WI - Senator Baldwin Helps Secure $2.5 Million for Great Lakes Resiliency in Wisconsin
Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld announced that Wisconsin is set to receive a total of $2.5 million as part of a climate resilience investment from the Biden Administration’s Investing In America initiative, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin is applauding the Biden administration’s announcement that Wisconsin is receiving a $2.5 million investment to strengthen our Great Lakes resiliency to extreme weather events and climate change. Across Wisconsin, three projects will receive funding to restore and protect our fresh coasts through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law the Inflation Reduction Act, both of which Senator Baldwin supported.
“Our Great Lakes are home to a precious ecosystem that provide safe drinking water for millions of Americans and are critical to our Made in Wisconsin economy, and we need to do everything we can to protect them for generations to come," said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to bring home these resources to help Wisconsin communities keep our Great Lakes clean, address climate change, and support good-paying jobs. I am excited to see these resources get put to work and look forward to seeing a continued investment from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in our fresh coasts.”
Administered by the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Climate-Ready Coasts initiative is focused on investing in high-impact projects that create climate solutions by storing carbon; building resilience to coastal hazards such as extreme weather events, pollution and marine debris; restoring coastal habitats that help wildlife and humans thrive; building the capacity of underserved communities and support community-driven restoration; and providing employment opportunities.
Of that total, $1.9 million has been directed to DOA, as part of a Sand River Headwaters conservation project in Bayfield County. The funds would allow Bayfield County to acquire over 2,000 acres of ecologically significant land vital to the health and functioning of Lake Superior’s coastal resources. The ecosystems within the acquired land provide stopover habitat for migratory birds, spawning areas for Great Lakes fish, aesthetic views of Lake Superior, and passive recreation. The acquisition also completes a broader agreement with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for the County’s reinvestment of proceeds from an earlier land sale that repatriated nearby land formerly owned by the County to the Red Cliff.
The recommended projects and funding amounts in Wisconsin include:
- $1.9 Million for Conservation of Sand River Headwaters - This project will allow Bayfield County to acquire 2,001 acres of ecologically significant land that are vital to the health and functioning of Lake Superior’s coastal resources. The ecosystems within the acquired land provide stopover habitat for migratory birds, spawning areas for Great Lakes fish, aesthetic views of Lake Superior, and passive recreation. The acquisition also completes a broader agreement with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa for the County’s reinvestment of proceeds from an earlier land sale that repatriated nearby land formerly owned by the County to the Red Cliff
- $350,000 for Establishing Regional Restoration Visions and Identifying Projects within the Lake Superior Headwaters Sustainability Partnership Region - This project will develop detailed, actionable habitat restoration visions for congruent geographic regions within the St. Louis River Estuary, with guidance from a diverse and participatory group of stakeholders. The work will be led by the Minnesota Land Trust through the Lake Superior Headwaters Sustainability Partnership, a consortium of federal, tribal, state, county, municipal, and community partners working to implement sustainable, landscape-level conservation in the headwaters of Lake Superior.
- $300,000 for An Expansion of Coalition-Based Efforts to Reduce Marine Debris Throughout the Great Lakes Region - Wisconsin and Ohio Sea Grant Programs will work together to develop a plastic-free coalition within the Cleveland Metropolitan area. The project's primary objectives will be to reduce the consumption of unnecessary single-use plastics by individuals and businesses, thereby reducing pollution entering the watershed. This project will also expand the efforts of Plastic-Free MKE (Milwaukee), particularly surrounding the coalition's education and outreach efforts focused on marine debris.