During 2012-2013, The Ridges Sanctuary coordinated a project to develop best management practices regarding land use issues that affect groundwater quality and its impact on the Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana). The Hine’s has been listed a federally endangered species since 1995 and unlike other dragonflies, it spends four to five years in its larval stage. Throughout this time, period the Hine’s survival is dependent on sustained groundwater quality and quantity, fed through karst bedrock into coastal wetland habitat. Door County provides the most protected habitat for the Hine’s. There are 12 areas throughout the peninsula designated as critical habitat, although Hine’s have been identified at additional sites.
In 2008 the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey delineated the groundwater contribution areas or the “recharge zones” feeding the Hine’s habitat sites. (They used the same type of model that well-head protection projections use.) The maps created through this project are management resources enabling local government and landowners to protect and preserve endangered resources and groundwater.
It’s pretty simple. Protection of groundwater can have major impacts on your health, your wallet and the local business community, as well as on biodiversity. Everyone can make a difference. Depending on your area of interest, you can:
- Learn more about conserving groundwater quality; Read the complete Hine’s best management practices report:
- Check out the initial report on the areas supplying groundwater to Hine’s habitat in Door County, WI; Read Cobb and Bradbury 2008: BradburyandCobb2008
- See the groundwater contribution areas important to protecting Hine’s habitat in Door County on the Door County Web Map: http://map.co.door.wi.us/map/
- Explore alternatives to traditional lawn care at SafeLawns in Door County: http://www.doorpropertyowners.org/safe-lawns-indoor-county
- Use Door County Greenprint to guide development while protecting groundwater: http://tplgis.org/DoorCounty_Greenprint/
- Contact the Door County Land Trust for options in conservation easements: www.doorcountylandtrust.org/protect_your_land.htm
- Learn more about the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/hed/hins_fct.html