When you get up in the morning and brush your teeth, have you thought about the quality of the water that you’re using? How about as you’ve lounged on one of Door County’s 30 plus beaches, ever considered water quality then? Or, as you tooled around the Bay in a fishing boat, have you ever thought about the quality of our most precious asset?
Water quality is so important to Door County government that it is listed as one of the top five strategic priorities as detailed in Resolution number 2010-08 entitled Adoption of Door County’s Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Priorities. Strategic Priority number III states, “Protect Door County’s natural resources, especially water.” Several Door County Departments have a hand in implementing this strategic priority. The most directly involved is Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department (DCSWCD.)
How does DCSWCD work to achieve Door County’s strategic priority as well as the State’s policy goals? It does it through its program design. Programs like the Agriculture Pollution Prevention and Performance Standards, Animal Waste Storage Facility Permits, Beach Water Quality Improvement, Nonmetallic Mine Reclamation, Nutrient Management Program, Targeted Runoff Management Cost-Share Program, Tree and Shrub Program, Wildlife Damage Abatement & Claims Program and the Water Pollution Abatement Cost-Share Program.
An example of how these programs directly impact water quality is illustrated through the Dunes Lake Watershed Study. Several years ago, the DCSWCD staff noted that Dunes Lake in the southeast corner of the Town of Sevastopol near Lake Michigan was experiencing rapid algae growth and sedimentation that was degrading its habitat. Along with several other conservation partners, DCSWCD conducted a four year watershed study to understand the causes of the degradation, potential sources and possible solutions. The study found that pollution sources impacting the lake included both agricultural and nonagricultural sources. Landowners in the lake area were contacted and encouraged to develop water quality best management practices. Today, lake restoration activities are being considered that may include the limited removal of accumulated sediment as well as the treatment of undesirable vegetation. Tomorrow will bring an improved Dunes Lake.
For more information about the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department and its programs, please call 746-2214 or visit the website www.co.door.wi.us/swcd
Photo Provided. Left to right: Rich Propsom, Conservationist; Nick Peltier, Conservationist; Beth Hanson, Administrative Assistant; William Schuster, County Conservationist/Director; Greg Coulthurst, Conservationist; Dale Konkol, Conservationist; Mitch McCarthy, Conservationist