Water Quality

Baseline Water Quality Monitoring

The KBIC has a baseline water quality monitoring program and dataset. The program has been monitoring the reservation waters since 2000. The program is designed to address the various water quality and water resource management issues on the L’Anse Reservation. The purpose of the program is to identify, characterize and address the current problems related to water quality through the implementation of the core, surface water quality monitoring program, and to continue monitoring utilizing the developed baseline dataset.

The surface water within and adjacent to the L’Anse Reservation is a critical resource for both human and environmental health. Surface water is a drinking water source for the KBIC as well as the villages of L’Anse and Baraga. In addition, commercial fishing and water recreational activities such as boating, swimming and sports fishing are significant activities of local residents dependent on local surface waters as well as tourists.

The primary objective of the KBIC NRD Water Program is to continue with the development of various components which make up a comprehensive program to address water quality issues on the Reservation. The program will characterize and address the current problems related to water quality by:

  1. developing tailored water quality standards,

  2. continuing with our pursuit of 303 program authorization,

  3. continuing a water quality monitoring program, including a project focused on the Silver River Watershed and the potential metallic sulfide mining,

  4. continuing a watershed inventory, and working to continue funding for aquifer studies, and conducting public education and outreach.

Beginning in 2017, KBIC Natural Resources Department began Beach Monitoring at beaches around Lake Superior. Sampling is conducted on Thursday’s and results will be posted on Friday. You can check the status of beaches below, or you can go to the KBIC Natural Resources Facebook page.

If a beach is closed due to unsafe bacteria levels, we will post closures on this website, the NRD Facebook page, post signage at the beach and have public announcements on the radio.

The following beaches are included in our weekly monitoring.

First Sands

Zeba boat launch


Head of the bay

Ojibwa Campground beach

Sand Point Beach

WUPHD beach monitoring season June 22th  - August 28th - https://www.wupdhd.org/beach-monitoring/

Each year we get messages from concerned citizens regarding possible algae blooms, sewage discharges and discolored water. We are thankful that our department is alerted and we always take the time to investigate these concerns. It is important to us that we are informed of any possible water pollution, especially with the large number of visitors to the area taking advantage of our beautiful beaches.

This morning we investigated a possible discharge into Lake Superior. There are large amounts of pollen building up in the water and it can give the appearance of algae blooms or contaminants. We appreciate the public alerting us and continue to encourage you to alert us of any concerns you may have in regards to water. Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.

We continue to monitor every Thursday to ensure you have healthy waters to enjoy.

Beach Monitoring 
Abandoned Wells
Macro-invertebrate Sampling
Groundwater Program
Storm Water Compliance
Surface Water Monitoring
Uranium Study
Water Reports & Studies
Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP)


Water Program contact:

Stephanie Cree, Water Resources Specialist