Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve
Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve Logo

Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

Reserve Information



Lead Agency

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension
(Visit Site)


16,697 acres


Northwestern corner of Wisconsin along the St. Louis River, bordering Minnesota and Lake Superior

Additional Information

Habitats found in this reserve support a large and diverse assemblage of native fish species.

Biogeographic Region

Great Lakes

Tidal Range


About This Reserve

This reserve is located along a river-to-lake gradient at the confluence of the St. Louis River and Lake Superior, the largest and most pristine of the Great Lakes. The reserve is a combination of distinct land areas that include uplands and submerged lands; riparian and riverine habitat; riverine islands; emergent freshwater marshes, interdunal wetlands and scrub swamp; aspen, dry and hardwood forests; and open sand beach and dunes.

Lake Superior Reserve, one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Day-to-day management is provided by the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and other local partners. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.

Reserve Location and Boundaries