River Quest sets sail on Monday; 1050 students on educational harbor cruises May 9-12

Friday, May 6, 2011

Duluth, Minn. USA -Boatloads of area sixth-grade students carrying River Quest "passports" to document their adventures, will explore the Duluth-Superior harbor May 9-12 aboard the Vista Star to learn all they can about the St. Louis River watershed.

The 19th annual St. Louis River Quest is again drawing nearly 1,050 sixth graders to the waterfront - bringing to over 15,000 the total number of area students who have benefited from the program since its inception in 1993.    

River Quest provides hands-on learning activities for students to raise awareness of the St. Louis River ecosystem and interrelated commercial, industrial and recreational activities. During two-and-a-half hour boat trips, students visit a dozen learning stations staffed by volunteers who cover topics ranging from pollution prevention and stopping aquatic invaders to boating safety and commercial shipping.  This year's learning station sponsors and topics include: 

City of Duluth                                                               Storm versus Sanitary Sewers

Duluth Sail & Power Squadron                                 It floats, you don't. Wear your life jacket.

Twin Ports Rip Currents                                             Break the Grip of the Rip

Duluth Public Schools                                                 Observation station

Duluth Seaway Port Authority                                Great Lakes Cargo Capita: Port of Duluth-Superior

Great Lakes Aquarium &  MM DNR MinnAqua      Fish Families

Minnesota Sea Grant Program                                Get Habitattitude!

NewPage                                                                       Sustainable Forestry

Sappi Fine Paper                                                         Efficient Industrial Water Use - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Superior National Forest &  U.S. EPA                    Stream Table

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers                                 Cold Hand Luke - Hypothermia & Water Safety

U.S. Coast Guard & Auxiliary                                   Containing Oil Spills

U.S. Coast Guard                                                         Man Overboard Demonstration

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District             The "Real Workers" at WLSSD

Students are encouraged to submit essays about their experiences as part of the event's "Captain Ray Skelton River Quest Essay Contest," named in honor of one of the program's founders. The winner's name will be added to a traveling school plaque to recognize both the student's writing abilities and the school's participation in River Quest. The 2010 winner was Eleanor "Ellie" French from Woodland Middle School.

Financial sponsors for River Quest 2011: the Vista Fleet, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Marine Tech, Minnesota Power Foundation, Sappi Fine Paper, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hallett Dock Co., Midwest Energy Resources Company, Allouez Marine, Gavilon, and Grandma's Restaurant Co.     

Educators are encouraged to check out materials posted at


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