Conservation can sometimes be tricky. Sometimes when we try to “help” a situation there can be unintended consequences. 

In order to replace sand on the lake side of Duluth’s Park Point that had eroded away due to the high lake levels and increasingly frequent storms, dredge spoil, taken from the Duluth/Superior harbor was used to refill the eroded beach areas. Some of that dredge material contained something unexpected, shards of aluminum and tin cans that were found by local residents on the beach! 

Park Point is the largest freshwater barrier island in the world located in the largest freshwater lake (by volume) in the world. It is an important and unique landform. 

MNCF is concerned about the risk that these materials present to the people and pets who enjoy the public lands on Park Point.  We are working with coalition partners to find a solution to the issue of erosion on Park Point that allows for the residents of Park Point to enjoy their homes and local public beaches, the harbor to remain an economic engine for the Twin Ports, and does not risk the health of Lake Superior through the introduction of material dredged from the harbor.

News outlets have reported on the situation. The Star Tribune, MPR, the Duluth Tribune, and Channel 3 in Duluth have all filed reports from the beach.