Field Tours

Field Tours were held on October 15, 2013, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

Sheboygan River Area of Concern (AOC) Restoration Project

Trip Leaders: Stacy Hron, Sheboygan River AOC Coordinator, WDNR and Deb Beyer, Natural Resources Educator, University of Wisconsin Extension

Departs from Conference Center Entrance

The Sheboygan River Area of Concern (AOC) was identified as a priority area for remediation and restoration through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by the US EPA and encompasses the lower 14 miles of the Sheboygan River, including the harbor.  From 2010 to date over $83 million has been invested in restoring the Sheboygan River Area of Concern.  See the results of this investment during a tour of the Sheboygan River AOC sediment remediation and habitat restoration sites.

Recently 400,000 cubic yards of PCB and PAH contaminated sediments were removed from the lower 2 miles of the river, culminating sediment clean-up of the 14-mile AOC.  A combination of Superfund, Great Lakes Legacy Act and US Army Corps navigational dredging projects were completed to set the stage for long term recovery of the river.  Discuss the actions that brought about the projects and those that led to its success.

With a design and construction cost of $5.3 million the habitat restoration projects cover 72 acres along a 2.5 mile long corridor of the AOC.  Restoration activities include: naturalized stabilization of shorelines, construction of root wad crib walls, placement of large woody debris, in stream habitat improvements, native vegetation establishment, invasive species management, restoration of an island complex, constructing nesting and hibernaculum structures and restoration of three wetland areas from degraded to wet meadow/shallow marsh/ephemeral ponds, riparian floodplain and riverine backwater.  Hear about the process of determining our fish and wildlife goals and projects and get a first-hand look at the diverse array of that has occurred at these sites.


Kohler-Andrae State Park

Trip Leaders: Ed Muzik, Park Manager, Kohler-Andrae State Park, WDNR and Tina Wolbers, Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist, WDNR

Departs from Conference Center Entrance

Join Ed Muzik and Tina Wolbers on this field trip to Kohler-Andrae State Park.  The field trip will include a short hike on the boardwalk over the Black River Marsh to discuss historical and current invasive species management of Purple Loosestrife.  Other highlights include a stop at the Sanderling Nature Center, where we will provide a brief overview of the park and its ecology and history, and a hike on a “cordwalk” trail that provides access to the sensitive interdunal wetlands area.

In 2009, Kohler-Andrae State Park was named on of Wisconsin’s Wetland Gems™ by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.  Wetland Gems are considered high quality habitats that are critically important to Wisconsin’s biodiversity.  The interdunal wetlands at Kohler-Andrae are unique in the Great Lakes region and comprise the largest dune complex along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shoreline.  This distinct area provides habitat for many rare plants, some of which are endemic to Great Lakes shorelines.  In addition, over 150 bird species are known to use the Kohler-Andrae area throughout the year.


Centerville Creek Restoration Project

Trip Leaders: Jim Kettler, Executive Director, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, and Russ Tooley, Water Quality Chair, Friends of Hika Bay

Departs from Conference Center Entrance

Our tour will explore the Centerville Creek and Hika Shores restoration project. Centerville Creek is a tributary to Lake Michigan and flows through the Village of Cleveland in southeast Manitowoc County.  In the 1880s, a small gristmill dam was constructed on the main stem of Centerville Creek approximately 800 feet upstream of Lake Michigan.  A larger concrete dam was constructed in 1935 impounding approximately 12 acres of the stream.  In 1996, the impoundment was drawn down and the Wisconsin DNR removed the dam, leaving most of the sediment in place.

Beginning in 2009, plans were developed to restore the abandoned millpond and recreate a meandering creek.  Funds were obtained through the Sustain Our Great Lakes program, corporate sponsorships, and private donations.  Reconstruction began in 2012 with native landscaping and tree planting completing the project in 2013.  The Centerville Creek Restoration Project removed 150 years of sediment buildup and restored 0.6 miles of the Centerville Creek.  Complementary ongoing projects include enhancing a small ridge-swale community in the Hika Shores area of the park and building a bridge spanning the creek to join the southern and northern portions of Hika Park.  A boardwalk with interpretive signage and a kiosk showcasing local businesses will also be constructed.  Hika Park was “officially” expanded from 2.2 acres to 13.8 acres and now includes the original Boat Landing, Hika Shores, and the Centerville Creek Corridor. 



Workshops held on October 15, 2013.

8:00 –  9:45 am

Using Free Decision-Support Tools to Inform Advisories and Mitigation

(Update: This workshop was cancelled due to the federal government shutdown of the required websites)

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Utilizing Sanitary Survey Data to Inform Mitigation

Dr. Julie Kinzelman and Dr. Greg Kleinheinz

Workshop designed for beach managers and municipal representatives to show how science drives the decisions behind mitigation. A demonstration will be conducted on dune formation and beach grass plantings as waterfowl deterrent measures. The demo will be followed by a field trip to beaches where mitigation measures are being implemented based on beach sanitary survey data collected. Buses will make a lunch stop along the way.

Contact Us

For more information and questions please contact:

Victoria Harris
phone: (920) 366-3971

Conference Sponsors

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative     Environmental Protection Agency     Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources     Great Lakes Beach Association
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