Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Great Lakes protection conference set for Sheboygan. Fore!

The water justice Gods are smiling on Lake Michigan.

Sheboygan and its waterfront will be showcased next month when the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is holding its annual conference there june 5-7th
Join us in the City of Sheboygan, the Spirit on the Lake, for the 2019 Annual Conference
Each year, during our Annual Conference, we tackle issues and obstacles that face the health and conservation of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and their communities. It is our mission not only to educate and protect our member mayors from threats that arise from water pollution and damaging weather events but also to defend the greatest source of freshwater in the world from invasive species, pollution and depletion.
 Our conference theme this year is Living Blue: Transforming Waterfronts and the three pillars of the conference are social and community engagement, economic growth and sustainable strength in waterfront communities.
Yes, Sheboygan has made notable progress cleaning up its river and harbor.

But let's look a little broader along the lakeshore to understand there's probably no better spot on Lake Michigan right now for a conference "to defend the greatest source of freshwater in the world..." than the very city recently expanded through a controversial annexation to goose along the destruction of a nature preserve, wetlands and other water-dependent resources - - 

247-acre nature preserve/potential lakeshore golf course. Steve Back photo.
- - until plaintiffs prevailed and a judge said 'no.' 
In the decision, the judge found that the project will require deforesting over half the site and significant regrading, resulting in changes to wetland and site hydrology...the permit application must be denied.” 
The judge also found that the DNR lacked sufficient information to conclude that the project would not harm water quality associated with chemical and fertilizer applications, and that some of Kohler’s submitted information was unreliable or incomplete.   
Also note this related news item:
Ozaukee Press Editorial
"The DNR’s granting of the permit was so contrary to scientific evaluation of the threat to the environment of an extremely sensitive area of ridge and swale wetlands that it fed accusations that the decision was politically motivated." "The land... ...is home to a system of wetlands and sand dunes that is so rare it is said there are few places like it in the world. The habitat it creates is so valuable to endangered animal and plant species that it is protected by state and federal law."

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