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All articles published by Friends of the Apostle Islands can be found on this page. Scroll through the articles below or use the Search, Topic or Date options to narrow the focus.

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

Fifty-Two Candles – Celebrating Founders Day in the Apostle Islands

September 26th marks 52 years for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and kicks off a new commitment for FriendsIt was September 26, 1970. After years of meetings, negotiations, revisions, and debate, there finally came these words: “for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public … there is hereby established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.” With those words, Public Law 91-424 officially established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a place that preserves beauty, adventure, and offers reconnection to nature. The twenty-one islands and 12 miles of mainland shoreline today play a vital role in wildlife habitat, bird breeding areas, fisheries, and keeping alive stories as ancient as...

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Website Accessibility Tools

Website Accessibility Tools

At Friends of the Apostle Islands, we are committed to making your experience of our website as positive and enjoyable as possible. Watch this 2-minute video to learn about some of the options we have added to our website.With Your HelpTo be a part of the solution, join the Access For All campaign by making a donation now, or by contacting us: P.O. Box 1574, Bayfield, WI 54814 | (715) 449-6900 Basswood Island - Accessible features, camping, dock, hiking, popular Bear Island - Camping Cat Island - Camping Devils Island - Camping, dock, hiking, lighthouse, popular Eagle Island - No amenities Gull Island - No amenities Hermit Island - Camping Ironwood Island - Camping Little Sand Bay: Mainland - Accessible features, dock, mainland, popular,...

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Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

Dave Cooper Awarded John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology

(NPS News Release) Join us in congratulating David J. Cooper, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Archeologist and Cultural Resource Manager, in being awarded the John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in NPS Archeology for Professional Achievement. “Dave Cooper’s work shows the impact one person can have not only within a park, but across a whole landscape,” said Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “Dave has spent his lifetime protecting the historical and cultural resources on and around Lake Superior. From portages to fish camps to lighthouses and shipwrecks, Dave carefully documented and communicated the human interactions and influences on the islands, shorelines, and lake beds of Lake Superior.” As an...

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Celebrating Friends: 2022 Annual Cruise a Sweet Success

Celebrating Friends: 2022 Annual Cruise a Sweet Success

At Friends, our staff, board members, and volunteers can often be found in deep discussions over issues, planning budgets, setting up meetings, the everyday stuff of any organization. However sometimes you just have to set that all aside and return to the heart of things: the reason for doing all of it. Sometimes, you just have to go to the islands. Recently 58 Friends members, donors, board members, and supporters boarded the Superior Princess at the Bayfield City Dock for our 2022 Annual Cruise, a signature Friends event, this year sponsored by Wickcraft Boardwalks.Superior Princess – Jeff Rennicke photoAll aboard! – Jon Okerstrom photoIt was a picture-perfect summer evening as Captain Sherman and his crew steered the 65-foot...

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Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Advanced Technology Science Mission to Study Lake Superior Fish Launches in Ashland

Blue skies and a stiff breeze marked the launch ceremony for an advanced technology mission designed to improve the accuracy of fish population measurement in the Apostle Islands and beyond. That breeze will be important, as the wind is what will power two uncrewed sailboat-like drones as they sail predetermined patterns across Lake Superior with solar-powered hydroacoustic equipment and nearly two dozen other scientific instruments onboard. The US Geological Survey (USGS) and and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission invited dignitaries and journalists to the launch event on the dock next to the research vessel Kiyi in Ashland on August 9th. The Bright orange saildrones as well as a long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LRUAV) were on...

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New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

New Mission Details: Unmanned Research Vessels Launch in Ashland on Tuesday

Two bright orange, solar-powered sailing vessels will launch from Ashland this week on a mission to study the changing fish populations in the Apostle Islands and across Lake Superior. One goal is to better track the sustainability of lake trout populations, by gathering more precise data about the prey fish the trout eat.Saildrones being assembled at the Great Lakes Science Center Ashland Biological Station dock – Dave Olson photoThe US Geological Survey (USGS) says the month-long fisheries science mission will involve two uncrewed saildrones from Saildrone, Inc., and two two long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.Saildrone under way – photo from...

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Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

Unmanned Sailing Vessels to Study Fish Populations in the Apostle Islands

They might be the strangest looking sailboats that you’ve ever seen navigating the Apostles, but later this month, two bright orange saildrones, with no sailors onboard, will be traversing Lake Superior, collecting data about fish populations. Two 23-foot-long Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USVs) are scheduled to launch from Ashland on August 8th, as part of a research project by the US Geological Survey (USGS). These scientific sailboats operate on wind power and solar power. They will use acoustic, or sound technology to gather fish distribution and density data around-the-clock, near Madeline Island, Devils Island and Sand Island in the national lakeshore, as well as in the area of the south shore community of Port Wing. The US Coast Guard...

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Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

Ageless in the Apostles: Are you ever too old for an island adventure?

At what age should one stop kayak camping in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Sixty? Seventy? Even eighty years old?  For more than 30 years a group of us has been spending a long weekend over the 4th of July holiday kayaking and camping in the Apostle Islands. We are all aging (the median age of the group was 70 this year), but we are still strong paddlers and competent campers. Perhaps it was only the oldest one of us who had been giving the “at what age …” question serious consideration. Come along with us on this year’s holiday trip. Perhaps you can help answer the question. Maybe your answer will be, “You should have stopped at age 50.” Our July trip really began in March when our trip leader registered with the National Park...

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The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

The Big Chill: What causes dramatic changes in Lake Superior water temperatures?

After a hot, sweaty hike, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the lake at Julian Bay Beach on Stockton Island. If Lake Superior stays calm enough long enough, the shallowest water, warmed by the sun, can be pleasantly refreshing. Wade out farther and you’ll find the significantly colder water just a few feet below the surface. However, if you throw in some wind and waves, the water temperature can and does drop dramatically. On a much larger scale, surface water temperatures in Lake Superior are always changing, as they are in Julian Bay. In late July surface water temperatures on the lake’s north shore dropped 20 degrees in just a few days, to near-record lows. The National Weather Service in Duluth reported the dramatic...

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Holiday Weekend Delivers Typically Atypical Island Adventures

Holiday Weekend Delivers Typically Atypical Island Adventures

We have all heard the term “multi use park’’ but only the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore could deliver the wide range of experiences park visitors experienced over the long holiday weekend. We may try to plan our visits across the water but in the Apostle Islands, it’s the wind and waves that determine time and destiny. Some call it “wayfaring.” If you were a sailor, Friday’s 25-30 knot winds out of the southwest tested skill levels and rewarded those who chose the lee side of an island to change sails. Likewise, a quiet bay was a welcome anchorage.Sailor Erica Peterson works the mainsailIf you were in Bayfield’s Race Week lineup on Saturday, you were in irons with a colorful spinnaker trying to catch the slightest breeze and praying...

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