One Step Closer to Another Reserve!

Jan 29, 2024

Late last year, Governor Tony Evers submitted a nomination package to NOAA, requesting that they accept the nomination of a multicomponent site along the Bay of Green Bay.

Great news about Wiscconsin’s proposed new Bay of Green Bay Reserve: NOAA has determined that the final nomination package meets all regulatory requirements. Now the State of Wisconsin and NOAA can begin public outreach and tribal engagement in support of the draft environmental impact statement and management plan. 

This is the culmination of several years of local, grassroots-support for a Reserve in Wisconsin. The proposed sites were selected following a comprehensive evaluation process that sought the views of the public, members of local communities, and other interested parties. State and local agency representatives, tribal nations, estuarine experts, and industry representatives served as committee members and evaluated candidate site areas. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is leading the state’s efforts towards Reserve designation. 

“This nomination embodies the collaboration with partners and the public that is the backbone of the Research Reserve System,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

“Conserving and protecting our natural resources and land continues to be a top priority for my administration, and I am thrilled to see this important effort to designate a site along the bay of Green

Bay as a new National Estuarine Research Reserve move forward,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers “I want to thank everyone at UW-Green Bay, NOAA, and all those involved in this effort, and I look forward to the continued progress to see this designation, which will bolster efforts to study and conserve this important regional ecosystem, realized.”

The Green Bay ecosystem is the largest freshwater estuary in the world, in the largest reservoir of freshwater on the planet, the vitality of which are critical to the current and future prosperity of the broader Northeast Wisconsin region and state. Siting a Reserve on the bay of Green Bay will advance water quality research, educational programming, and technical expertise. 

“We are thrilled at the prospect of a Reserve on the bay of Green Bay,” says Rebecca Roth, executive director of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. “Not only will the Reserve contribute to national policy and science to help sustain the Great Lakes, this region will benefit by the expertise and knowledge of our national System.”

The Green Bay ecosystem is the largest freshwater estuary in the world, in the largest reservoir of freshwater on the planet.

The designation presents an opportunity to engage northeast Wisconsin more fully with the incredible natural resources of the Green Bay ecosystem. It will enhance the region’s economic, cultural, and recreational connections to their waters, while protecting and restoring the Green Bay water ecosystem. The designation will bring national attention to the bay of Green Bay as an important waterway for the state and the Great Lakes region.

“The partnership that can happen by bringing in a national network of coastal research experts will provide information that is locally relevant and nationally significant and bring attention and support to the region to help solve some of the challenges facing our great waterways,” says University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander.

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