Grant Funds Wetlands
Conservation on Lake Superior
MADISON, Wisconsin,(ENS) - Natural resource agencies,
tribes and organizations in northern Wisconsin will receive
almost $1 million for wetlands conservation.
Environmental News Service
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved
a North American Wetland Conservation Act grant for $999,800
to conserve wetlands in Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay
area. The project, called the Superior Coastal Wetland
Initiative, will provide funding to nine northern Wisconsin
agencies, tribes and groups.
The grant partners contributed $1,350,058 in cash and
technical assistance to match the grant. The Superior
Coastal Wetland Initiative, will include wetland acquisition,
wetland restoration and stream restoration, improving
protection for more than 5,800 acres of habitat.
Recipients of grant funds include the Bad River and
Red Cliff Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa, Ashland/Bayfield/Douglas/Iron
Counties Land Conservation Department, Sigurd Olson Environmental
Institute, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Conservation
Service will provide financial and program support, but
will not receive grant funds.
"There was tremendous give and take by all nine partners
as we worked on the grant application. We were motivated
by our desire to improve the quality of these coastal
habitats," noted Pam Dryer, refuge manager of Whittlesey
Creek National Wildlife Refuge and the project's coordinator
and grant writer. "Our overall goal is to protect coastal
wetlands in the Chequamegon Bay Area by working with willing
partners to acquire land, purchase easements and restore
habitat on private lands."
The Chequamegon Bay area contains outstanding coastal
wetlands, including the Kakagon/Bad River Sloughs, the
largest, intact coastal wetland in the upper Great Lakes;
the Fish Creek Sloughs at the head of the Bay; and, many
other smaller, but important sites.
The people who live in and visit this region understand
that a healthy environment is tied to their quality of
"The protection of coastal wetlands is vitally important
to the health of our economy, our fish and wildlife, and
the scenic quality of the area," said Fred Schnook, Ashland
Wetlands along the coast of Lake Superior help feed
the lake, but make up less than 10 percent of the coastline.
Lake sturgeon, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass,
yellow perch and several species of trout all use coastal
wetlands at some stage in their life, and many birds,
such as ducks, herons and warblers use them for shelter
and food during migration.
* * *