Inside This Issue
Another Year with Opportunities for Our Waters
The Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) strategically focuses our Stewardship Fund investments to cultivate and grow a water ethic throughout Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan basin and we are excited to share our progress with you.
We want to thank a wide array of donors including the Brico Fund, Fund for Lake Michigan, US Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Program, Wisconsin Great Lakes Protection Fund, and DNR River Planning Grants for helping support our friend groups and program partners to protect and restore our waters.
We have connected with our partner groups for water related project ideas focused on enhancing and improving the waters of Lake Michigan: Water Resources Protection - Projects that monitor or improve streams, rivers, lakes or wetlands; Environmental Education and Outreach - Projects that establish or improve communication and education about water quality issues geared for natural resource practitioners, the general public, youth and decision-makers; and, Land Use Protection and Habitat Restoration - Projects that focus on improving land development decisions and practices to restore or protect water quality.
One prime example is the partnership that created the Lakeshore Water Institute. In 2009, LNRP began working with UW-Manitowoc’s biology department to measure and monitor water quality in Manitowoc County waters. Years of joint research by UW-Manitowoc and LNRP inspired us to form the Lakeshore Water Institute in 2013 with the goal to educate and engage students and cultivate a water ethic that expands the understanding and awareness of critical water issues and, by doing so, enhance our region’s quality and prosperity.
Stay tuned as we report on our further efforts as they unfold throughout the year. And, please contact LNRP if you are interested in helping us grow by becoming a leader for one of our partners, volunteering for one of our activities, or by financially supporting one of our projects.
Yours in service to our lands and waters,
Jim Kettler, Executive Director
Climate Change Coalition To Host Forum May 7
The Climate Change Coalition of Door County will host its third annual forum on Saturday, May 7, at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. This year’s theme will explore opportunities for forging a healthier, more prosperous world.
This event helps raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on Door County and beyond, and to foster discussion among community leaders and interested members of the public on cooperative action to address those impacts.
Speakers include Dr. Jonathon Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Rolf Nordstrom, president and CEO of the Great Plains Institute; Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; and environmental leader Tia Nelson.
The event begins with registration and networking at 8 a.m., followed by morning speakers and Dr. Nate Hayes of Ministry Door County Medical Center, a local food lunch, and wrapping up by 2 p.m. following an interactive afternoon session with the morning speakers, moderated by long-time Wisconsin environmental leader Tia Nelson, managing director, Climate, Outrider Foundation.
For more information and to register, email email@example.com or visit the website at http://climatechangedoorcounty.com.
Algoma Crescent Beach Supporters Visit Washington, D.C.
On February 24 and 25, Friends of Crescent Beach founders Cathy and John Pabich joined a diverse group of 100 Wisconsin stakeholders at the Great Lakes Day fly-in to Washington, D.C.
This event, organized by Healing Our Waters (HOW), focused on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. Participants engaged in topic briefings and meetings on Capitol Hill in Wisconsin House and Senate offices to discuss the importance of Great Lakes restoration and protection, historically a bi-partisan issue. Congressional speakers from throughout the region reinforced their support and need for citizen involvement to keep the spotlight shining on Great Lakes issues, Cathy noted. “All referred to the Ohio and Michigan water quality issues making headlines, and expressed frustration over trying to find an effective way to adequately address the Asian carp issue.”
They also participated in a Congressional breakfast and reception at the Canadian Embassy, which Cathy said offered, “an opportunity to meet and share stories with people from all over the Great Lakes region and Canada.”
“The big news at the (Embassy) event was the newly struck US/Canada deal to adopt targets to reduce algae-feeding phosphorus entering Lake Erie by 40 percent by 2025, with an interim goal of 20 percent by 2020.”
Todd Ambs, HOW campaign director, and Collin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, welcomed participants. They learned tips for meeting with legislators. Their nine-member Lake Michigan ‘team’ included the Pabichs, Mike Carlson from Gathering Waters, Tom Lager from Fox Valley Trout Unlimited, George Robinson from Green Bay Duck Hunters Association, Gary Diek from Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Shawn Graff from Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Andrew Struck from Ozaukee County Planning and Parks, and Aaron Sykes from Project 101 enhancement project managers.
