Giving Confidence to Citizen Advocates

Dec 27, 2016 | Citizen Advocacy, Groundwater

Marty Wilke and her husband live on Spring Lake near Neshkoro, Wisconsin. They’ve had their place since 2012 but finally made the move full-time last year. As residents in the Central Sands region, they are all too aware of the depleting water levels of nearby lakes. Fortunately, their lake is fed by 22 springs and hasn’t seen a dip in the water level… at least not yet. Residents on neighboring lakes can’t say the same. They’ve seen water levels go down, down, down every year for the last three or four years due to a sharp increase in the number of high capacity wells in the area. Some lakes have virtually disappeared.

So, why then, would Marty care so much about the problem when her lake isn’t affected? When asked why she got involved in the Central Sands Water Action Coalition (CSWAC), she answered quite matter-of-factly, but her underlying message is an important one to share.

“The more we get engaged and listen to what’s going on around us, it’s impossible to not realize if we don’t join together we will lose what we have. We all need to be a part of it. We can’t let just a few fight for what is all of ours.”

And since she joined in 2013, Marty has had great success as the Membership Chair for CSWAC. Working together with the committee, she led the way to tripling the number of member groups now a part of the coalition. This past winter, two bad groundwater bills died (or were at least delayed) because of the passion, ambition and strength of this group.

“Taking on a leadership role in CSWAC would have been too overwhelming without the support and guidance from River Alliance. Watching how they manage situations, knowing they have the knowledge, network and resources to support us has given me great confidence.”

River Alliance of Wisconsin is only as strong as our members. It takes a lot of Martys to affect change. With your support, together we can give confidence to citizens like Marty who will fight for our waters. Don’t let Marty be one of a few fighting for what belongs to all of us.