MADISON — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole will retire on Nov. 23, after a 35 year career in public service, according to a press release from Gov. Tony Evers.

During his tenure, Cole led the WDNR to deliver on clean water for all policies, developing strategies for climate resilience, rural prosperity, outdoor recreation, and public health and safety, Evers said. Under his leadership between 2019 and 2021, the WDNR made significant grant and loan awards to Wisconsin farmers, local municipalities, and stakeholders to promote clean water initiatives including more than $587 million in Clean Water Fund loans for municipal wastewater treatment projects and more than $148 million in Safe Drinking Water loans, with many funded projects occurring in historically underserved communities.

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