The five issues they addressed in meeting with legislators and/or staffers were: funding GLRI at the full $300 million; enacting the GLRI Act of 2015 (HR 223/S 1024); action to address nutrient runoff (HR 1923 to create a federal coordinator); support for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds; and Congressional action to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The GLRI was their priority issue with others addressed as time permitted and spelled out in a four-page ‘leave behind’ document.
The Pabichs met the first day with Rep. Gwen Moore and Sen. Ron Johnson staffers. Cathy reported that Moore’s staffer, “Communicated her strong support for Great Lakes restoration, stating she thinks of Lake Michigan as one of her constituents.” She added that Johnson’s staffer, “Communicated the Senator’s growing awareness of the issues and the need for funding.”
On Thursday morning, they visited the offices of Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Reps. Mark Pocan, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble. “I was so impressed that, despite it being a very busy day in Congress with hearings and votes being called, both Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Ribble made time to meet with us and scheduled additional meeting time with their staffers,” Cathy added. “Every office we visited offered positive responses on GLRI funding and all agreed this issue has strong bi-partisan support. Without exception, the Asian carp issue got the most animated response, along with a strong sense of urgency to act or face an environmental disaster. Ironically, this issue has presented legislators with the most obstacles and frustration.”
Cathy and John departed D.C., “thankful for all the good work that is being done to protect the Great Lakes, but more alarmed than ever by the significant obstacles in the way of the urgent government intervention that is needed.” Their concerns were further confirmed when they arrived home after midnight on Thursday to find a copy of the current Kewaunee County Star-News featuring the front-page story, ‘Impaired Waters,’ with a photo showing algae filled waves at Crescent Beach.
“We are so grateful to HOW’s Great Lakes Coalition representing over 115 groups, zoos, museums and aquariums, to spread awareness of the Great Lakes, which are essential to the economic and cultural identity of our region.”
Mark Your Calendars: 2016 Chautauqua Barn Dance September 24
Please join us for the 7th Annual Partnering for Progress Chautauqua and Barn Dance celebrating Wisconsin farms, locally sourced food, and healthy urban and rural communities. Our annual event will run from 4 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, September 24, at the historic Saxon Homestead Farm in Cleveland, located near the Lake Michigan shore in southern Manitowoc County.
Partnering for Progress, organizers of the Chautauqua Barn Dance, is a collaboration and fundraiser for three nonprofit organizations: Gathering Waters, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, and the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers. The Klessig families host this event and over the last six years, we have brought diverse speakers to the Chautauqua to address challenges and opportunities in our rural communities.
The theme of this year’s barn dance will be “The Future of Farming.” The Chautauqua presentation will explore a land ethic and building the bridge for working lands and stewardship with keynote speaker Dick Cates.
Dick and his wife Kim co-own and operate the Cates Family Farm LLC near Spring Green, a managed grazing, direct-market grass-fed beef business they started in 1987. Dick holds a Senior Lecturer position in the Department of Soil Science at UW-Madison. He is director of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, a business and training program for start-up farmers which he helped create in 1995. The Cates family was recognized with the 2013 Sand County and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Leopold Conservation Award for Wisconsin and more recently as the 2016 WI Master Agriculturalist.
The cost of admission for the Chautauqua Barn Dance includes an annual membership to both LNRP and Gathering Waters: $10 for students, $30 for an individual adult, and $50 per couple. Pre-registration is required. Entertainment in the fully restored barn will be provided by the Buffalo Joe Band and will include raffles and door prizes. The Lakeshore Technical College Culinary Institute instructors and students will join other local caterers in preparing an expanded assortment of locally sourced food. Spirits and refreshments will come from 3 Sheeps Brewery, Trout Springs Winery, and Terra Verde Coffeehouse.
For more information and to register, please visit www.lnrp.org/barndance, or contact Jenn Hansmann, 920-627-1799, or jenn@LNRP.org.
LNRP Co-Hosts Saturday Natural History Series
With the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, LNRP co-hosted an engaging series of workshops as part of the Saturday Natural History Series.
On January 30, the Wisconsin Wetlands Association presented a workshop focused on private wetland landowners and their families who want to maintain and improve wetland health. The program provided practical information on how to identify wetlands, the different types of wetlands found in Wisconsin, and actions you can take to enhance your wetlands, mostly derived from the Association’s recent publication My Healthy Wetland: A Handbook for Wetland Owners (eastern edition).
