Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.

Inside This Issue

Lakeshore Currents - Letter from the President

Lakeshore CurrentsDear LNRP Supporter,

In the summer newsletter, I shared our efforts to initiate a Youth Conservation Corps.  Another important effort that we are planning as we launch our 2015 Action Plan is to develop and implement AgWIN: The Agricultural Watershed Improvement Network.

With AgWIN, we implement a performance-based, farmer-led watershed council to reduce phosphorus runoff, improve water quality, and enhance agricultural productivity.  AgWIN encourages phosphorus pollution reduction and the expansion of farm conservation activities by way of an innovative, farmer-led conservation incentives program. 

As many of us are aware, in recent years, the waters that flow into Lake Michigan have become increasingly threatened by nonpoint source pollution (NPS).  NPS is the primary contributor of pollutants in the Great Lakes that negatively impact nearshore, surface, ground water and animal habitats, and threaten human health.  The major impairments and their causes come from a combination of historic deforestation, urban expansion, and increases in the amount of agricultural land use in the watershed.

Chris GoebelAddressing increases in the presence of nonpoint source pollutants in the soil and water that result from the complex relationship between water, animals, food, and society in the Great Lakes basin requires combining the implementation of watershed management plans with innovative yet “shovel ready” and adaptive best management practices.  We are hoping that AgWIN will help meet the challenges of a changing environment in order to protect, restore, and enhance the Lake Michigan watershed for current and future generations.

Chris Goebel, LNRP Board President

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LNRP Organic Coffee Fundraiser Being Expanded

Terra Verde Organic CoffeeMany of you may not realize LNRP offers freshly roasted, organic coffee, processed by Terra Verde Coffee in Chilton, thanks to the generosity of its owners, Marko and Melissa (Missy) Sosa.  Every 12 oz. bag we sell for $11 returns $5.50 in discretionary revenue to help cover LNRP staff salaries and operating expenses.

After working out our ordering and delivery process over time, first with our board of directors, staff and Friends groups, we will now expand this opportunity to our supporters in Wisconsin and beyond, offering this great coffee to a larger audience.  The three current choices are the dark roast Muddy Waters, medium roast Lakeshore Blend, and decaf Calm Waters, and we are adding a fourth very special coffee as described below.

For years, the Sosas have strived to offer excellent coffee in a socially responsible way to and beyond the Chilton community.  Earlier in 2014, their dream came to fruition to help the 300 Lenca women of Comucap, a collective living in 16 communities around La Paz, Honduras (Marko’s birth country) by bringing their coffee to Terra Verde and paying them a living wage in the process, following months of preparation, training on-site, and working through import restrictions and red tape. 

Along with operating a bakery, beekeeping, and growing oranges, the collective is also known for its organic aloe vera. 

LNRP will add this special Comucap coffee to our offerings as ‘Converging Waters’ to honor the women’s efforts and the Sosas’ perseverance.  Because of a higher cost, this type will be $12.50/bag.

Terra Verde freshly roasts the varieties we offer to be lower in acid and caffeine. Watch for an order form soon on our website through PayPal, www.LNRP.org, with a link on our Facebook page.  Shipping will add $5.00 for the first bag, and $1.00 per bag for additional bags ordered.  We can ship to Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

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Watershed Ambassadors Summer Camp

Just before the launch of our kayak trip down the Manitowoc RiverTake 14 teenagers, water, nets, paddles, a scientist and a teacher, and what do you get? A really great week of camp! Wendy Lutzke (Wisconsin Maritime Museum) and Titus Seilheimer (Wisconsin Sea Grant), both members of Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, hosted our annual Watershed Ambassadors Summer Camp in June.

They discovered that identifying fish and macroinvertebrates at various points on the Manitowoc River helps us understand the health of the water. They learned how water is cleaned on its way out of our wastewater treatment plant and how it’s filtered again through our water filtration plant. They took a peek underwater with the GoPro camera and an ROV. The group fished and got SOAKED during the paddle from Manitou Park to the marina, and it was a blast! They stenciled storm drains, picked up litter, and can now identify many aquatic invasive species. They all learned a lot and made great friendships thanks to a common love for our watershed.

The camp was funded thanks to a DNR River Planning grant, the FORWARD Endowment, and Manitowoc Sunrise Rotary.

