Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin receives grant to help improve health of Lake Michigan shoreline

Fund for Lake Michigan awards $60,000 for coastal assessment

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For immediate release
February 24, 2016

Thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin will this year support partner organizations in conducting a comprehensive coastal assessment of the Lake Michigan shoreline in southeastern Wisconsin. The grant will ultimately result in a conservation plan for shoreline restoration and water quality improvement.

“The Lake Michigan shoreline is a vital habitat for many of Wisconsin’s natural ecosystems and a cherished place for recreation,” said Camille Zanoni, development director for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. “We’re grateful to the Fund for Lake Michigan for recognizing the key role this coastal assessment will play in helping conservationists restore Lake Michigan’s shoreline back to health.”

The coastal assessment will be a joint project between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering and the Office of Great Lakes, and will focus on a 4.2-mile section of shoreline from the City of Kenosha’s Southport Park Beach to the Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area. The study will aim to identify the factors causing shoreline erosion, poor water quality and sediment depletion, among other environmental degradations. The Foundation presented the donation to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board today, Feb. 24.

“In southeast Wisconsin we rely on Lake Michigan for drinking water, recreation and our economic vitality,” said Vicki Elkin, executive director for the Fund for Lake Michigan. “By better understanding the lake and its impact on the shoreline, we can help ensure that all these uses are protected and enhanced.”

Coastal development, pollution and climate change are among the biggest threats to the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan. The results of the coastal assessment will guide conservationists in developing the most effective strategies for improving public beach water quality and public access, restoring the natural shoreline and preventing coastal shoreline erosion.

“The support from partners including the Fund for Lake Michigan and the Natural Resources Foundation is absolutely essential to projects like this,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “We anticipate results from this groundbreaking work will inform best practices for managing erosion in a number of locations along the Lake Michigan shoreline. We’re grateful for the continued support for this important work.”

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The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. This year marks the Foundation’s 30th year of boosting private sector support for Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more at www.wisconservation.org.

The Fund for Lake Michigan, a private foundation based in Milwaukee, was established in 2011 by We Energies, Madison Gas and Electric and WPPI Energy to safeguard the lake and improve water quality in the region. The Fund has awarded more than $11 million over the past four years for projects ranging from the restoration of Cat Island in Green Bay to the revitalization of Simmons Beach in Kenosha.

Contact
Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
608-266-3138 (office)
202-422-4671 (cell)

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