SUPERIOR WISC. --- As a part of his 8th annual "Up North Tour," Governor Jim Doyle announced the availability of nearly $3.8 million to help protect the Nemadji River.
"We made a stewardship purchase of about six miles on both sides of the Nemadji River," Doyle said, "that will keep is as a pristine, wilderness river."
The governor said Wisconsin's future is linked to its natural resources, and said this new project will protect the Nemadji and much more.
"It's also critical for the quality of the Great Lakes," Doyle said, "because those rivers running into the Great Lakes, obviously protecting the quality of those rivers is what protects the quality of the lakes themselves."
Governor Doyle's efforts to protect northern waterways didn't stop there. He also announced support for the University of Wisconsin-Superior's Lake Superior Research Institute.
The institute is one of 50 finalists for a nearly $1 million grant geared towards research on Lake Superior.
"What they are going to do is set up monitoring stations," Doyle said, "that really will allow us to understand what's happening in the lake."
The grant will fund 71 permanent monitoring stations, which officials say will greatly increase understanding of Lake Superior health.
"We finally have a way to understand the ecosystem on sort of a simple level, where we look at something as an indicator," LSRI Associate Researcher Amy Leiot said. "So we might be able to look at a plants species or the birds that live there, and that will tell us something about the health of these ecosystems."
Governor Doyle says the health of the entire state rests on the health of its ecosystems.
"It's critical for tourism. It's critical for our fisheries. It's critical for transportation," Doyle said. "It is who we are. It's what really defines the landscape of Wisconsin."
Posted by Zach Schneider