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Lake Michigan Day

Lake Michigan Day, August 14, 2014, Manitowoc, WIThe Lake Michigan Stakeholders held the first annual Lake Michigan Day on August 14 at UW-Manitowoc.  The event was a great success bringing nearly 100 stakeholders together to discuss the opportunities and challenges we face in protecting, conserving and restoring Lake Michigan.  LNRP Board and Staff felt that we could not say how important these efforts are any better than Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter business writer, Charlie Mathews, in an editorial that appeared the day of the event.

Lake Michigan Day a Worthwhile Effort
By Charlie Mathews, HTR Media

Lake Michigan, in beautiful blue hues, formed the scenic backdrop for the inaugural Lake Michigan Day conference at UW-Manitowoc today. This is no day at the beach, however, as experts tackle a variety of very real issues facing the Great Lakes.

Many important topics are on the agenda, including invasive species, water quality, the Great Lakes Compact, diverting Great Lakes water, the economic impact of the lakes and climate change.

Many organizations are represented at the conference, including Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, UW-Manitowoc’s Lakeshore Water Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Alliance for the Great Lakes, UW Sea Grant Institute, Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission, Gathering Waters Conservancy, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Healing Our Waters and the Oneida Tribe.

Each organization has a vested interest — and a unique perspective — on problems facing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes region in general.

Cynics might call such a meeting of the minds unnecessary and a mere social gathering. They would be wrong. While the chance to meet others of similar interests in a common setting is part of the agenda, the real value in such a conference is the ability to network and to gain valuable insights from others who share a common goal.

It is a jump into uncharted waters to put on an event like Lake Michigan Day, and difficult to determine how effective it will be in achieving its purpose. We believe it is worth the effort to focus on our most valuable natural resource. Lake Michigan is the economic and social lifeblood of the Lakeshore area. Its long-term health is therefore of vital interest to all of us.

Those gathered at UW-Manitowoc today realize that and, more importantly, are taking steps to restore and protect this vital resource, both here and in the broader Great Lakes region.

We welcome the visitors in the area for the conference and wish them well in their endeavors. They are doing important work that we hope pays dividends well into the future of our Great Lakes.

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LNRP Plans Second Lakeshore Water Summit

Lakeshore Water InstituteThrough an evolving process, that at times has been explicitly executed and otherwise serendipitous, we are planning a second Lakeshore Water Summit for October 31 at UW-Manitowoc’s Lakeshore Water Institute. 

LNRP received a strategic planning grant from Freshwater Future to plan and conduct the first Lakeshore Water Summit in August of 2012.  One primary outcome was the realization that our community needed to find a constructive way to engage with the agricultural community, especially the sector representing large farming operations, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs.

As part of the explicit execution of an action plan, in recent years LNRP embarked on creating a model built around developing “Friends” groups for significant bodies of water in Manitowoc County.  Our first was joining with the Friends of the Branch River, which was founded by the same cohort of individuals who founded LNRP. 

The second group was Friends of Hika Bay that emerged from the Citizen Advisory Team created by a relatively large grant to restore Centerville Creek expanding and enhancing Hika Park, which has just recently morphed into the Friends of Bays and Beaches – Lake Michigan Advocates in Manitowoc County. 

The third group developed as the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed.  Concurrent with the development of this friends group was a growing partnership with the Manitowoc County Lakes Association.  And, this partnership was in fact the driver for creating the Friends of Bays and Beaches as members realized that any management practice on an inland lake had immediate impact on Lake Michigan.

The final group emerging in Manitowoc County is the Friends of the Twin Rivers which is organizing this fall.

Simultaneously, the partnership with UW-Manitowoc grew and matured into the Lakeshore Water Institute.  And, in 2013, LNRP partnered with representatives from four counties (Fond du Lac, Calumet, Manitowoc, and Kewaunee) to form the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area.  A growing achievement in 2014 was the Manitowoc County-Wide Resolution making April 2014 the month of Restore the Shore.

At this point, we have nearly all major and significant bodies of water covered by an existing or evolving friends group; we have a well-focused and funded invasive species team; and a valuable partnership with a local university that has engaged up to 4-5 interns annually since 2010 to gather extensive water quality data.

On October 31, LNRP and the Lakeshore Water Institute are gathering our partners to revisit the objectives of the first water summit and frame the next steps for improving the quality of our region's waters. Our goals as the outcomes of our engagement are:

Goal #1: Reduction in nutrient input from agricultural runoff that degrade the watersheds, groundwater, surrounding animal habitats, and ultimately Lake Michigan nearshore waters.

