Pickle Pond Remediation and Restoration


The Pickle Pond (the pond) is an enclosed area of water that was separated from Superior Bay by the construction of a railroad creating a unique sheltered shallow water habitat within the St Louis River estuary. There are multiple municipal storm sewer outfalls which terminate in the pond and it also receives runoff from adjacent areas including an active railroad yard. Legacy sediment contaminants, storm water runoff and invasive species contribute to degraded water quality and habitat conditions in the pond. The current condition of the pond and the potential to enhance and improve this unique habitat in the estuary caused it to be identified as a remediation to restoration site in the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for this AOC. Specifically, action is needed at the Pickle Pond to contribute to removal of the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat beneficial use impairment (BUI) and this site is identified as priority action 9.14 in the RAP (MPCA&WDNR 2013). Planning work for this site was conducted during two phases by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service using Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds. An assessment of baseline conditions at the site and preliminary evaluation of restoration alternatives was competed during Phase 1 (Limnotech 2014). Phase 2 included additional sediment and soil sampling as well as completion of a feasibility study (FS) which identified three alternatives for restoration (Limnotech 2016). Based on the preliminary cost estimates for the FS alternatives DNR and USFWS used stakeholder feedback to refine the objectives and metrics for the pond. Using these refined objectives the project stakeholders agreed in principal on 02/24/2017 to proceed into design of a more streamlined and targeted habitat concept for the pond.


The objective of this project is to produce a final design and bid packet, including plans and specifications, for construction of the streamlined habitat concept for the pond. The design goals are to restore fish and wildlife habitat, improve plant communities by reducing non-native and invasive plants, and reduce stormwater loading. To achieve these goals design elements will include remediating 2.5 acres of contaminated sediment, chemical, physical or biological measures to reduce coverage of invasive plants, increase openings to Superior Bay to improve circulation, enhanced habitat for fish, birds, and turtles, and the installation and maintenance of vegetated filter strips and in-line storm water BMPs. More details on design objectives and metrics for restoration can be found in Table 1. A contractor will be selected through a competitive bid process and tasked to complete design documents. The design may include options for multiple restoration components in order to allow selection of those design elements that are supported by stakeholders and/or are most cost effective for implementation. Wisconsin DNR will assume a lead role on this phase of the project which will include hiring and oversight of the contractor for design tasks. Bids will also be solicited for stakeholder coordination and securing agreements for implementation, though DNR or another project partners may opt to complete these tasks as needed to manage contracting costs.

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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative