Governor Evers Visits Future Bay of Green Bay
Governor Tony Evers (center) and Chairman Tehassi Hill of the Oneida Nation (right) hear about plans for the new Reserve from Emily Tyner (left), Director of Freshwater Strategy at UW-Green Bay.
Auspicious weather and soaring bald eagles graced Governor Tony Evers’ tour of the Ken Auer’s Nature Area, proposed site in Wisconsin’s future Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Once designated, the Reserve will help protect and manage the largest freshwater estuary in the world within one of the largest reservoirs of freshwater on the planet.
“I’m proud of the investments we’ve made in protecting our waters and ensuring they remain available for folks across our state,” said Governor Evers. “This federal designation will enable us to build on our work with our partners at UW-Green Bay and the federal level to bring even more resources and attention to this critically important ecosystem.”
Evers’ visit recognized the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s recent grant from Wisconsin Coastal Management to support the creation of a management plan for what will become the 32nd Reserve in the national System of Reserves.
Local and regional partners joined the Governor on his tour. They included Mayor of Green Bay Eric Genrich and representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Crossroads at Big Creek, Brown County; The Nature Conservancy; Port of Green Bay; and Green Bay Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department.
“All of those local values, interests, and concerns are considered in the Reserve’s management plan process,” says Rebecca Roth, executive director of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA). “The locally relevant issues for the Bay of Green Bay contribute to the overall capacity of the Reserve System, and in return this new Reserve will benefit from the experiences of all the others.”
Local commitment for the future Bay of Green Bay Reserve was evident in the range of partners who attended, including Chairman Tehassi Hill of the Oneida Nation, which provided one of the first letters of support for the Reserve.
Every year, more than 50,000 students experience the estuary “in their backyard” through the education and public outreach programs run by National Estuarine Research Reserves like the one proposed for Bay of Green Bay. We’re looking forward to bringing these opportunities to the communities around the Bay of Green Bay!