A group dedicated to preserving the region’s waterways hosted a tour Monday, to raise awareness of these natural resources. Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports the goal was to create stronger connections to the Lower Green Bay and Fox River.
On the shores of the Bay of Green Bay community leaders gather to get an update on efforts to preserve and restore the region’s waterways.
“The goal is to showcase our waterfronts and the fact they are among the biggest natural assets this region has,” said Julia Noordyk of Clean Bay Backers.
This is the “Bringing Back the Bay Tour” put on by the Clean Bay Backers – a citizen’s advisory committee to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – pushing for projects that restore area shorelines on the Lower Green Bay and Fox River.
“It’s critically important to have people engaged with the work being done to improve water quality,” said Beth Olson of the DNR.
The focus was on restoration, such as at Bay Beach where after a 2012 study which showed the water is clean enough for swimming the city of Green Bay began working with the DNR to again offer a swimming beach.
“What we found is Bay Beach is on par with any other Lake Michigan beach,” said Angela Kowalzek–Adrians of Bay-Lake Regional Planning.
The tour also focused on the restoration of wetlands and the removal of invasive plants like Phragmites – to help fish and wildlife.
“We’re expecting a lot of our wildlife and fish to use some of these restored areas. The access will really be a benefit to them as well as for the people who want to come out and enjoy it,” said Amy Carrozzino–Lyon of Bay-Lake Regional Planning.
People who will add income to the local economy – eager to enjoy all these cleaner waters have to offer.
“It’s not only a great natural resource, but it’s great for economic development,” said Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.
An investment the groups says is already paying dividends – a precious resource that must be preserved.
“There has been so much work in this area and so many improvements and we have a really great resource, “said Kowalzek–Adrians. “There is work to be done yet, but what we have here is definitely something to be proud of.”