Inside This Issue
LNRP was formed as a non-profit in May 2003, which makes 10 years of working in the Lakeshore cultivating environmental stewardship. In the next three issues of our newsletter, we’ll be celebrating our 10-Year Anniversary by telling our stories, sharing our vision, and mobilizing our friends and supporters.
Our aspirations revolve around clean air, healthy lands, and protected water. Our quality of life depends on water. We hope to cultivate a water ethic that encourages and even demands the protection, restoration, and enhancement of our water resources.
In Spring, we look to new beginnings. We start with our long-standing focus on celebrating our local champions and investing in their good works. Our Community Grant program began in 2003 and since then, LNRP has invested $154,550 in 58 projects and another $19,500 in our Champions of Conservation. We have morphed our Community Grant Program into our Stewardship Investment Fund beginning with two-year investment programs in 2011-12 and a second in 2013-14. In 2014, we plan to expand our Lakeshore Champions of Conservation Program to the entire Wisconsin Lake Michigan shoreline co-sponsored by the Lake Michigan Stakeholders.
In Summer, we will focus on our efforts to create a network of friends that protect the waters of their livelihoods, recreation, and pleasure. In Manitowoc County, LNRP has become the program umbrella and fiscal agent of the Friends of the Branch River Watershed, Friends of Hika Bay, Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, Friends of the Twin Rivers, and the Little Manitowoc River Partnership. We provide the umbrella of a 501(c)(3) status while providing organizational support with staff resources, member and fiscal management, and financial support through our Stewardship Investment Fund. These efforts are tied to our sense of place and our efforts to cultivate a stewardship ethic.
In Fall, we will examine our regional efforts to create climate resilient communities, adopting the principles and tools of watershed adaptive management, and collective messaging on cultivating a water ethic and implementing the best management practices of sustainability. We will also examine our efforts to create a Cooperative Weed Management Area where we collectively leverage public and private resources to coordinate the cost-effective and well-managed identification and eradication of invasive species.
So please join us in this 10-year anniversary so that your voice can join the collective voice of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership. With our collaborative efforts, we will help cultivate a stewardship ethic for all of the Lakeshore, our treasured home.
2013 Champions of Conservation
LNRP and Dominion® Honor Three Manitowoc County Residents
Along with Dominion®, LNRP honored three Manitowoc County environmental stewards April 11th from at the 2013 Champions of Conservation at the Agricultural Heritage and Resources Center in Kewaunee. Despite the ‘iffy’ wintry weather that day and evening, 75 people joined us at the event, catered by Alpha Delights from DePere and entertainment provided by the Fairland Bluegrass Band.
Jim Kettler said, “As LNRP proudly celebrates our 10th year anniversary, we are pleased to once again recognize and honor the wide-ranging environmental initiatives of our region’s groups, programs, organizations, businesses or individuals to enhance our quality of life in East Central and Northeastern Wisconsin. We pay tribute through these awards to their environmental excellence, leadership and accomplishment in their respective fields and endeavors.”
“LNRP and Dominion® sponsor these awards to help encourage our communities and residents to emulate the achievements of our successful nominees to promote and extend innovative environmental stewardship projects to a wider audience.”
Dr. Charles “Chuck” Sontag from Manitowoc was named Champion of Champions and Champion of Environmental Education and Outreach for his 40 years as an educator (at UW-Manitowoc), bird expert, environmental advocate and researcher. Through his quiet advocacy, critical wildlife habitat has been saved in the area.
Some 200,000 of Sontag’s regional, detailed bird records have now been digitized for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, likely the largest collection from an individual to date in Wisconsin. A decade after retirement, he continues to volunteer with the Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers. Chuck created and continues to manage the Little Manitowoc Prairie along Maritime Drive in Manitowoc. He is donating his $2,000 award to Woodland Dunes.
Jim Knickelbine, director of Woodland Dunes in Two Rivers, was honored as Champion of Water Resources Protection for improving and extending existing nature trails, adding a segment to the Ice Age Trail, and significantly expanding the reach of Woodland Dunes outreach throughout the area.
