GATEWAY TO THE ESTUARY
Specialized Spaces for Research and Learning
Our facilities provide a gathering place, educational opportunities and support economic development through research and tourism. The Lake Superior Reserve occupies two waterfront buildings on Barker’s Island near Route 53 in Superior. Our buildings, which we purchased in 2011 through funds obtained through a grant from NOAA, are part of the UW-Superior campus. The buildings house our administrative offices and offices for the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, as well as a dock-side laboratory, a public science and interpretive learning center and classrooms.
Research with us
Our dockside laboratory is available to visiting and partnering researchers.
Tools for your research
The Reserve’s research facilities include a meeting room, student work stations and a 1,300 sq. ft. dockside laboratory. The lab is available to visiting and partnering researchers and houses equipment for water quality analysis and other scientific research.
Navigate the estuary and coastal Lake Superior
The Reserve is home to a 25-foot vessel that enhances its scientific research, monitoring and educational missions. The vessel is intended for operation in protected waters and near-shore environments, making it an ideal boat to navigate the St. Louis River Estuary and coastal Lake Superior. It comes outfitted with a high-resolution sidescan sonar that produces detailed images of lakebeds and river bottoms. Additionally, an onboard side crane allows loading and unloading of bulky scientific equipment needed for other research endeavors. The vessel, named R2512, is assigned under an agreement with NOAA.
The Reserve owns and operates a 19 ft. shallow draft, high-capacity boat, which is available—along with an operator—to visiting researchers and educators.
Dormitory space is available to visiting researchers for a nominal fee through UW-Superior. Availability is limited, and we encourage prospective visiting researchers to contact UW-Superior Residence Life as early as possible. The UW-Superior campus is 1.5 miles from our Barker’s Island facilities.
Lake Superior Estuarium
A Gathering Place for Exploration
The Lake Superior Estuarium creates a better future through community, collaboration and place-based education in the Lake Superior Watershed. The Estuarium exhibit hall houses fun, family-centered exhibits that tell the story of the St. Louis River Estuary, Lake Superior and the communities on their shores.
Visiting the Estuarium is free, though donations are welcome. It is open to the public Thursday-Sunday in the summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend) and Friday-Saturday in the winter season.
Classroom & Meeting Space
The Lake Superior Estuarium includes a well-equipped classroom and meeting space and offices for the Friends of the Lake Superior Reserve and visiting researchers or students. To reserve the Confluence Room for your non-profit, government or business group, please contact the Reserve. The facility is not currently available for private events.
Occupancy: 60 with tables and chairs
Occupancy: 128 without tables and chairs