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Lake Superior Manoomin Cultural and Ecosystem Characterization Study

Kaylene Ritter, Heather Hosterman, Olivia Griot


January 20, 2021

A variety of environmental factors threaten manoomin (wild rice) in the Lake Superior Basin, including mining, agricultural practices, hydrologic controls and climate change. On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Abt developed a novel, non-monetary approach to characterize the value of manoomin habitats. This includes a Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) tool that, combined with cultural and ecological metrics, can be used to describe the degraded functionality of manoomin habitats in terms of the amount of equivalent habitat restoration needed to counterbalance the losses. The report demonstrates the applicability of this tool through several case studies at different sites within the Lake Superior Basin.

Related Case Studies:

  • Low ecological and cultural functionality characterized at the Twin Lakes (pdf)
  • Introduction of Manoomin at Hiles Millpond provides cultural and ecological functionality (pdf)
  • Restoration of Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s Sand Point Sloughs increases cultural and ecological functionality (pdf)
  • Restoration of Perch Lake increases cultural and ecological services (pdf)
  • Restoration of Lac Vieux Desert’s Rice Bay increases cultural and ecological functionality (pdf)
  • Introduction of Manoomin at Net River Impoundment and Vermillac Lake provides cultural and ecological functionality (pdf)
  • Efforts to manage Big Rice Lake have not improved Manoomin functionality (pdf)