Knickelbine has worked to control invasive plant species at Woodland Dunes and the West Twin River estuary and wetlands. He trains monitors to patrol Manitowoc County lakes to identify and treat invasive aquatic species and trains citizen volunteers. He is president of Conservation Education, Inc. Interestingly enough, Chuck Sontag was one of his mentors in college, and Knickelbine put a creative PowerPoint together tracking Chuck as a unique bird species much to the delight of those present! Knickelbine is donating his $500 award to Woodland Dunes.
The Champion of Land Use Protection and Habitat Restoration is the late Charles Bouc of the Town of Newton, Manitowoc County, who died last September. Beginning in the 1970s, he surrounded his entire 300-acre farm with tree, shrub and grass buffers to stop soil erosion and attract wildlife, emulating European land practices.
Bouc worked diligently to control invasive species on his property and surrounding roadsides. He also represented Weyers Lake with the Manitowoc County Lakes Association and worked as an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Monitor for the lake and roadsides. The Bouc family is donating their $500 award to the Manitowoc County Lakes Association.
Tom Ward, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator in Manitowoc County and LNRP Board Secretary, presented the other awards to Charles Bouc’s family and Jim Knickelbine.
Additionally, this year special tributes were presented to Dominion® for their five years of program support and the late Andrew Knapp, horticulture instructor at the Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland.
Hika Park Restoration Project
A multi-year project to remediate Centerville Creek and Hika Park in Cleveland should culminate this year with the construction of what we hope will mimic a ridge swale ecosystem, the construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting the south and north portions of the park, and native landscaping in the Centerville Creek corridor.
By Village of Cleveland Board approval in September 2012, Hika Park increased six times by adding the Hika Shores property and the newly restored Centerville Creek corridor.
The Friends of Hika Bay will continue to monitor invasive species and the health of the trees being planted this year.
LNRP and the Friends of Hika Bay will also continue to monitor water quality using interns from UW-Manitowoc. This partnership gives students real life experience in the environmental sciences and project design.
Concerns for Water Quality in Kewaunee County
In 2011, a group of citizens in Kewaunee County came together as Kewaunee Cares to address concerns they share about air and water quality in their region. Recently we interviewed them to learn about their concerns and focus.
Area grazier Lynn Utesch said the original catalyst that drew his attention was the growing smell and pollution from the invasive aquatic species Cladophora on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Several local people began meeting casually for coffee a few years ago. Then, he says, illegal burning of garbage and tires also reinforced their need to address a growing problem.
“We began to realize that large corporate agriculture was a main culprit in both issues, burning and runoff,” he explains. “Kewaunee County has a very high concentration of these confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), one of the highest in the state. Then we began looking at groundwater and the fact that more than 30% of private wells tested are contaminated by either E.Coli or nitrate, adding another link to agriculture. We began last August to take water samples of three rivers downstream of these facilities and have found high levels of E.Coli after rain events. Even during the drought, these high levels persisted.”
In 2012, Kewaunee Cares became a committee of the Clean Water Action Council (CWAC) of Northeastern Wisconsin. CWAC president Dean Hoegger said his organization was founded 28 years ago based on concerns over water quality in the Fox River, including the industrial pollution from PCBs and the impact on air and water quality of our surface waters. Last year, Kewaunee Cares approached CWAC concerned with CAFO impacts on surface and ground waters. “We saw Kewaunee Cares and their concern for protecting the water as a natural fit for us.”
Hoegger adds, “The greatest threat today to our air and water quality is industrial farming. Kewaunee and Brown Counties both truck animal waste from these operations to be spread on fields in southern Door County. Often this is on areas with thin soils and fractured bedrock, or karst, which quickly contaminates the ground water. We want to raise awareness about the seriousness of this issue.”
So, what are possible solutions to these environmental concerns?
Utesch suggests, “Our current model of manure storage to reduce runoff hasn’t changed for 30 years despite a changing climate. We need to have a conversation with all agricultural interests about better ways to address waste storage and nutrient management plans to consider the quality of our ground and surface waters.”
