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Groups receive funds for volunteer monitoring efforts

Published by Central Office May 30, 2017

Contact(s): Eva Lewandowski, 608-264-6057

[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to correct that the funding groups receive are not grants and to correct how the groups use the funds.  We regret the errors.]

MADISON - Twenty-one Wisconsin organizations, local governments and projects will share a combined $85,000 contribution from the Department of Natural Resources to expand volunteer efforts to help monitor Wisconsin's natural resources.

This funding is part of the Citizen-based Monitoring Partnership Program, through which DNR has supported 261 high-priority monitoring projects since 2004. Sponsoring organizations typically contribute nearly $4 in donated time and money for every $1 the state provides toward these projects.

Citizen-based monitoring helps the department meet priority data needs through the collection of valuable information regarding Wisconsin's plants, animals, and habitats. In 2017-2018, efforts will focus on monitoring resources ranging from native mussels in the Milwaukee River Basin to water quality monitoring in northern Wisconsin and sandhill and whooping crane populations.

Volunteers conduct fish monitoring.
Volunteers conduct fish monitoring.
Photo Credit: Ozaukee County

"These volunteer efforts help us better understand, manage, and protect our natural resources, while also allowing us to make the most of state funds," said Eva Lewandowski, DNR conservation biologist. "The projects we are funding this year represent the best of citizen-based monitoring and what volunteers can achieve."

Citizen-based monitoring is widespread and successful in Wisconsin; more than 180 organizations rely on volunteers each year to collect information about the health and distribution of plant and animal species and water quality. Some projects, like the Wisconsin Bat Program, provide crucial statewide datasets, while others address more local issues, like fish monitoring in Ozaukee County. The funding goes towards training, monitoring equipment, and project coordination, all of which support the groups in collecting priority data.

A volunteer photographs a bumble bee so that its identification can be verified.
A volunteer photographs a bumble bee so that its identification can be verified.
Photo Credit: Susan Carpenter, UW-Arboretum

"There are citizen-based monitoring projects throughout Wisconsin, and volunteers range from schoolchildren all the way up to retirees getting outdoors and monitoring plants, animals, and waters," Lewandowski says. "We are very fortunate in Wisconsin to have so many volunteers willing to dedicate their time to caring for our natural resources."

Below is a list of the projects and their sponsoring organizations by geographic area:

North

Northeast

South

Southeast

Southwest

West Central

Statewide

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773