Water Hero: Kathleen Hanson

“As the Surface Water grant manager for the DNR I awarded grants to improve and protect Wisconsin lakes and rivers.”
Waterways statewide
Middleton, WI

How do you work to protect Wisconsin’s waters?
For the past eight years I worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as grant manager for the Surface Water Grant program. This program provides financial assistance to maintain and improve Wisconsin lakes and rivers. My husband and I are also part of the Sierra Club and can often be found kayaking.

What are your biggest concerns right now?

I have concerns about Wisconsin’s water quality, lack of federal funding to address poor water quality, and the spread of aquatic invasive species from one Wisconsin lake to another lake. As Surface Water grant manager for the Wisconsin DNR I focused my energy on awarding grants to qualified recipients to help improve and protect Wisconsin lakes and rivers.

What keeps you strong and inspired in the face of challenges?
Having worked in the DNR for [a total of] 16 years, I had the pleasure of working with passionate biologists, financial specialists, and a host of dedicated individuals who aspired to educate the public and protect Wisconsin lakes and rivers. Working with such talented folks kept me strong—and inspires me to this day.

What’s your favorite “water spot” in Wisconsin?
I don’t know that I have a favorite. I recently kayaked the Pheasant Branch Creek entering from Lake Mendota.

Learn about other Water Heroes in Wisconsin:
River Alliance Water Heroes – 2018