An important reminder: the Wisconsin Wetlands Association and LNRP will host a follow up program for wetland landowners on June 4 at the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers. Please contact Jenn Hansmann at jenn@LNRP.org if you’re interested in participating in this day-long event featuring a panel of natural resource managers and an afternoon field trip to a wetland site.
On February 27, a packed house enjoyed the Ice Age Trail Alliance who offered an overview of Wisconsin’s unique trail system. The Ice Age Trail follows the extent of Wisconsin’s glaciers. The Alliance is the non-profit, private partner whose mission is to “Create, Support and Protect the 1000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.” This presentation provided a broad base of information about hiking and maintaining the Trail, covering a brief overview of the IATA, the Trail and some basic geological formations; first-hand stories from a local “1000-Miler” and her adventures along the way; how you can get involved with the Ice Age Trail Alliance; and resources to help enhance your trail adventures.
Jim Knickelbine and Charles Sontag presented the Birds of the Lakeshore on March 19. The presentation provided an inspiring look at some of the area’s most interesting bird species, how to identify them, where to find them, and how to improve their stopover habitats. Many participants were surprised to learn that the more than 300 species of birds identified on the Lake Michigan Shoreline account for most of the species found in the state and one-third of those found in the U.S. We are happy to report that the attendance for this event broke the record with 92 participants!
Lake Michigan Day Celebration in Manitowoc, August 12
Mark your calendars to celebrate our essential Great Lake, Friday, August 12, at Lake Michigan Day, hosted by the Lake Michigan Stakeholders! This year’s exciting interactive event will take place at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. Complementary presentations will build on last year’s introduction to farmer-led watershed councils, focusing on water resource management tools, celebrating the good works, and cutting-edge water resource technologies and businesses.
Whether a novice, interested citizen or natural resource expert, you won’t want to miss the speakers addressing private sector sustainability and green initiatives, water infrastructure and impaired water issues, efforts to improve and enhance wetland habitats, beach restoration projects, and other water quality improvement projects from throughout the region.
During lunch, we will honor the Lake Michigan Champions of Conservation for their great work to protect our waters. The award ceremony will be followed by an information-packed, guided tour of the museum’s new exhibit, Wisconsin’s Underwater Treasures, which opens that day. This tour will feature the guidance of shipwreck experts to offer participants a rare in-depth perspective of these underwater treasures where we’ll learn about the people who lived and worked in lakeshore communities and the shipwrecks in the waters offshore.
And, of course, we encourage you to bring your table displays to share your good projects and programs that help protect and improve Lake Michigan.
The event costs $20/person, including lunch, materials and the afternoon tour. To register for the Lake Michigan Day event, go to the Lake Michigan Stakeholders’ website and fill out the registration form. Be sure to fill in the sections if you’ll be bringing a table display, if you’ll be going on the tour, and if have any dietary restrictions.
Again this year we will reach out to communities throughout the Lake Michigan shoreline to host satellite events, intending to expand participation with libraries, nature centers and other local venues. Event details will be shared in the upcoming months on the LMS website at www.lakemichiganstakeholders.org.
LNRP to Host Phragmites Control and Bluff Land Enhancement Workshop
Phragmites Control Partners LNRP, Manitowoc County Lakes Association, and the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area will host a workshop 5:30 to 8 p.m., May 3, to update interested citizens on control efforts in Manitowoc County and how landowners can enhance their bluff land habitat. The free workshop will take place at Lakeshore Technical College, Lake Michigan Room, Cleveland Campus, and begin with a coffee and cookie social at 5:30 and presentations promptly starting at 6 p.m.
Melissa Curran, who directs the Phragmites control effort for Stantec Consulting Services, will provide a brief update on their 2015 efforts and plans in place for 2016. Her presentation will be followed by Mike Marek and Ben Yahr from Marek Landscaping demonstrating how landowners can enhance their treated bluff lands with native plants to enhance habitat and aesthetic quality. Marek Landscaping has won several awards for their restoration and stabilization work on Lake Michigan bluff lands in Milwaukee and Ozaukee County.
As a preview, here’s an article by Jim Knickelbine that appeared in his weekly “Ripples” column found in the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter.
