Land trusts protect the places that make their communities special. This work takes many shapes but almost always involves protecting water quality. Whether directly by protecting coastal or riverine wetlands or less obviously by protecting groundwater recharge by limiting impervious surfaces further inland, land trusts play a tangible and lasting role in enhancing water resources.
Maybe it’s the fact that our names usually contain the word “land” that throws water quality advocates and the public off but it’s clear that we have work to do to make the case that our work directly impacts our precious water.
GWC spent the better part of last week making that case in Washington D.C. at the Healing Our Waters (HOW) Coalition Great Lakes Day. We met directly with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation members. We also met with the leaders of the HOW Coalition to talk about how our unique relationships within our communities could provide even more leverage for the already compelling case for federal programs like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). And, finally, worked to show the Coalition that land trusts deserve the funding and other support that comes through programs like GLRI.
We’re making strides and with this being the third time in four years we’ve attended the Great Lakes Day event among other efforts we see tangible progress including the recent re-instatement of the land protection focused funding of the Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP).
And, we’ll keep working with you to show leaders across disciplines just how much land trust work supports all Wisconsin resources!
Photo credit: Trisha Moore