A Watershed Moment for
Washington Island’s Coffey Swamp
Washington Island, WI – Door County Land Trust is thrilled to announce the protection of a forested property on Washington Island as part of the Coffey Swamp State Natural Area. This property is home to a high quality wet northern forest largely covered with mature white cedar and balsam fir in the canopy. 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.
Coffey Swamp is an ecologically important area that provides habitat for rare plants, animals, and migratory birds, as well as benefits fish by preventing pollution and runoff into the Great Lakes. 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 Coffey Swamp rank as top priorities of conservation partners within the Great Lakes region.
Community Conservation Director Terrie Cooper says, “For over 20 years, the DNR and Door County Land Trust have been working together as partners in the Coffey Swamp State Natural Area. This strong partnership and long history of working together to protect critical ecological lands not just in Coffey Swamp, but throughout Door County has leveraged millions of dollars of state and federal grants with our donor’s private dollars, resulting in a true win-win for conservation and our community.”
The newly protected property is near other conservation land, adding to the protected high-quality forest and wetlands habitat owned by the Door County Land Trust and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at this State Natural Area. Door County Land Trust now protects 733 acres on Detroit Island, Big and Little Susie Islands, and Washington Island, including parts of the Coffey Swamp State Natural Area. Permanent protection of natural lands helps to preserve the watershed corridor and promotes biodiversity by ensuring wildlife the ability to move freely between protected habitats.
Funding for this land purchase is provided by Wisconsin’s Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program. Door County Land Trust’s land protection efforts and the long-term care of protected lands are funded thanks to support from individuals, families, and Door County Land Trust members.
Door County Land Trust will continue land protection efforts in the area, an important step towards preserving the coastal wetlands, forests, and fisheries that support Great Lakes wildlife. The Land Trust must raise an additional $200,000 prior to the end of this year to fund remaining conservation costs and long-term care of the full slate of 2020 land protection efforts. Every contribution makes a difference. To donate to land protection efforts or watch stunning videos of Washington Island from the air, please visit www.DoorCountyLandTrust.org/Vision.