“We are not anti-ag, and see the need for a better approach. Animal concentration is a concern and do we need to extend the acreage per cow? Currently, 16,000 pounds per acre of manure is being applied in some areas…waste from 883 cows all at once! Composting, vegetative buffers, grazing especially on karst areas, crop rotation all help slow the water down and prevent runoff. Timing of manure spreading and applications of pesticides and herbicides is also important keeping in mind the life cycles of the plants and when they have the greatest uptake potential.”
Utesch added, “A public health issue also resides with center pivot spray irrigation of manure which includes all the 150-known pathogens -- viruses, bacteria, including the anti-biotic resistant strains -- found in the animal’s stomachs. Normally, oxygen present in sunlight breaks these pathogens down when manure is spread. The best practice to reduce odor is to work the manure into the soil. Putrification of manure comes from its anaerobic storage in multi-million gallon lagoons.”
Hoegger said CWAC is encouraging our state legislators to pass legislation supporting more sustainable farming practices. “Green Bay receives an “F” for air quality for particulates. Center pivot spray irrigation of manure particulates and pathogens could travel great distances and affect distant urban areas.”
Both agreed they would like to engage all landowners in a constructive discussion to consider ways and means to improve the health of the County’s ground and surface waters for people, wildlife and Lake Michigan.
Sense of Place: Red Arrow Beach, City of Manitowoc
By Sherrill Anderson
When we conjure up images of beaches, we usually recall tranquil stretches of white sand, children and adults splashing happily in the water lapping against the shoreline and listening to the cries of gulls overhead. This potential lies hidden beneath the beaches that run along the Lake Michigan shoreline in a city environment, in this case Manitowoc, and one – Red Arrow Beach – like a diamond in the rough, may in the next several years be restored to health and natural sites and sounds.
Unlike existing jewels in our rich lakeshore region we traditionally feature in this column, this quarter’s Sense of Place is one of possibility, hope and promise to restore grandeur and life to a blighted and often uninhabitable place.
Mayor Justin Nickels certainly wants to see it happen, and has made it a priority, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding for beach improvement secured thanks to the efforts of Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission, UW-Oshkosh, and the City of Manitowoc, working with Miller Engineers & Scientists to design the plans. Red Arrow lies between Lincoln High School to the south and University Beach to the north (the end of Dewey Street). On April 20th, as part of an 11-beach clean-up by the volunteer Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed, 14 people gathered nearly 100 pounds of debris of all sorts from Red Arrow alone from the park and shoreline.
Red Arrow was selected for mitigation to help improve the water quality along the shores of Lake Michigan. Bacteria levels have been problematic for years, leading to beach advisories and closings. From 2003 to 2012, Red Arrow exceeded safe levels of E.Coli 34% of the time and it was consistently above the advisory level. Water samples in 2012 continued to exceed safe limits for E.Coli and led to eight advisories and five closures. The pollution comes from seagulls, storm water runoff, sheet flow from impervious parking lots, and it’s challenging to figure out its main cause.
The planned solution to this aesthetic and health issue lies in increasing infiltration to reduce runoff by planting rain gardens, sand-stabilizing grasses, adding denser sand to the beach and changing its slope – all designed to slow the water down. With climate change bringing more frequent and intense storms, such improvements are timely indeed.
The vision is to reduce pollution, remove particulates and contaminants, and reduce sediment and debris that harbors the harmful bacteria. Two and a half acres will be groomed with shrubs and one acre with grasses. Ultimately, they’d like to see walking paths and a 4-foot treated-wood boardwalk to the beach.
Angela Pierce, natural resources planner with Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission, says that the work will begin “any day now. The money is there. The City engineer needs to send in the DNR permit form which takes 30 days to review for the project to begin. Time is the limiting factor. We’re set to work with UW-Oshkosh as a contractor to move the bulkhead line.”
“This could be a lost opportunity without a permit being issued for beach nourishment, meaning building dunes and a swale on the north end to capture and slow down the water. We will put a rain garden on the north end of the beach next to the dune grass.”
In the last several months, the City engineering office lost two key personnel intimately engaged in envisioning and planning this improvement project and leaving the survey technician and City engineer short-handed. Greg Minikel, the engineer who currently is serving as Interim Director of Public Infrastructure, has made it a priority to complete the permit.