Goal #2: Reduction in soil erosion and concentrations of soluble reactive phosphorus that erosion delivers into the watersheds and Lake Michigan, specifically during spring and summer storms that are exacerbated by climate change.

Goal #3: Increase in the number acres of agricultural land in the watersheds that are protected through easements as well as restored and enhanced through comprehensive management practices to reduce soil, nutrient, and phosphorus export into Lake Michigan.

Goal #4: Increase in the implementation of best management practices in the watersheds to protect, restore, and enhance nearshore, surface, ground waters, and animal habits in the Lake Michigan Basin.

Watch for updates in upcoming issues of The Source on how our initiatives are evolving and invitations to engage with us to improve the lifeblood of our region, the health and vitality of Lake Michigan.

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Sense of Place: Two Summertime Explorations of Door County By Sherrill Anderson

The Ridges Sanctuary, Bailey’s Harbor, Door County

Marne Kaeske engaging group in different swale plants and ecologyOn Saturday, July 26, Marne Kaeske, (now former) stewardship coordinator at The Ridges; Brian Forest , environmental services manager at The Ridges; and Dr. Ron Stieglitz, emeritus head of the geology department at UW-Green Bay, treated 15 of us to an exploration of the ridge and swale landscape remnants of ancient seas found on the 1,600 acre landscape of The Ridges Sanctuary (TRS) just outside Bailey’s Harbor in Door County.

This unique habitat, the most biologically diverse in the Midwest, fosters rare species of plants, birds and butterflies, found in abundance there. The Ridges runs along the eastern edge of the Door Peninsula, the backside (‘cuesta’) of the Niagara escarpment.  The whole Peninsula itself consists of dolomite limestone, the same that connects through east central Wisconsin and circles around Michigan to create Niagara Falls in New York State.

In walking some of its trails, viewing and discussing TRS’s special features, we learned about and experienced special and complex relationships between the escarpment, adjacent waters of Lake Michigan and the groundwater lying beneath our feet.  We also explored the nature of karst soils, endangered species, and how to enhance natural management of critical shoreline environments. 

Thanks to the engaging expertise of our guides, we came away with a greater understanding and appreciation for Wisconsin’s critical habitats that impact the health of Lake Michigan.

Mysteries of the Lake:  Waters of the Ledge Tour of Plum and Pilot Islands

Thirteen lucky people were transported by boat for a rare taste of two islands previously off-limits to the public, learning about their role in deep nautical history from the 1800s and unique ecology on Saturday, August 2.  Captain Jim Robinson guided them on his 33’ vessel from Gills Rock off the tip of the Door Peninsula on a beautiful summer day.

Approaching Plum IslandPlum Island is owned by the US Coast Guard, part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge as a significant stopping ground for migratory colonial nesting birds.  Participants were able to tour the 291-acre landscape and explore its rare ecology and significance, learning as they ventured.   They also visited two lighthouses and the 1848 abandoned coast guard station.  

Following lunch, they ventured to Pilot Island containing the 1858 lighthouse that ultimately housed Plum Island’s facilities, and took a late afternoon cruise around Death’s Door Bluff Headlands, viewing towering Niagara escarpment cliffs and caves, a shipwreck site, and Native American petroglyphs.  The lucky 13 raved about the experience!  

Our first tour to fill up in less than a week after it was announced, we hope to offer it again in 2015!

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LNRP Welcomes Two New Board Members!

We are pleased to introduce two new additions to our Board of Directors who joined us this summer and early fall.

Michaeleen Gerken GolayMichaeleen Gerken Golay, an assistant professor of Biology in the Natural Sciences Department at Silver Lake College, received her PhD in forest biology from Iowa State University. Her research focused on restoring the forest herbaceous layer, nutrient cycling and water quality in headwater forests. Following her Master's degree, she worked with the non-profit Watershed Nature Center in Illinois.  Besides teaching and working with adult learners in all venues, she is passionate about being involved with natural resources in her community, currently serving on the board of directors for Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers and on the Manitowoc EPA Brownfield Advisory Committee.  Michaeleen and her horticulturist husband Bryan recently moved to Cleveland with their two dogs. 