Lake Michigan Bluff Lands
By Jim Knickelbine, Director, Woodland Dunes Nature Center
Along the Manitowoc River in the town of Manitowoc Rapids where I grew up, you will find many areas where the river flows against steep clay bluffs. The river erodes their bases, encouraging slumping of glacial-laid material from above and leaving the clay cliffs bare. One of these areas in my neighborhood, just upstream from Camp Vits, was known to us growing up as the “clay banks.” The river bottom was constantly shifting there and provided some deep holes for fishing. At the base of these banks the soil stayed wet from seepage, and interesting plants grew along with lush cedars. A favorite boyhood spot of mine, partially because it took some effort to get there and had few people around.
Manitowoc County contains many such areas not only along the river, but along Lake Michigan as well. Like the other Great Lakes, the lake we now know as Michigan was once a river valley until massive continental glaciers came along thousands of years ago. Those glaciers scooped out large quantities of soil from some areas and re-deposited it in others. Glaciers advanced and melted a number of times, each time leaving additional material with different qualities -- clays, sand, gravel, sometimes mixed and sometimes in layers. Some layers conduct groundwater and, where they are exposed in the sides of banks, form springs or seeps that are often constantly moist.
These clay banks or bluffs along rivers and the Lake constantly change. Waves or current at the base of the bluff erode soil and encourage slumping of material from above, especially with high water levels. Seepage areas also weaken the bluffs and make them less stable and more prone to slumping. Vegetation often tries to take hold and may stabilize bluffs for a while, yet can fail unpredictably especially with shallow-rooted plants. Sometimes those plants simply move down slope and continue to grow. Just like a forest, which may appear stable until a windstorm comes along and creates blowdowns, another growth cycle begins from the disturbance.
The slumping clay bluffs, although problematic for people building too close to their edge, are fascinating places populated by plants adapted to change and the occasional harsh chemical nature of the soil. Plants like white cedar, certain sedges, and interesting wildflowers such as fringed gentians tolerate the calcium-enriched soil and water of these areas.
These bluffs serve as important stopover sites for migrating songbirds coursing along the shore of the Lake. However their constantly changing and newly exposed soils are also vulnerable to the spread of non-native invasive plants like Phragmites. Despite Phragmites’ extensive root systems forming dense colonies, its roots are more shallow and don’t stabilize bluffs as well as deeply rooted native plants found in prairies. Plus, Phragmites doesn’t benefit native wildlife very much, making life harder for migratory birds.
Thankfully, help is underway to remove invasive plants from the bluffs and encourage native plants to take their place from several organizations including the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership and the Manitowoc County Lakes Association. Through these efforts, we are rediscovering some very interesting and dynamic habitats and aiming to manage them to benefit our communities, wildlife and the Lake itself.
We know from places like Woodland Dunes, where ancient beaches now lie a mile from the present shore, that Lake Michigan and its shoreline are dynamic systems that have changed much in the last 10,000 years. Those changes will continue, and our challenge is to understand them and manage these special places in the best ways possible.
LNRP Welcomes Two New Board Members!
We are pleased to introduce two new additions to our Board of Directors who joined us this winter.
Kendra Kelling is President of the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership, an organization that cultivates partnerships to raise public awareness, engage participation in stewardship, and promote sound decision-making regarding issues that affect the health of water resources in the Sheboygan River Basin. The Sheboygan River Basin includes the watersheds of the Sheboygan, Pigeon, Black, Onion, and Mullet Rivers, and Sauk and Sucker Creeks.
Kendra loves exploring nature with her family and friends and enjoys participating in local efforts to protect and restore the environment. She has a BS in Conservation and Environmental Science and a MA in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from UW-Milwaukee. Kendra is the Program Director at Camp Y-Koda Outdoor Skills and Education in Sheboygan Falls and excited to be joining the LNRP Board.
Susan Kennedy is a Sustainable Tourism Specialist with expertise in cultural/archaeological heritage management, ecotourism, marketing and branding. She has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Jordan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Panama, the UK and US. She most recently completed comprehensive ecotourism management plans for three national parks in Bangladesh.
With Susan’s focus on the triple bottom line of sustainable tourism to benefit local populations, their economies and the environment, she served as a consultant for multilaterals and NGOs including The Nature Conservancy. She has a MA in Managing Archaeological Sites from University College London, a Master of Tourism Administration in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a BA in Journalism from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
Waters of the Ledge Tours 2016
The Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN) steering committee announced its preliminary list of exciting and engaging 2016 Waters of the Ledge Tours. Very soon you’ll be able to join us to explore some of our region’s hidden treasures. The first will journey by canoe or kayak through the eastern section of the Killsnake Marsh on Saturday, May 21 (May 22 raindate) with local raconteur and guide Rock Anderson. With our current high water, this promises to be a great opportunity to experience a beautiful section of the Marsh.