“We hope to regenerate Red Arrow Beach for more recreational use and beauty and keep cross-contamination out of the sewer,” Minikel said. “Red Arrow shows years of neglect. This may end up being a multi-year project.”
Wisconsin Maritime Museum education curator Wendy Lutzke co-directs the Friends group with Kim Kettner. She attended a presentation given by Bay-Lake where she learned the E.Coli numbers are closer to the beach indicating, “a local source of the contamination. The shape of the beach, the topography, is an issue. Flat sand doesn’t dry out so that algae and bacteria build up and decompose. It never gets washed out unless contours are re-established.”
“Three miles of storm water drains from Walmart through neighborhoods and industrial areas to the culverts draining into Red Arrow Park. This is a local issue and we need funding to do the testing necessary to determine the sources.”
All agree that this diamond in the rough could become a polished jewel someday soon so that we could again see kids playing in the sand, kites flying in the ever-present breezes and enjoy this beach in the heart of Manitowoc as nature intended.
LNRP Welcomes New Board Member Annette Paul
Please join us in welcoming Annette Paul to the LNRP Board of Directors!
Annette brings years of leadership, teaching, management, public health and community development experience to the LNRP Board. Originally from northern Illinois, she now resides in Mishicot, near the East Twin River.
Since 2008, Annette has worked with Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay in the role of Supervisor of Clinical Research. Previously, she worked in Chicago at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as Volunteer Coordinator of their Home Hospice Program and for the American Cancer Society as Director of their Health Systems Department for 52 counties in northern Wisconsin. In addition to community development experience in health /cancer prevention for the American Cancer Society, Annette coordinated the Tobacco Free Kewaunee County Coalition and Community Action Teams for Youth Development, leading the “Healthy Community/Healthy Youth” Families First Initiative there. All of these roles involved networking with many levels of community leaders in city, county, and state government, as well as CEO’s of major businesses and health systems throughout Wisconsin.
2013 Stewardship Investment Fund Awards
LNRP recently distributed $20,000 from the 2013 LNRP Stewardship Investment Fund. Created in 2011, the fund supports environmental projects and programming in the lakeshore region. Our involvement focuses on building capacity through collaborative partnership, stakeholder engagement, and membership development.
Funding for our 2013 program came from corporate sponsorships with the biggest share coming from Dominion®. These corporate sponsorships allowed us to leverage a matching $10,000 grant from the Wisconsin Great Lakes Protection Fund.
A $2,200 award was given to support the Door County Sustainability Fair. The fund was used to support staff from LNRP to co-sponsor the event, help with promotion, and conduct all aspects of planning and oversight.
A $1,000 award was given to the Niagara Escarpment Resource Network to host a unique two-day special event in January, Cultivating a Sense of Place: The Niagara Escarpment, the Great Lakes and Human Perception. The event drew nearly 60 participants to UW-Green Bay.
A $2,500 award was given to the Friends of Hika Bay as part of a match for an DNR Urban Forestry Grant that is being used to complete the Centerville Creek Restoration Project and the construction of a Ridge Swale Community in the Hika Shores portions of Hika Park.
A $700 award was given to the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed to purchase supplies needed for beach and river clean ups. The group hosted an April 20 beach clean up and is planning another on September 15.
A $1,100 award was given to the Friends of the Branch River Watershed for their Youth Conservation Leadership Program designed to attract young adults and extend programming to include physically active projects. The project will focus on developing a youth conservation leadership program that will train young people to engage with the outdoors, mentor other youth, and become well-trained stewards of our natural areas.
A $5,000 award was given to the Little Manitowoc River Partnership to conduct a habitat assessment. The reconnaissance will locate wetland and upland habitats, remnant native vegetation communities and areas dominated by invasive plant species. They’ll also digitize habitat boundaries into GIS and prepare a habitat community map as part of creating a conceptual plan for the overall restoration of the coastal wetland.
