The Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have received a $1 million National Coastal Wetlands Grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to conserve some of Door County’s most outstanding remaining wetland habitat.
The Conservancy and the State will use the federal grant to purchase 139 acres of land at Mink River Estuary, which includes 81 acres of wetlands and more than 3,500 feet of shoreline. When added to the over 12 miles of adjacent shoreline already protected by the Conservancy and State of Wisconsin, this acquisition will create over 13 miles of contiguous protected shoreline on the Mink River and Rowleys Bay. This area is considered one of the highest quality freshwater estuaries on the western Great Lakes. The grant will be leveraged with more than $1.5 million in partner funds.
“Door County is uniquely blessed with outstanding natural areas,” said Mike Grimm, conservation ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, “and Mink River Estuary — one of the finest freshwater estuaries on the Great Lakes — rises to the top as a conservation priority for The Nature Conservancy.”
The estuary, formed where the spring-fed river combines with water from Lake Michigan at Rowley’s Bay, is a key spawning ground for fish species, a critical migratory stopover site for more than 200 bird species, and home to the Hine’s emerald dragonfly and dwarf lake iris — two species on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s list of threatened and endangered species.
The Conservancy has worked with local landowners, communities, and businesses in Door County to conserve more than 1,750 acres at Mink River Estuary since the 1970s.
The Mink River Preserve is a great place to hike, cross-country ski, canoe, and watch wildlife. It is also open for hunting and a snowmobile trail crosses the property.
Learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s Mink River Estuary Preserve.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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