Sustainability and the Apostles
OverviewThe National Park Service is responsible for the stewardship of natural and cultural resources and management of visitor amenities and park infrastructure. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (park) has made significant strides in fostering sustainable practices and promoting innovative solutions to this challenge. In 2005, National Geographic Traveler Magazine named the park our nation's most sustainable national park. In 2005 and 2006, the governments of four of the park's gateway communities (the cities of Ashland, Washburn, and Bayfield and the town of Bayfield) each passed resolutions committing themselves to the goal of sustainability and following The Natural Step - a sustainability framework adopted by communities and organizations around the world.
Currently, environmental management and sustainability initiatives are conducted within the framework of the park's Integrated Environmental Plan (IEP), which fulfills the requirements of the NPS Environmental Management System (EMS) model and the Office of Management and Budget EMS Scorecard. The IEP is an adaptive management system guided by the park's visions and goals for the future. It is fueled by the legal reporting requirements and voluntary sustainability initiatives of the park and managed by staff in clearly defined roles and responsibilities. It proactively addresses park sustainability, providing a long-term decision-making framework.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Sustainability Commitment strives for "maximum sensitivity and protection for the park's (and the planet's) natural and cultural resources, doing so in a way that is economically sensible and considers the short and the long term impacts of our decisions".
The following list outlines some recent actions to park policies, operations, and every day practices that represent the park's commitment to sustainability:
What Can You Do?
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint through energy efficient practices and integrating climate-friendly practices into administration, planning and workforce culture.
Did You Know?
Based on a July, 2004 visitor survey, the most common activities that visitors participated in during their visit included sightseeing (80%), walking on beaches (66%), and photography (57%).