Monday, October 1, 2018

We Energies Foundation backs sturgeon release

Nearly 1,000 young lake sturgeon were added to the Lake Michigan ecosystem Sept. 29 as part of Sturgeon Fest 2018. The sturgeon were tagged before release to provide information about their lifecycle as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen sturgeon population.

The prehistoric fish once numbered millions in Lake Michigan but were decimated through intense fishing. In recent years, sturgeon have been making a comeback, with a little help from some friends. The We Energies Foundation is a longtime supporter of the Riveredge Nature Center’s lake sturgeon reintroduction project and Sturgeon Fest.

Sturgeon Fest celebrates Riveredge Nature Center’s 25-year partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to bring the sturgeon back to the Milwaukee River, where they haven’t been seen for more than a century.

Lakeshore State Park in downtown Milwaukee was the scene for the Sturgeon Fest release, an annual event that also includes games and crafts for kids, educational booths and food trucks.

“Supporting this sturgeon initiative aligns directly with our foundation’s environment and education focus areas,” said Tom Jansen, a manager in WEC Energy Group’s Environmental department and a Riveredge board member, who attended the event. “The event improves the environment and helps raise awareness about this threatened species.” 

The We Energies Foundation’s environment focus supports environmental education, resource preservation and conservation programs that guide communities in its service area toward a sustainable future.

We Energies is a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group. 

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Sturgeon Fest attendees at Lake Shore State Park lined the park's banks to watch the sturgeon release.

One of the young sturgeon prior to release.

Nearly 1,000 young sturgeon were brought to the park for release in Lake Michigan.

Richard Gonzalez, a member of the Oneida Nation, Iroquois Confederation, Turtle Clan, 
conducted a blessing and released one of the sturgeon.

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