Superior Community Celebrates Restored Barker's Island Beach

Ryan Juntti
Updated: July 16, 2019 10:20 PM

In the summer, one of the popular activities is going to the beach. On Tuesday, the Superior community celebrated the restoration of the Barker's Island beach.

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The $800,000 restoration project started last August, and just finished on Friday. It was a collaboration with the Wisconsin DNR, City of Superior and Area of Concern partners.

The community celebrated the construction of the project on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting.

Matt Steiger, Wisconsin DNR St. Louis River Area of Concern Coordinator, says the main purpose of the project was to mitigate sources of bacteria as he says the beach has had issues with bacteria in the past. According to the city's website, this is done by "optimizing the beach characteristics, managing runoff, enhancing wetland areas and deterring wildlife." 

The Wisconsin DNR worked with the city to take care of as many pieces of bacteria as they could. One of the ways this was done was by using a more course sand that filters the water better, so the beach stays drier, therefore reducing the bacteria.

While officials say all of that is important, they say the main driver of the project was making sure the community has a nice beach to swim at.

"As the DNR, one of our primary customers is people recreating in the waters of the state, so we're really excited to see this resource be utilized," said Steiger.

Shoreline restoration was another aspect of the project. Other improvements include a raised boardwalk, additional parking, and restroom facilities.

The beach was redesigned from three smaller beaches to one larger area.

The next step is establishing vegetation and monitoring the beach for e-coli and bacteria. That is what is going to be happening for the next two years, Steiger says.


Ryan Juntti

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