A $2,500 award was given to the Clean Water Action Council and Kewaunee Cares for surface water testing. The consistent and organized protocol used in testing will assure reliable baseline data for: 1) assessing the overall health of the watershed; 2) determining any cause/effect relationship between agricultural runoff events and water quality; and 3) helping support reports of violations of the federal Clean Water Act and WPDES Permits.
A $2,500 award was given to the Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County for well testing and outreach. Due to extreme karst bedrock geology of the township combined with shallow soils in many areas, Lincoln Township has an inordinate number of wells that fail tests for nitrate and coliform bacteria. This project aims to characterize how water quality varies during the year by identifying 10 private wells with owners willing to share the resulting data, a program that to the best of our knowledge has never been conducted in Wisconsin.
A $2,500 award was given to the Calumet Groundwater Guardians (CGGs) and Calumet County Resource Management Department (RMD) for well testing. CGGs and RMD have identified low-income, elderly, disadvantaged, or rental households as under-represented in the county’s private well testing program. This project will target the households listed above to provide free comprehensive testing. Households will be selected through several programs administered by the Health and Human Services Department (HHSD) or other programs.
The shoreline of Red Arrow Beach on a recent Spring day.
News from LNRP
River Clean-up with Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed
Beach Clean Up
Youth Leadership Program
Lake Michigan Stakeholders
Friends of Hika Bay
River Clean-up with Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed
The Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed with the YMCA will host a clean-up of the Manitowoc River on June 8 at 10:00 a.m., sponsored by the American Rivers. Volunteers will meet at Manitou Park parking lot in Manitowoc. Paddlers will travel as far as the river will allow towards the YMCA, depending on weather conditions, how many people are involved and the state of the river. FMRW coordinator, Kim Kettner, says, “We are looking to get the YMCA paddlers involved and hope to make this an annual active Explore and Restore event. We welcome any one with an interest in cleaning up our waterways. Participants will need their own recreational canoes or kayaks. If you don’t have a boat and wish to sign up to clean by foot, call Kim Kettner, 920-242-1993 or email, email@example.com. FMRW will provide supplies except working gloves. No make-up date is scheduled.
The 4th Sustainability Fair took place on April 27th at Graham and Martin Parks in Sturgeon Bay. The Fair was sponsored by Sustain Door, a group of individuals promoting the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of Door County.
For the first time, LNRP partnered with Sustain Door to host the Fair. More than 35 vendors and exhibitors entertained and educated the several hundred participants, along with children’s activities, music by the Fairland Bluegrass Band and two inspirational speakers, Paul Tukey and Rick Brooks. Paul focused on the chemical spraying of lawns and landscapes. Rick presented on the “Free Little Library” initiative that places libraries in neighborhoods and helps build community. The trolley toured sustainable places in the City of Sturgeon Bay. It was a great way to celebrate Earth Day and Sustainability. We would like to thank all of our partners, sponsors, volunteers and everyone who helped make the fair a huge success.
Climate Change Forums were held in Manitowoc County in collaboration with the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed. The first in the series on March 7th introduced participants to the changes in our region’s climate from a panel of experts.
The second forum was hosted by Dr. Jim Brey, education director with the American Meteorological Association and Evan Murdoch, from UW Sea Grant, on April 25th. Nearly 50 participants attended. The next step will be to form a committee of interested volunteers to engage further with Evan Murdoch to initiate planning for climate resiliency. Stay tuned for news as this process evolves.
Beach Clean Up
For the second year, on April 20th Friends of the Manitowoc Watershed participated in a Beach Clean-Up in honor of Earth Day on the beaches in the City of Manitowoc. Over 120 people participated and hauled nearly 1,000 pounds of garbage off our beaches! The event was featured on Channel 11’s Good Day Wisconsin and a lengthy article in the Herald Times Reporter.
The members of the Friends of the Manitowoc River Watershed would like to honor three individuals who have recently passed by making donations to the group in their names: Loretta Klusmeyer, Beverly Specht, and Christine Miller, you will be missed.
