Bad River Watershed Association

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Dorothy Lagerroos with BRWA Chair Sjana Schanning

Despite the threat of thunderstorms, a cool wet breeze coming off the big lake, and temperatures that sat stubbornly below 60°, about 40 Bad River Watershed Association members and supporters came out to enjoy time together at the Summer Solstice Celebration at Prentice Park on Saturday June 22nd. Live music, a raffle, beer, amazing food (who would have guessed a hot dog bar could be SO tasty) and good people overlooking Lake Superior… really, who could ask for more?

It was such a pleasure to be able to introduce everyone to our new Executive Director, Tony Janisch and to our new Volunteer Coordinator, Mariana Brewster. I really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with members that I had met before and to meet new BRWA supporters as well.


It was also an honor to present Dorothy Lagerroos with this year’s Karen Danielson Award. The award was created in 2009 as a way to honor the memory of our founding board member and dedicated volunteer, Karen Danielson. Karen was a strong voice for the Association and took on many different roles within the organization, including field volunteer, committee member, events planner, board member and board president. This award is given annually to a dedicated volunteer who shows the same energy and passion for the Bad River Watershed Association.

Dorothy has been an integral part of the Association since its inception in 2002. Along with several friends and concerned citizens, Dorothy helped form a vision for a citizen based watershed organization. As a Natural Resources Professor at Northland College, she was in the fortunate position of having classrooms full of eager volunteers. Dorothy used her classes to successfully start the culvert program, a flagship of the Bad River Watershed Association. With her guidance, the students and other volunteers mapped the locations of over 1000 culverts in the watershed, prioritizing which should be replaced first to make the biggest impact in the health of the rivers. She helped create the needs assessment and strategic plan for culvert replacement that helped open the door to the funding necessary to turn planning into restoration.

Dorothy took the lead role on writing and managing many grants that funded culvert replacements, the purchase of water quality monitoring kits, and indeed the grant that moved the BRWA from an all volunteer organization to one with paid staff. Most recently, Dorothy invested significant effort on the Executive Director Search Committee, leading much of the process and ultimately helping us find the right person for the job.

Dorothy has served as volunteer, board member, party planner, fundraiser, committee member, grant writer and as a mastermind behind much of the growth and development of the Association over the last 11 years. Should you see her around town, please thank her for all her time and effort on behalf of the Bad River Watershed Association.

We are also grateful to the many individuals and businesses in the area that donated time, food and raffle items for this event: Papa Squat and the Bumpin’ Uglies Band; Mary Dougherty; Big Top Chautauqua; Big Water Coffee Roasters; Solstice Outdoors; Heart Graphics; Apostle Islands Booksellers; Patagonia; Designer’s Outlet; Jeff Peters; Community Roots Children's Space; Chequamegon Co-Op; Washburn IGA; Super One Foods; WalMart Supercenter; and to the BRWA Committee members and Board members who helped pull it all together!


BRWA Names New Executive Director

May 20, 2013

After a long vacancy and an intensive search, the Bad River Watershed Association (BRWA) is pleased to announce that Tony Janisch has been selected as its new executive director.

Prior to coming to BRWA, Janisch served as the executive director for the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory on the shores of Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Janisch has also lived in the Chicago area, working as an instructor for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and as the Environmental Education Supervisor for the Forest Preserve District of Will County.

BRWA is excited about Janisch’s significant experience in communications and education, budgeting, and management skills that he will bring to the organization.  Janisch will be starting his position with BRWA on June 3, 2013.

Despite an overcast, cold and snowy May visit to Ashland, Wisconsin native Janisch said “I am very excited to be moving back to Wisconsin and helping to protect and preserve the waters of the Bad River and the Lake Superior basin.”

“We are excited to have Tony joining BRWA to help us make the next ten years as productive as the last decade has been,” stated board president Sjana Schanning.


Lake Superior Magazine announces 2012 Achievement Award Winner



October 16, 2012


Lake Superior Magazine is honored to introduce the winner of its 2012 Achievement Award – The Bad River Watershed Association. The award was announced in the October/November issue of Lake Superior Magazine currently available on the newsstands.

The award will be formally presented at the November 15 meeting of the association in the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute building at Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, at 6 p.m.

The Bad River Watershed Association (BRWA), based in Ashland, was formed in 2002. Its mission encompasses education about the watershed, developing ways to connect residents to the watershed and activities geared toward protecting the water quality of the rivers, streams and Lake Superior.

Despite the small size of the area population and of the association membership, the group has undertaken many ambitious and critical projects within and slightly beyond the large watershed. Volunteers do regular monitoring of water quality, establishing a base of data helpful in reviewing future developments. The association has connected federal programs to local governments to replace inadequate culverts in the district and for other projects. It has also begun working with landowners to encourage water-health practices.

“Our annual Achievement Award is meant to honor and call attention to the work of groups or individuals who have significantly contributed to the well-being of Lake Superior and its people,” says Lake Superior Magazine editor Konnie LeMay. “For us, the Bad River Watershed Association is a perfect choice. It demonstrates through its staff and volunteers that people can make a difference for water quality. The association also can serve as a true role model for other small communities around Lake Superior also interested in protecting their watersheds.”

Lake Superior Magazine began giving out an annual Achievement Award in 1994. The bimonthly, full-color magazine has subscribers in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and 26 foreign countries. It is part of the family-owned Lake Superior Port Cities Inc. with offices at 310 E. Superior St., Ste. 125, Duluth, MN 55802. The 33-year-old company produces books, calendars, maps, posters and its Lake Superior Collection of products. For details, visit here or call 888-BIG LAKE (888-244-5253) or 218-722-5002.

Past winners

2011: Mike Link & Kate Crowley and Josephine Mandamin – walked around Lake Superior

2010: Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society

2009: The Great Waters Initiative

2008: Kurt Soderberg, retired executive director, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District in Duluth

2007: The Earth Keepers Initiative 2006 : Ray Clevenger and the creation of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

2005: Gaylord Nelson

2004: Nature Conservancy

2003: Davis Helberg, retired executive director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

2002: Elmer Engman, diver and founder of “Gales of November” program

2001: Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

2000: Crisp Point Light Historical Society

1999: C. Patrick Labadie, maritime historian

1998: John and Ann Mahan, authors/publishers

1997: North of Superior Marina Marketing Association

1996: Cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan & Ontario

1995: Lake Superior Binational Forum

1994: Craig Blacklock, photographer

Source: Lake Superior Magazine


Other press regarding Achievement Award: October 16, 2012

Minneapolis Star Tribune- October 17, 2012 (scroll down a bit to find it)

Duluth News Tribune Biz Buzz- October 22, 2012 (scroll down a bit to find it)


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BRWAs Priorities Poll

Please rank the questions below based on how you believe BRWA should prioritize emerging water quality issues in the region. (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest - use the "+" selector to vote. 5 votes for highest rank, 4 votes for second highest, etc.)

Establish baseline water quality conditions
Outreach and education
Restore problem erosional areas
Work with local authorities to address water quality issues
Protective waterway designations
» Go to poll »
15 Votes left
Threats To Water Poll

Please rank the questions below based on what you believe is the greater threat to water quality in the region. (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest - use the "+" selector to vote. 5 votes for highest rank, 4 votes for second highest, etc.)

Large-scale agriculture
Failing septic/waste treatment systems
Stream sedimentation, washouts and erosion
Forest management practices
» Go to poll »
15 Votes left

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