Friday, July 19, 2013

Celebrate Lake Superior Day, July 21, in Copper Harbor

COPPER HARBOR -- Sunday, July 21, is Lake Superior Day -- and a special public celebration is planned from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Copper Harbor. The Lake Superior Day community picnic and festival will be at the 6th Street dock on the Copper Harbor Boardwalk.

View of  Hunters Point from Copper Harbor, with Lake Superior beyond. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Festivities include a fish boil and picnic with homemade blueberry and apple pies, rieska (Finnish flatbread) and more; a talk about the health of Lake Superior by Michigan Tech PhD student Marcel Dijkestra, demonstrations of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) built by the Dollar Bay High School Enterprise SOAR (Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics) team, kayaking demonstrations with kayaks by Keweenaw Adventure Company, live music and more.*

For more information about the Copper Harbor event contact Don Kilpela at 906-289-4735.

Celebrated annually since the early 1990s, Lake Superior Day is observed around the lake basin on the third Sunday in July. With 917 shoreline miles, Lake Superior represents more than a quarter of the state of Michigan’s shoreline. Its beauty draws tourists and recreational users, while its natural resources provide local jobs, making the lake an economic engine for the region. Lake Superior also  plays an important role in the transportation of raw materials from the upper reaches of the Great Lakes basin down to the cities of the lower Great Lakes and beyond.

Sunset with freighter on Lake Superior, near the Keweenaw Tip. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Lake Superior continues to face environmental challenges such as the threat of new aquatic invasive species, pollution from its watersheds and toxic contaminants in fish and wildlife. Michigan has taken a lead role in protecting, restoring and monitoring the natural assets associated with Lake Superior. Since 2010, more than $20 million from sources including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the State of Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program has been awarded to groups in Michigan to help protect and restore the big lake.

At a 2012 Lake Superior Day celebration in Marquette, Emily Whitaker of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve explains some of the group's projects to protect the watershed from mining activity near Big Bay, Michigan. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Ultimately, protecting Lake Superior depends on efforts from residents, schools, municipalities, tribes, religious groups, businesses and other organizations who are encouraged to take action in their homes and communities to protect the lake and its watershed.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Summer Youth Crew members collect trash along the Keweenaw Bay shoreline at the Ojibwa Campground for Lake Superior Day 2012. (File photo © and courtesy Erin Johnston)**

To learn more about Lake Superior Day events, visit the Lake Superior Binational Forum at www.superiorforum.net. The DEQ, Office of the Great Lakes offers information on Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes at www.michigan.gov/deqgreatlakes. Environmental information about Lake Superior can be found at www.epa.gov/greatlakes/lakesuperior/index.html

* To learn about the Dollar Bay High School ROV project, see our May 28, 2012, article, "Updated: High school robotics project to help Isle Royale staff monitor invasive species."

** See the Aug. 19, 2012, article, "KBIC volunteers clean Keweenaw Bay beaches to celebrate Lake Superior Day."

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