Algoma, Wis. – Today, Governor Tony Evers visited Kewaunee County in honor of ‘Imagine a Day Without Water.’ The seventh annual observance on October 21 raises awareness of the impact of water in daily life and the importance of investment for clean water access. The Governor met with local stakeholders to address groundwater quality and coastal resilience, two environmental issues directly affecting Kewaunee county residents.
Joined by Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Joel Brennan and local officials, Governor Evers toured Crescent Beach in Algoma, which features an ADA accessible, recycled plastic boardwalk previously funded by the DOA Coastal Management Program. The State recently received a $249,908 competitive grantfrom the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Collaborative Action to Lake Michigan Coastal Resilience (CALM), which will address infrastructure needs to protect coastal communities from flooding.
“From trusting the water from their tap to the growing effects of climate change, folks in every corner of our state have experienced environmental challenges firsthand,” said Gov. Evers. “Protecting our natural resources and making sure everyone has access to clean drinking water are environmental, public health, and equity issues. That’s why it’s perhaps more important than ever that we invest in building resilient infrastructure and communities and work to protect our shorelines—and that work starts in our local communities like Kewaunee County.”
The Governor also visited the home of a local resident in Luxemburg to discuss groundwater quality and contamination, and to present a check to the Kewaunee County to support community well testing. Groundwater contamination is a common issue for local residents due to the local geology and agricultural run-off, and Department of Administration has provided funding to support water quality testing, education, and outreach. The $27,000 presented to Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt will help fund 600 sampling kits for county residents to test private wells for groundwater contamination.
“Whether it’s managing high water levels or ensuring that residents have access to clean drinking water, coastal communities are often first to feel the effects of climate change,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “We are grateful to all our partners who push through innovative projects and solutions in support of our coastal communities.”
The Department of Administration’s Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) works to balance natural resource protection and sustainable economic development along Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coasts. WCMP awards federal funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce and NOAA to local governments and other entities for innovative coastal initiatives.