A cross section of Door County residents participated in a community workshop on great lakes water levels at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay Thursday evening. The workshop included presentations & information on the commercial, economic, recreational & environmental impacts caused by the unprecedented low water levels. Mike Friis, Program Manager for the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program based in Madison, says the workshops in cities like Milwaukee, Green Bay & Sturgeon Bay provide a forum for the exchange of ideas…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/N1203.mp3|titles=Mike Friis]
Friis acknowledged that there was no quick fix for the problem of low lake levels…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/N1204.mp3|titles=Mike Friis]
Bill Schuster, Director of the Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department & a member of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Council, says the workshop was brought to Sturgeon Bay as a direct result of the Door/Kewaunee legislative days event held in May. Schuster says the number one topic taken to legislators in Madison asked for assistance to communities & businesses as they deal with low water levels. He says the impact hits Door County in multiple ways…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/N1205.mp3|titles=Bill Schuster]
Schuster says the third impact has to do with invasive species. He says the county has done a good job of dealing with such invasive plants as phragmites, but low water levels have opened up new areas for the plants to thrive. Schuster says it really comes down to learning how to play the hand that has been dealt us…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/N1206.mp3|titles=Bill Schuster]
On June 6th, State Representative Garey Bies convened a low water levels briefing for Wisconsin legislators to impress upon his colleagues the critical nature of the problem for those who live here.