­­Among the many Areas of Concern (AOCs) designated by the International Joint Commission, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant has been involved in several providing research and reports on local stakeholders perceptions of cleanup operations and ways in which they are affected by the projects. This latest report details the St. Louis River AOC. 
From IISG’s Caitie McCoy: 
“A report on stakeholder perceptions of the St Louis River Area of Concern (AOC) and attitudes toward the cleanup and restoration work is now available. This summer, I traveled to the St Louis River with my intern Emily Anderson to perform social science research on community attitudes toward remediation and restoration. The river is located on the border between Duluth, MN and Superior, WI, and is the largest U.S. AOC. The report will help tailor efforts of the Spirit Lake Outreach Team toward local stakeholder needs and interests at the current Great Lakes Legacy Act site in the river, Spirit Lake.
Emily provided her thoughts on the experience – ‘Being part of the research team for this project allowed me to experience firsthand how social science contributes to environmental remediation and restoration. Conducting the interviews with Caitie, I met so many intriguing and knowledgeable people; I now see the direct implications that stakeholder input can have for both outreach and project design.’
This assessment is part of a larger effort to understand how AOC work influences stakeholder perceptions and use of waterways at a regional scale. A similar report on the Sheboygan River is available and a follow-up report on Sheboygan, post-cleanup, is coming soon.”
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