Bob BultmanBob Bultman is a northeast Wisconsin native living in the Door Peninsula. A lifelong student of the natural sciences with a geoscience degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from his home in Baileys Harbor he runs RestoreDoor EcoLogical Services, a land stewardship company helping landowners foster native habitats. Bob is an auxiliary member of Wisconsin DNR’s Bat Monitoriing Crew and teaches occasional environmental courses at The Clearing Folk School with the Road Scholar Program. He has served the Town of Baileys Harbor as a firefighter for 15 years and currently chairs the town’s Marina Committee.  He has been a past Board Member for the Wisconsin Speleological Society and the Friends of Peninsula State Park and currently serves on the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network Steering Committee. 

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6th Annual Chautauqua Barn Dance Fills Saxon Homestead Farm

A capacity crowd gathered from near, and far beyond, southern Manitowoc County to celebrate Wisconsin working lands and their relationship with Aldo Leopold’s land ethic at the 6th Annual Chautauqua Barn Dance at the Saxon Homestead Farm in Cleveland (WI) September 13.

The fundraiser benefits Partnering for Progress, a collaboration between non-profit organizations Gathering Waters Conservancy, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, and the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers.  This year’s celebration began in the fully restored centennial barn with commentary from Leopold’s biographer, Curt Meine, narrator of the film Green Fire about Leopold’s life and legacy, who shared the film and explored Leopold’s lasting impact.

Farmer Dick Cates, recipient of the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award and founder of the Wisconsin School, addressed how the land ethic has influenced his farming practices.  Each year the partnership’s Chautauqua explores a different theme relevant to their collective mission.

The 250 participants then filled the tent to graze on a variety of locavore cuisine created by the Lakeshore Culinary Institute of the Lakeshore Technical College, Broken Plate Catering, and Tom Tittl Pizza, with beverages from 3 Sheeps Brewery, Trout Springs Winery, and Terra Verde Coffeehouse.

After returning to the barn, Buffalo Stomp’s lively music filled the dance floor to capacity with their upbeat entertainment, further enhancing the celebration of Wisconsin’s working lands and Aldo Leopold’s inspiring legacy.

Major sponsors, including BelGioioso Cheese, Nutrition Service Company, WE Energies, Kettle Lakes Coop, Top Third Ag, LDS Inc., and ticket sales grossed nearly $20,000 in donations for the six-hour event.  We are grateful to the dozens of volunteers and Klessig family for making the event so successful!

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Fall 2014

Swales education

News from LNRP

Friend Group Updates

LNRP Receives Funding for the Little Manitowoc Conservancy

Lake Michigan Stakeholders Exploring Lower Fox River & Green Bay Water Quality

Dozens Celebrate The ‘Wisconsin Ledge’ Designation For Our Escarpment Grape Growing Region’s AVA!

Climate Change Workshop for Educators a Huge Success!

Friend Group Updates

Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed

Nine of the Manitowoc area’s beaches are now cleaner because of more than 100 dedicated citizens who participated in the annual fall beach clean-up, part of a Great Lakes regional effort with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, on the morning of September 20.  They collected over 320 pounds of trash!  In celebration, 42 members of the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed gathered at Lower Schuette Park for an appreciation picnic with tasty food prepared by Three Guys and a Grill.  Healthiest Manitowoc County and Broken Spoke unveiled the “Smoothie Bike” fun for all ages, and volunteers pedaled to create more than 20 fresh smoothies.  The fun continued with five kayaks and one paddle board exploring the Manitowoc River.  The rain held off until they were at the YMCA take-out point in Manitowoc, and the journey was full of history and appreciation for the river, creating lasting memories from the experience. 

A special thank you to Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA) Coordinator Jennifer Powell and Woodland Dunes Nature Center Director Jim Knickelbine for helping FMRW treat Phragmites on the Manitowoc River, thanks to funding from LNRP!  They treated the shoreline as part of Whack ‘Em Wednesdays on September 24.

Check out the Friends’ engaging Facebook page to keep up with all of their activities.

Friends of Hika Bay/Friends of Bays and Beaches

In Cleveland, the Hika Shores property is changing dramatically.  A unique wetland ecosystem formerly common to the area, a ridge and swale system, is being re-created with a constructed berm to stabilize the sand and slow runoff of pollution and sediment into Lake Michigan.  A local landscaper removed weedy plant growth that will be replaced with native sedges and wildflowers, and more than 200 trees have already been planted there by volunteers.  With a wet summer, most trees have done considerably well.  Homemade bird houses were donated and the Friends of Hika Bay will be organizing a work day to install them along Centerville Creek and Hika Shores.  Please contact Jenn@lnrp.org if you are interested in participating.