Youth Leadership Program
The Youth Leadership Program was officially launched at the Friends of the Branch River Watershed annual banquet held March 19th at Christopher’s near Cato. Seed money for this program was generously donated by our 2011 Champion of Water Resources Protection, Vickie Mayer, who presented her award to initiate the process. More than 20 elementary, middle and high school students presented their art reflecting the campaign, “We All Live On The Water.” It was a terrific way to show how these young people illustrate ideas of stewardship with their creativity and expression.
Fun with Froggy Friends was held on April 20th, both educating and entertaining for kids of all ages. It taught them to handle many of the 12 Wisconsin frog and 7 salamander species native to our state. The Nature Day at the Dodge Preserve is planned for June 8th.
Lake Michigan Stakeholders
Lake Michigan Stakeholders meeting will be held in Marinette on May 22nd, introducing new members to the board. Topics on the agenda will focus on the Menominee River, an Area of Concern. Participants will hear presentations on the restoration efforts and tour restoration projects including Menekaunee Harbor, Seagull Bar, and the Fish Passage Project.
The Wisconsin Ledge AVA (American Viticultural Area) celebration date has been set for August 17th. It is the 2nd annual event since the 3,800 square-mile “Wisconsin Ledge” was established in northeast and east central Wisconsin. It will be held at Trout Springs Winery in Greenleaf. The Winery offers the very best in home grown and produced wine products from their lively vineyards. Come out and celebrate this important milestone to the economic and gastronomic well-being of our region.
Dining on the Ledge is planned for July 20th this year at Trout Springs Winery. Our chef will be Dave Salm from Al Corso Restaurant in Collins. Cost for the event is $49.95 but LNRP and NERN members will get a $15 discount for the meal and matched wines.
Join us for this season’s Ledge Tours, the first at Bayshore Blufflands County Park, Door County, on June 29th. Join our associates, Nancy Aten and Dan Collins, to tour this wonderful property(ies) and hear about the efforts to remove invasive species and restore this fantastic escarpment site.
Watch for registration details coming soon.
Friends of Hika Bay
Friends of Hika Bay will be completing the tree planting on May 10th-11th, pushed back due to the late spring and heavy rains. UW-Manitowoc students are once again monitoring the water of both the north and south branch of the creek. Everyone is looking for spring plants, and this group is looking for the invasive ones in Hika Bay Park. If you would like to volunteer for the Friends of Hika Bay projects or other LNRP activities, please let us know.
Mark your calendar for May 14th at LTC, to join us at a forum on the “Economics of Water Resource Protection”. Presenters include: Laura Grant, Assistant Professor at UW Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences & Department of Economics. A panel reflection on policy and legislative initiatives will be led by Cindy Huhn, Catherine Egger, Joe Leibham and Mickey Judkins.
The Friends group invites you to take a stake in our precious shoreline and join our Lakeshore Tour on June 15th. It will start at the Centerville Creek Restoration site and then move to Kingfisher Farms on Lakeshore Drive in Cleveland. There will be information on invasive species and ways to clean up that awful Cladophora that stinks up Hika Bay in the summer.
In collaboration with Tom Ward and Diane Schauer, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinators for Manitowoc and Calumet Counties, LNRP plans to develop a Cooperative Weed Management Area. The area will include Fond du Lac, Calumet, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc Counties. We plan to work with private landowners and public land management agencies to coordinate the identification and eradication of invasive species throughout the lakeshore. By creating a cooperative, we can pool public and private financing to most cost effectively hire licensed applicators. The Woodland Dunes Nature Center will become the physical home for the Management Area, with all partners sharing time and resources to make it successful.
Many invasive exotic plants and animals have devastating impacts on our native plant communities, fish and wildlife habitat, agricultural yields, recreational opportunities, and ultimately, local economies. Because these non-native species disperse widely across the landscape, it is advantageous to work cooperatively across jurisdictional boundaries towards prevention, management and control objectives. In addition, the number of new invasive species introduced into our region each year has been out-pacing control activities, making prevention and management tasks impractical for any one agency to manage alone.
Species that will be targeted include teasel and Phragmites shown here as well as Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, wild parsnip, spotted knapweed, Dame’s rocket, buckthorn, honeysuckle, and giant hogweed.
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The City of Manitowoc Red Arrow Park