The second will be a guided tour by coach of four historical churches in and around Calumet County, Tuesday, June 14, followed by dining at Roepke’s, a supper club in Charlesburg. Parish Father Gary Wegner will lead participants through St. Cloud and St. Joseph churches in St. Cloud, St. Mary in New Holstein, and St. John in Malone. Watch for further details including registration information for both events!
We’ll be offering another Plum Island/Grand Traverse Islands Boat Excursion off the tip of Door County in July, in partnership with the Friends of Grand Traverse Islands. And, we’ll offer an additional kayak/canoe fall paddle in Calumet County to enjoy the autumn hues. We’ll be sending out registration information as details get finalized.
Friend Group Updates
Forest Recovery Project Develops 2016 Action Plan
The Forest Recovery Project is a not-for-profit effort to strengthen, enhance and protect our native forest ecosystems, developed and managed by Door County resident and LNRP Board Member Bob Bultman, proprietor of RestoreDoor Ecological Services.
With an emphasis on environmental education, community involvement and the ethics of ecological stewardship, the Forest Recovery Project aims to support sustainable management of our native forests through forest recovery and enhancement practices.
This spring, the Project is collaborating with the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, The Nature Conservancy, along with Sturgeon Bay and Gibraltar High Schools, to plant native trees intended to make our ecological communities more resilient to climate change and provide improved habitat for birds, monarchs, and other important animal species.
Bob reports, “Historically, the Door Peninsula was almost completely forested. Enhancing the natural process to restore oldfields towards stable-state, old growth ecosystems has a tremendous list of community benefits. Fully functioning forests provide more fresh oxygen, cleaner air and more carbon sequestration. Forests are like a ‘blanket sponge’ that safeguard water quality and quantity as well as provide habitat for innumerable animals, insects and fungi. I am very happy to be part of this growing collaboration and especially pleased to be working with so many high school students this year. Time to plant a tree!”
Their mission, very much aligned with LNRP, is Stewardship Principles in Action Today ~ Healthy Forests Tomorrow!
To help with tree planting or to send in donations to help buy trees, contact Bob Bultman at PO Box 151, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202; firstname.lastname@example.org; or 920-421-2283.
LNRP Watershed Partners Developed 2016 Action Plans
Friends of Crescent Beach
Besides Cathy and John Pabich traveling to Washington, D.C. in February (see article), this energetic group of volunteers from Algoma continues their efforts to improve the area's historic beach and environs. On March 31, they hosted an interactive evening with state representatives Scott Krug and Joel Kitchens, “Restoring the Ahnapee River: Navigating the Steps to Improved Water Quality.” Reps Krug and Kitchens discussed information about the Ahnapee’s Impaired Waters Listing and what residents can expect along with opportunities for public input. Rep Krug shared insights with the crowd based on his home district experience addressing water quality issues on the Wisconsin River. This was the first in a series of educational forums.
Their next program, “Lake Michigan in Motion: Ecological Changes in the 21st Century,” presented by UW Sea Grant fisheries specialist Titus Seilheimer, Ph.D., will be held on April 27, 6 p.m., at Algoma’s Farm Kitchen.
And, the third, also at Algoma’s Farm Kitchen, will explore “Crescent Beach Health: A Summer Water Quality Monitoring & Beach News Update,” on May 18, 6 p.m.
They also are planning another Soar on the Shore kite spectacular in August. Watch for further details and other offerings coming via email or visit their website.
Friends of Hika Bay
This year, the Friends of Hika Bay will continue focusing on water quality monitoring on the five creeks in southern Manitowoc County, and habitat enhancements at Fischer Creek Park and Hika Park. Student interns from UW-Manitowoc will continue to sample the same sites as last year on Calvin, Pine, Point and Fischer Creeks, and expand their water sampling on Centerville Creek to 14 sites with additional sampling west of I-43.
Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation Department, Manitowoc County Lakes Association, and several other agencies are pursuing an initiative to improve water quality in Carsten’s Lake. It is essential to know current water quality metrics, and to update those metrics over the course of interventions to monitor changes and gauge their effectiveness. To this end, volunteers from the area and from the Carsten’s Lake Association will collect samples from the lake’s watershed and from the lake discharge. Interns will add these samples to be analyzed at the Lakeshore Water Institute at UW-Manitowoc.
