In Door County Wisconsin: A Wetland of Global Significance

What do you call a formation of Door County wetlands which, like the Everglades in Florida, have been designated a “wetland of international importance?” You call it a World Class Wetland, that’s what.

With Mark Martin, leading a Natural Resources Foundation field trip of Moonlight Bay's Bedrock Beach, in May this year.

With Mark Martin, leading a Natural Resources Foundation field trip of Moonlight Bay’s Bedrock Beach, in May this year.

This new designation of an array of wetlands stretching from Bailey’s Harbor north to Europe Bay, has been granted under the Ramsar Convention. (It was officially granted in 2014.) Some of the potential benefits of this designation, according to the website of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA), are “increased funding opportunities, increased support for site protection, and increased science and tourism opportunities.”

The Bedrock Beach of Moonlight Bay (looking southwest), May 2015.

The Bedrock Beach of Moonlight Bay (looking southwest), May 2015.

At the Ramsar Wetlands Convention page maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I learned that the Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides “the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use” of these resources. The treaty was adopted in 1971, and the U.S. joined the Ramsar Convention in 1987. There are currently 37 U.S. sites that have been accepted to the Ramsar list.

 

For more specific information about the new Door County Ramsar Site, this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article details the area’s rich biological diversity, and the rare and endangered species that thrive there.

 

 

On Moonlight Bay's Bedrock Beach (looking northwest), late summer 2014.

On Moonlight Bay’s Bedrock Beach (looking northwest), late summer 2014.

The article also lists the numerous owners – both public entities and private individuals – of various parcels of the site. A partial listing includes: the Nature Conservancy, the Door County Land Trust, the University of Green Bay, the WI DNR, The Ridges Sanctuary.

Rieboldt's Creek, flowing from Mud Lake to Moonlight Bay; in January 2015.

Rieboldt’s Creek, flowing from Mud Lake to Moonlight Bay; in January 2015.

Two of the wetland communities within this newly-named “wetland of international significance” are also listed among the WWA’s “100 Wetland Gems.” These are the wetlands of both Moonlight Bay and North Bay. The Badger & the Whooping Crane featured these wetlands gems in an earlier post about the ecological good that flows from wetlands. The photos with this post are from a number of visits I’ve made to these “gems” during the past year.

Riebold's Creek, late summer 2014.

Riebold’s Creek, late summer 2014.

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