter and yard clippings.
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Don't over salt icy paths and driveways.
  • Share information about litter and stormwater.
  • Create and maintain rain gardens.
  • Use rain barrels to collect roof runoff for watering plants.

Northland Innovative Stormwater Management Presentations

  • Learn about newer techniques being used to manage stormwater through 16 PDFs from this 2010 conference.

Stormwater Audio Files Subscribe to the Superior Waves Podcast

Title Description Main Topic Keywords Aired Speaker(s)
Changing with the Times: Trends in Stream Flow (6:09) Faith Fitzpatrick, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Madison, Wisc., talks about how climate and landscape changes are reflected in stream flow data from the Lake Superior basin. Climate Change Stream Flow 2011.07.06
Host: Jesse Schomberg, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Faith Fitzpatrick, Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Coastal Hazards - Great Lakes Style (5:17) Lake Superior's communities might not face hurricanes or tsunamis, but storms, rip currents, and hypothermia can also take lives. Jesse Schomberg explains coastal hazards. Coastal Hazards Hypothermia, Rip Currents, Storms 2013.06.13
Host: Jesse Schomberg, MN Sea Grant
Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Algal Blooms (6:05) Dr. Robert Hecky, Biology Professor at UMD's Large Lake's Observatory discusses the phosphorous entering lakes and how it dictates the amount of algae growth in the lake. Coastal Hazards Algal Blooms, Nitrogen, Phosphorous 2010.02.03
Host: Judy Zomerfelt, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Dr. Robert Hecky, Biology Professor, UMD's Large Lake's Observatory
After the Flood: Water Quality (10:31) Barbara Liukkonen, Sea Grant's Water Resources Education Coordinator, talks about flooding and overcoming water quality challenges caused by floods with Steve Bortone. Coastal Hazards Flooding, Water Quality 2009.05.20
Host: Steve Bortone, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Barbara Liukkonen, Water Resources Education Coordinator, MN Sea Grant
Wetlands Role in Water Quality, Fisheries (6:17) Mike Sierszen of Duluth's EPA lab discusses marshes, bogs, swamps - the wetlands - and why they are good for the environment. Lake Superior Wetlands, Marshes, Bogs, Swamps, Water Quality, Fisheries 2010.01.13
Host: Judy Zomerfelt, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Mike Sierszen, EPA
Water Quality and Research Challenges in Duluth Streams (6:05) [Transcript]
This program explores efforts to determine the effects of urbanization on Duluth streams.
Water Quality Duluth Streams, Urbanization 2008.09.09
Host: Marie Zuikov, MN Sea Grant
Clear Running Waters? (5:22) UMD grad Andrea Crouse comments on how land use and weather combine to muddy Lake Superior's streams. Water Quality Lake Superior Streams, Land Use, Weather 2011.03.30
Host: Jesse Schomberg, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Andrea Crouse, Grad Student, UMD
Hold the Salt: Winter Road Maintenance and Water Quality (5:13) Environmental consultant Connie Fortin describes how road deicers affect lakes and streams, and explains the strategic application of rock salt. Water Quality Road Deicers 2011.03.02
Host: Jesse Schomberg, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Connie Fortin, Environmental Consultant
Stormwater Management (5:05) UMD research associate Valerie Brady discusses stormwater runoff and ways to slow its flow into streams and lakes. Water Quality Stormwater Runoff 2009.12.02
Host: Judy Zomerfelt, MN Sea Grant; Guest: Valerie Brady, Research Coordinator, MN Sea Grant
Stormwater Runoff (7:33) [Transcript]
Learn about the Duluth flood of the early 1970s and what's being done to minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff.
Water Quality Stormwater Runoff, Floods 2005.09.07
Host: Marie Zuikov, MN Sea Grant; Guests: Cindy Hagley, Environmental Quality Extension Educator, MN Sea Grant & others

Stormwater Videos View all MNSG videos on YouTube

Green Roof at Unitarian Universalist Congregation

David Yount, Green Sanctuary Committee Member at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, comments on the installation and use of a green roof.

Pervious Concrete and Rain Gardens at Energy Plus

John Bergstrom, owner of Energy Plus in Hermantown, Minnesota, comments on the installation and use of pervious concrete and a rain garden at his business.

Pervious Pavers at Diamond Vogel Paints

Paul Reinier, manager of Diamond Vogel Paints in Duluth, Minnesota, comments on installation and use of pervious pavers at the paint store.

Pervious Pavement at the University of Minnesota Duluth

Mindy Granley, Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Duluth, comments on installation and use of pervious pavement at UMD.

Rain Gardens at Home

Rich Melvin, homeowner in Lakeside neighborhood, comments on installation and use of rain gardens at his home.

Rain Gardens at Lake County Courthouse

Wayne Seidel, Lake County Extension and Soil and Water Conservation District (retired), comments on installation and use of rain gardens at the Lake County Courthouse.

Spring & Stormwater Run-off in Duluth, Minnesota

Minnesota Sea Grant's Research Director, Dr. Valerie Brady, and Coastal Communities Extension Educator, Jesse Schomberg, were interviewed on KBJR-TV, discussing spring and stormwater run-off and how it affects local streams. Brady and Schomberg met with reporter Matt Standal at Lester River in Duluth on Friday, March 26, 2010.

Stop That Stormwater!
(Superior Science in 2 Minutes)

John Bilotta, Water Resource Management and Policy Extension Coordinator at Minnesota Sea Grant, joins Northland's NewsCenter host Jeanne Filkins to talk about the importance of managing stormwater on private property. View the 1-mintue video version here.

Water Run-off & You (Lakes & Streams 101)

Cynthia Hagley, Environmental Quality Extension Educator with Minnesota Sea Grant, joins Northland's NewsCenter host Jeanne Filkins to talk about water run-off and the importance of citizen intervention with rain barrels and water gardens.


Lake Superior Streams, a center for stormwater resources and regional stream data
The Clean Water Minnesota Media Campaign places stormwater pollution prevention public education messages in the mass media and offers resources for stormwater educators and seasonal clean water tips for residents.
The University of Minnesota Duluth stormwater pollution prevention program
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers stormwater information, permit applications and guidance documents
The Northland Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program works in the Twin Cities and the Western Lake Superior Basin to help decision makers factor the relationship between land use and natural resource protection into community planning and development.

To talk to a Sea Grant educator about Stormwater, contact:

This page last modified on February 15, 2017     © 1996 – 2019 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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