Wetland Resources

For the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Northern Wisconsin, water is life. Protecting water means protecting the watersheds that provide water for their Reservation and people from top to bottom, including uplands, floodplains, and globally important coastal wetlands along Lake Superior. It also means carefully monitoring their land and water resources and developing programs and policies to protect these resources for future generations. As a result of these efforts, the Tribe is protecting water quality, alleviating flooding, protecting habitat for fish and wildlife, and providing natural resources for their people’s sustenance and cultural practices.

The ancestors of today’s Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Northern Wisconsin followed a prophecy telling their people to travel westward to seek a new home “where the food grows on water.” The vast beds of manoomin (wild rice) growing in what we now call the Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs on Lake Superior signaled to the travelers that they’d found this new home. Today, the Sloughs, which have received global recognition for their ecological and cultural importance, continue to provide the natural resources to meet the tribe’s physical and cultural needs.

Our climate is changing. Along the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin, one signal of these changes is the intense storm events that in recent years have dropped many inches of water in just a few hours. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians is working with nature to help manage these changes. By protecting wetlands within the watersheds on their Reservation, Bad River is helping manage water from these big storms. Wetlands help slow the flow of water, disperse its energy, and allow the water to soak into the ground, which replenishes groundwater. These areas also provide habitat for wildlife and a more resilient tomorrow for future generations.