Ephraim, WI – Door County Land Trust is happy to announce the protection of ecologically rich forest and wetland habitat within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area. The addition of this protected property is an exciting step toward preserving the coastal wetlands and natural filtration abilities of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area, which significantly influences water quality in Ephraim’s Eagle Harbor.
Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp is one of Door County’s largest coastal wetlands. From the shores of Eagle Harbor, this wetland corridor extends across the peninsula towards Baileys Harbor. This large corridor of forest and wetlands provides migratory and breeding habitat for many species, including rare or threatened birds. Even Door County’s federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly has been found foraging for insects here.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognizes these coastal wetlands among the most important wildlife habitat and natural landscapes in Door County. Protection of coastal wetlands like those found at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area rank as top priorities of conservation partners within the Great Lakes region. The Land Trust’s work here adds to the protection of high-quality forest and wetland habitat within this globally significant Northern Lake Michigan coastal landscape.
Door County Land Trust began protection efforts in Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp with a conservation easement agreement seventeen years ago. With this addition, Door County Land Trust now protects more than 400 acres in the swamp. The newly protected property lies in the central portion of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp, forming a protected corridor of high-quality forest and wildlife habitat within the swamp.
Door County Land Trust’s land protection director Julie Schartner said, “Large-scale conservation efforts like this one at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp benefit everything we hold dear: the plants and animals, the beauty of the landscape, the health of our waters, and so much more. Protecting places like these is so important to the environmental health of our region overall, and is significant to our local community.”
Door County Land Trust thanks members and supporters for their contributions towards these conservation efforts. The purchase of this property was funded by Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative- Environmental Protection Agency grant. A grant from the John C. Bock foundation funds a portion of the Stewardship Endowment Fund contribution required for the long-term care of the property. Door County Land Trust seeks to raise additional endowment funds to ensure future care of the properties.
Contributions to Door County Land Trust will help to fund the care of these properties and future land protection opportunities. To donate and support the conservation work of the Door County Land Trust or watch stunning videos of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area from the air, please visit www.DoorCountyLandTrust.org/