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SAND POINT RESTORATION By Erin Johnston KBIC Lake Superior program coordinator KBIC Sand Point Restoration Site inducted into Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame Baraga Mich.The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community KBIC Sand Point Brownfield Remediation and Habitat Restoration Site was inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame for 2015. The Hall of Fame was cre- ated in 2010 by the Muskegon Environmental Research Education Society to fill a void they identified in honoring long-time supporters of the environment. Categories include nonprofit organizations collegesschools environmental projects businessindustry individual and legacy circle. Sand Point was selected under the environmental projects category. The induction ceremony was held on May 20th in Grand Rapids Michigan. A representative from the KBIC Natural Resources Department attended the ceremony. In 2014 the Sand Point Brownfield Remediation and Habitat Restoration Site also received a Lake Superior Steward- ship Award through the Binational Program. SandPointsresourcessufferedfromvasttonnagesofindustrialcoppermining sands derived from an early 20th century stamp mill. From 1901-1919 the Mass Mill disposed of roughly six billion pounds of stamp sands into Lake Superior four miles north of Sand Point. Sand Point is culturally important for KBIC as it is the site of the pow wow grounds a traditional healing clinic wild rice beds and campgrounds. Historically Sand Point was used by the native people for hundreds of years as indicated by the existence of ancient burial grounds to the east and south of the campgrounds. Since 2006 the KBIC Natural Resources Department with funds from the US Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency has been working to restore the Sand Point site for wildlife native plants and recreational use. After severalyearsofplantingandmonitoringtheimprovementsarenoticeable.Natural ResourceDepartmentstaffhavedocumentedanincreaseinpollinatorsinthenative plant garden and increased use of the area by song birds geese deer turtles and other wildlife. The fitness trail has also become a popular spot for walkers and joggers. A floating bridge was constructed in 2014 to connect the light house campground area to the walking trail at the Sand Point Restoration Site. Work will continue in 2015 to enhance the area for future generations of people and wildlife. Fall beachgrass planting One aspect of the Sand Point restoration involves planting beachgrass. Beachgrass is native to the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes. It is more strongly rhizomatous underground roots with shoots less sensitive to high temperatures and somewhat longer-lived than European beachgrass. This tough perennial has proved to be the best plant for initial stabilization of moving sand. Stems from the plant form a mechanical barrier which slows and then traps moving sand. There were two days of planting with over twenty people contributing to the successful completion of this project. OnthefirstdayalargenumberofvolunteersfromtheEarthkeeperscovenant organizedbyJonMagnusonfromtheCedarTreeInstitutecameinconjunctionwith a Liturgy of Loss and Hope Benediction held near Eagle Rock. A midday break was taken to attend the Annual KBIC Harvest Feast. Volunteers and staff had a chance to socialize with each other share a bountiful meal having both traditional and non-traditional foods to select from and listen to songs of celebration. The last of the plants were put in the following weekend with an afternoon campfire break to warm-up. Earthkeepers KBIC staff and community members contributed their time and energy on a cold fall day to planting beach grass at the Sand Point site. photo Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department staff 30000 culms of beach grass were planted over a half mile along the shoreline at the Sand Point Restoration area in the fall of 2014. photo by KBIC NRD staff The Benefit Transfer Method is a federally accepted valuation method used to value ecosystem services Consideration of Environmental Benefits in the Evaluation of Acquisition Projects under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance HMA Programs. FEMA Mitigation Policy FP-108-024-01 Over seven generations 140 years the St. Louis River watershed will provide between 237 and 687 billion in services to society at no cost to any of us. NaturesbenefitsintheSt.LouisRiverwatershedContinued from page 1 that the St. Louis River watershed provides between 5 and 14 billion per year in ecosystem services. The services that were valued include flood control clean water wildlife habitat recreation and carbon sequestration among others. It is important to note that while these dollar numbers appear to be very large they are actually underestimates. This is because there are several areas in which the value of ecosystem services could not be valued due to a lack of peer reviewed data such as the open water portion of the St. Louis River. If this data were to become available it would only increase the value of the services provided by the watershed. The Fond du Lac Band hosted a workshop on June 24th to release the report and to begin the process of identifying partnerships and methods to fill in some of the data gaps identified in the valuation report. The workshop was very well attendedbyrepresentativesoftribalfederalandstateagencies.Thereporthasbeen well received and the foundation for collaborative inter-agency efforts to enhance and expand the ecosystem valuation of the St. Louis River watershed is in place. Ultimately the major goal of this project is to highlight the economic benefit that nature provides to society and give those long-term benefits a voice in the environmental assessment and permitting process for large industrial operations. Editors note All quotes in this article are reprinted from The Value of Natures Benefits report. A workshop to release the The Value of Natures Benefits in the St. Louis River Watershed report was held on June 24th. Attending the workshop were representatives of tribal federal and state agencies. The workshop was hosted by the Fond du Lac Band. photo by Esteban Chiriboga PAGE 11 MAZINAIGANFALL 2015