Ducks Unlimited and its partners gathered on Cat Island near Green Bay, Wisconsin, this summer to announce three projects benefiting Lake Michigan wetlands. These projects are part of a long-term strategy to improve water quality and provide other benefits to fish and wildlife.
"There are a lot of great things happening in the Green Bay area to improve wetlands and waterfowl habitat," said DU Regional Biologist Brian Glenzinski, "and we're really increasing our ability to impact this area by joining forces."
Ducks Unlimited and its partners received grants for restoration and enhancement projects on Wisconsin's Cat Island, L.H. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, and Dunes Lake. A grant was also awarded by the private Fund for Lake Michigan, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program released funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This funding will be used to create marshes, install water-control structures, implement revegetation strategies, and control invasive species on the project sites.
"This is the Fund for Lake Michigan's first partnership in northeast Wisconsin, and it's a pleasure to be working with groups like Ducks Unlimited and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay to make sure these valuable wetlands are functioning at the highest level possible," said the fund's program officer, Casey Eggleston.
DU volunteer Greg Meissner has been involved with the Door County chapter for more than 30 years and was among the local volunteers in attendance for the Cat Island announcement. "The restoration needs of the Lower Green Bay area were brought to our attention several years ago," Meissner said. "We would drive through the area, and it was such a waste—what used to be a productive wetland was just choked with invasive phragmites." Meissner and his wife, Marsha, also support DU financially through the Great Lakes Initiative.
"Ducks Unlimited prides itself on reaching out to a diverse community to support its conservation efforts," said Bruce Deadman, a Green Bay attorney and Wisconsin DU's 2013 Conservationist of the Year. "Collaboration and partnerships among private foundations, DU members, and public and private agencies will give us a chance to fill the skies with waterfowl."