Highlighting Donor Support – A Guest Blog by Bob Boucher

Categories: Blog

“My name is Bob Boucher, I live in Wisconsin, and we also have a cabin in an old growth wilderness area on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For background, I have a M.S. in Water Resource Management, from the UW Madison, with a focus of “Ecosystem Management of Watersheds”.   I was the founder of Milwaukee River Keeper, https://milwaukeeriverkeeper.org and the past executive director of the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, Wisconsin’s oldest land trust. https://www.conservecedarlakes.org

In 2021, I founded the Superior Bio-Conservancy, with Dr. Don Waller (UW-Madison) to restore biodiversity and climate resilience in the western Great Lakes.  A short video gives an overview. https://superiorbioconservancy.weebly.com

In 2015, I had an epiphany about beavers, when I realized the role this keystone species plays in the health of our river’s hydrology and their significance to biodiversity.  I became a “Beaver Believer” and have been studying them ever since. In 2020, in collaboration with Dr. Qian Liao (Hydrologist, Civil Engineer) and Dr. Changshan Wu (GIS, Geography) at the UW Milwaukee we published a report for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). This was the first study to measure how a restored beaver population and their wetland complexes could lower peak flood levels across a full watershed. The Milwaukee River watershed is 900 square miles, and its mouth is in downtown Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The results are significant for America’s response to the climate crisis and protecting cities from flooding.  For Milwaukee, “letting beavers do the work,” would lower peak flood levels an average of 37%. For West Bend, Wisconsin it would lower peak levels 62%. Using MMSD’s metric of water storage value, of $1.95 per gallon, the storage volume calculated, if beavers were protected and restored, could deliver $3.3 billion in flood mitigation value.  This is an ecosystem service, delivered by beavers correctly valued. The additional benefits to biodiversity and water quality are well documented in numerous scientific journals.  In the face of the climate crisis, allowing beavers to restore the natal structure of our watersheds, gives us a cost-effective reduction of flood risk. Beavers are Nature’s key green infrastructure.

The Beaver Institute is a critical player in reducing conflicts and solving problems. I’ve been a financial supporter and advisor from the beginning. They solve problems, which increases acceptance and understanding of how beavers can help us, help ourselves. Beavers can cause nuisance flooding. The Beaver Institute are the trainers of the new guild of landscape master plumbers to manage these situations. Their BeaverCorps Training Program gives the skillset of effective use of flow devices, which allows non-lethal management to flourish. Across North America, beavers are not recognized by the government agencies (State and Federal) who are charged with wildlife management. These institutions are slowly changing but the climate crisis needs an urgent response. Acceptance means co-existence and the Beaver Institute’s work of education and training needs to be amplified and expanded so that all the communities of America, have access to a trained professional in these solutions.  

Beaver Institute’s work needs to be financially supported.  Right now it needs individuals and foundations to amplify it’s work. Please contribute generously.” – Bob Boucher

We are immensely grateful to Bob for his continuous support of Beaver Institute since our inception in 2017. Will you join Bob in supporting us during our Year-End Fundraiser? 


You can also donate via check to:

Beaver Institute, Inc.
14 Mountain Road
Southampton, MA 01073

Thank you!

Mike Callahan, President, and the Beaver Institute Board of Directors


Don’t forget – all donations received between now and the end of the year will have TWICE the impact, thanks to a time-limited dollar-for-dollar matching offer. Click here to make your gift today.