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VIDEO: Residents join forces to move ‘floating island’ with their boats

Residents in Wisconsin collectively joined their boats to create enough power to move a giant floating bog on the Chippewa Flowage. (Source: KBJR)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:02 PM PDT
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CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE, Wis. (KBJR/Gray News) - This week in Wisconsin, it was a group effort when community residents used their boats to move a giant floating bog on the Chippewa Flowage.

“It’s one of the first things you look for when you come here in the morning: ‘Where’s the bog?’” Denny Reyes said, who owns The Landing Restaurant and Resort nearby.

KBJR reports the bog is several decades old and formed when the Chippewa River was dammed roughly 100 years ago.

As soil and plant matter combined, patches of peat began to float around the Chippewa Flowage. The fertile soil was the perfect habitat for plants and animals, and soon an entire ecosystem began to thrive on the bog.

However, for Reyes and other residents near the lake, the bog slowly floats into shore and blocks a nearby bridge regularly.

“It’s almost every year. It takes a community effort, and you have to have the winds at your back to push,” Reyes said.

With all of the animals that call it home, the state government considers it a protected habitat, meaning residents cannot break the bog up.

On Tuesday, 25 boats came together to push the bog away from the bridge, which is the only passage between the sides of the flowage.

Property owners in the community lent a helping hand, but the bog got stuck on a pile of rocks despite their efforts.

“When we move it, you got to get it in the right spot, or it can be back in a couple of days,” homeowner Greg Kopke said.

The residents said if the blog moves back to the bridge, they will be ready to push it away once again.

Updates continue with the Lake Chippewa Flowage Resort Association.

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