Tuesday, November 04, 2014

KBIC Natural Resources Dept. program wins Environmental Stewardship Award for Sand Point restoration

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's Natural Resources Department (KBNRD) program to restore habitat on 33 acres of stamp sand at Sand Point (Baraga, Mich.) earned an international award from the Lake Superior Binational Program this summer. Pictured here with the award are, from left, KBNRD Director Lori Ann Sherman; Tribal Council member Elizabeth Matthews; presenter Lissa Radke, U.S. Coordinator for the Lake Superior Binational Forum; and Restoration Project Coordinator Pam Nankervis, a wildlife biologist with KBNRD. (Photo © and courtesy Barry Drue, L'Anse Sentinel editor. Reprinted with permission)

ASHLAND, Wis. -- A Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department (KBNRD) program is among the winners of this year's Lake Superior Binational Program Environmental Stewardship Awards, given to individuals and organizations that have accomplished significant and successful actions which minimize negative impacts or restore the natural environment in the Lake Superior basin.

The KBNRD multi-year program restored habitat on 33 acres at Sand Point beach (Baraga, Mich.), contaminated for over 100 years by stamp sands -- industrial copper mining waste which was disposed of into a Lake Superior bay and continuously deposited onshore through wave action. With assistance from federal agencies and grant funding, the tribe spread a topsoil cap to cover 33 acres of toxic stamp sands, and planted thousands of native grasses, flowers, and shrubs to filter the toxic chemicals and stabilize an eroding shoreline.

This photo shows some of the habitat restoration at Sand Point as it appeared in 2012. Since then thousands of native plants have been planted to cover the stamp sand and stabilize the shoreline. (Keweenaw Now 2012 file photo)

The plants have also helped increase biodiversity in the area and provided much-needed wildlife habitat, as well as stabilizing the shore.

Visit the KBIC website to read more about the Sand Point restoration project.

An article in the L'Anse Sentinel last August describes the project. Click here to read the article and see recent photos.

Click here to read the article by Diana Magnuson, with many photos, in the October 2014 online issue of Marquette Monthly.

To read more about the Environmental Stewardship Awards and other winners, visit the Lake Superior Binational Program Web site.

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