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LNRP Receives Funding for the Little Manitowoc Conservancy

LNRP has received significant funding for the restoration of the coastal wetland in the Little Manitowoc River basin.  The Sustain Our Great Lakes program awarded LNRP $391,480 and the Fund for Lake Michigan matched that grant with an award of $100,000.  This is in addition to existing funding including a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species grant of $19,990, a Great Lakes Protection Fund grant of $5,000, and a Healing Our Waters grant of $15,000.

Our plan is to create a 250-acre conservancy that will bring three city parks and the adjoining environmental corridor under a single management regime.  The project will begin with restoring the Little Manitowoc River into more of its original meandering structure with existing stream channels used as rearing habitat for pike.  The 50/50 split of open water will create well functioning wetlands that will be highly beneficial for migratory birds as well as waterfowl.  The site will also act to connect several important trails including the Ice Age Trail, the Mariner’s Trail, and the Little Manitowoc Walking Trail.  Education and outreach will be cultivated in partnership with Woodland Dunes Nature Center, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area, the Manitowoc Zoological Society, and the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed.

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Lake Michigan Stakeholders Exploring Lower Fox River & Green Bay Water Quality

On Wednesday, October 22, Lake Michigan Stakeholders from throughout the Lake Michigan basin will convene at Thornberry Creek, Town of Oneida (WI), to learn about collaborative solutions to improve regional water quality.  Strategies include phosphorus trading, demonstration farms, adaptive management, and best management conservation strategies.  Participants will explore Oneida restoration projects on an afternoon tour.  A panel will explore options to improve water quality in the Lower Fox River and Green Bay followed by a question and answer session.

The group will also be hosting a webinar on Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding with state and federal agency representatives for interested members in January or February, 2015.

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Dozens Celebrate The ‘Wisconsin Ledge’ Designation For Our Escarpment Grape Growing Region’s AVA!

Wisconsin Ledge AVA

A chilly and overcast summer afternoon, August 16, still drew dozens of people to Ledgestone Vineyards in Greenleaf (WI) to celebrate our third anniversary of the region’s federal designation as a major grape growing area. This year’s free indoor event featured the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind ‘crowd-sourced’ art piece made at last year’s event with materials donated by Eden Stone Corporation and Coventry Glassworks & Gallery of Appleton.

Participants sampled wines produced under the Ledgestone and Monarch Creek brands produced with grapes grown on-site. They each received a special commemorative AVA wine glass and many went on a hiking tour of the neighboring Niagara escarpment cliff faces behind the vineyard.           

Eric Fowle, co-founder of the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network, a partner of LNRP, helped bring the federal designation to fruition in April of 2012, after working on the application for over five years with Steve DeBaker, owner of the nearby Trout Springs Winery.

The 3,800 square mile Wisconsin Ledge AVA encompasses much of Northeast Wisconsin with more than a dozen wineries using locally grown grapes and more than 350 acres of vineyards, with additional wineries and expansions planned. The area lies in Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Calumet, Outagamie, and Brown Counties and ranks 12th in overall size nationally as compared to other AVAs.

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Climate Change Workshop for Educators a Huge Success!

The Educators’ Workshop on Climate Science on September 27 sponsored by the Climate Change Coalition of Door County (CCCDC), held at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay, attracted 20 participants, including three presenters (meteorologist and chemistry instructor Bruce Smith of UW-College and Baileys Harbor; environmental scientist Dr. Alison Donnelly of UW-Milwaukee; and chemist Frank Shaw of Illinois State University and Jacksonport) and 12 educators from Sturgeon Bay, Algoma, Green Bay, Washington Island, and Milwaukee.

Frank Shaw gave an overview of the scientific evidence regarding climate change and introduced the American Chemical Society's Climate Science (virtual) Toolkit and other free resources. Alison Donnelly, focused on phenology -- how flora, fauna and their complex interactions are impacted by a warming world.  Bruce Smith discussed energy changes between oceans and atmosphere, jet streams and the arctic vortex. CCCDC and all participants appreciated the generosity of Sturgeon Bay Utilities, which funded the materials in the take-home kits. 

Everyone, including the experts, left with greater knowledge of the evidence for and consequences of global climate change.  A staff member from the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee would like the workshop repeated in Milwaukee later this fall.  Plans are already underway for a follow-up workshop in 2015 as well.

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