Support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program is supporting FOHB’s Adopt-a-Park program. The group will plant a pollinator seed mix at both parks as well as a number of trees and shrubs. A volunteer day for planting trees is scheduled for April 30. Contact Jenn Hansmann at email@example.com if you’re interested in helping enhance our parks!
Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed
The Friends of the Manitowoc River will once again organize beach clean ups on April 23 and September 17, and also host a Manitowoc River clean up on June 4. This active and engaging group of volunteers will offer a Subfest River Paddle on July 9 and an evening moonlight paddle on September 16.
Group co-founder Wendy Lutzke from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and Titus Seilheimer from UW Sea Grant will once again offer the ever-popular Watershed Ambassadors’ Camp in August. And, we’re excited to announce the official grand opening ceremony for the ADA-compliant kayak launch at Lower Schuette Park on June 22! The organization adopted the park in 2015. For more information contact Kim Kettner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Note: LNRP, with assistance from the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, will have a table at an Earth Day celebration at the Manitowoc/Two Rivers YMCA, April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in conjunction with the Y’s Healthy Kids’ Day. This exhibit will feature info and displays representing our other Manitowoc friend groups, Friends of Hika Bay, Friends of the Twin Rivers, Friends of the Branch River Watershed, and the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area.
We need volunteers to staff the table who can facilitate a good conversation with folks that stop by. If you’d like to help at the event, contact Sherrill Anderson, Sherrill@LNRP.org.
Friends of the Twin Rivers
The Friends of the Twin Rivers will continue to help facilitate Water Action Volunteer (WAV) water quality sampling with area high schools including Denmark, Mishicot, Roncalli, and Two Rivers.
We’re inviting area students to participate in a poster session preceding the annual Lakeshore Water Summit at UW-Manitowoc on October 12. At the Summit, student interns from UW-Manitowoc present their water quality sampling results and trends under the guidance of Professors Rebecca Abler and Rick Hein in the biological sciences at UW-Manitowoc.
The friend group will also collaborate on invasive species removal and containment in the East Twin and West Twin River watersheds with the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area and Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers.
Friends of the Branch River
The Friends of the Branch River received a DNR River Planning grant this year to host a number of programs and activities, all designed to grow the Vicky Mayer Youth Fund and Scholarship Fund and get people out to experience the beautiful Branch River.
They will host two Brat Frys at Rob’s Family Market in Manitowoc on April 30 and July 1. Bring the kids to an interactive reptile show on April 23 for fun and education. They are lining up more fun and educational activities at the well-loved Dodge Preserve on the Branch River on June 4. FOBR volunteers hope to offer a river clean up and kayak/canoe paddle as well. They will plant more trees around the Branch River area and use Riverine Early Detection (Project RED) to further address invasive species.
Sheboygan River Basin Partnership
The Sheboygan River Basin Partnership board met with LNRP staff on February 18 and March 17 to explore their focus for 2016. They will offer activities and educational outreach with a series called, “River Paddle, River Clean Up, River Guide,” to raise awareness of the Sheboygan River with recreational paddles and targeted clean ups on specific sections of the river.
Group leaders are planning a waterproof river guide indicating put-in and take-out sites on the river along with interpretative information. They also hope to offer two topical seminars in 2016 – one on the delisting process of the Sheboygan River as an “Area of Concern” (AOC) and another on pollinators.
Two larger projects include the funded work to decrease runoff on Harrington Beach and proposed enhanced fish passage work on Willow Creek.
Last year, a group of 14 volunteers (including representatives from Ozaukee County Land and Water Management, Ozaukee Treasures Network, Pheasants Forever, Clay Ridge Hunt Club, and Eco-Resource Consulting) planted over 1700 native wetland and aquatic plants on the B. Bruce Krier Conservancy.
This wetland restoration was the dream of Bruce Krier who lost his battle with cancer late in 2013. Krier’s family owned this land and used it for vegetable production for more than two generations. Cropping took a heavy toll on the soils and in the early 1990’s, Krier began to retire lands from intensive cropping practices and converting them to grasslands. Today, nearly 300 acres of native prairie grasslands have been restored and are managed primarily with the use of prescribed fire.
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