The PaddleSafeTwinPorts.org site is designed to help recreational paddlers select launch sites appropriate for their skill level and be aware of how to prevent and avoid dangerous encounters with commercial ship traffic in the Duluth-Superior area of Lake Superior.
Presentation by Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Educator Madison Rodman at the 2021 St. Louis River Summit about the launch of the PaddleSafeTwinPorts.org website
PaddleSafeTwinPorts.org provides real-time boating safety information for recreational paddlers using the Duluth-Superior Harbor, St. Louis River, and the north and south shores of Lake Superior.
The Duluth-Superior Harbor, St. Louis River estuary, and the nearby north and south shores of Lake Superior support a diverse array of user groups. Novice paddlers and freighter captains share these beautiful waters. Increased recreational traffic in Duluth’s working harbor prompted the development of a Harbor Safety Workgroup, a subgroup of the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council's Harbor Technical Advisory Committee, to address the potential need for enhanced safety programs and messaging.
Supported by survey work done in 2017 by Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Educator Tom Beery, the workgroup identified the paddling community as the initial user group to direct efforts toward. The workgroup proposed the development of signage at popular launch points throughout the targeted waters and a complimentary website that will convey water and paddling conditions, launching guidance, and resources so that paddlers can safely experience the waters.
Why Minnesota Sea Grant?
This project strongly supports Minnesota Coastal Program’s goal to “create or improve public access to outdoor recreational opportunities within Minnesota’s coastal area.” The launch of these efforts will provide increased visibility to the recreational opportunities afforded in the region and the promotion of safe practices so that all user groups can engage and interact with the water.
Participants: The Harbor Safety Workgroup, which includes representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota Duluth Recreational Sports Outdoor Program, local paddling outfitters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Parks and Trails and the Coastal Program), cities of Duluth and Superior, Metropolitan Interstate Council, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Duluth-Superior Power Squadron, and the Duluth Boat Club.
Audience: Canoers, kayakers, and paddleboarders of all ages and all skill levels who are interested in learning where to launch in the Port of Duluth-Superior and how to paddle safely within our working harbor.
The PaddleSafeTwinPorts.org website was prepared by the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program using federal funds under award NA18NOS4190081 from the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce provided to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) for Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, or the MNDNR.