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UW-Green Bay receives $126K grant for ecological restoration project

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a grant worth more than $126,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, in support of an ecological restoration project at Point au Sable Nature Preserve.

The grant, announced Monday (July 29) at an event in Milwaukee, will help fund “Restoring Fish Habitat in Green Bay’s Wequiock Creek Estuary,” a project led by co-principal investigators Prof. Bob Howe and Associate Prof. Amy Wolf, both of UW-Green Bay. The funds will allow the pair and their students to begin the second phase of ecological restoration work at Point au Sable, located near campus along the east shore of lower Green Bay. The first portion of the project was primarily land-focused, while this next phase will focus more on water; specifically, targeting shorelines to control invasive species and sedimentation.

“This is a really good opportunity for us to engage students in hands-on ecology, so it’s already been a success,” said Howe, founding Director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. “This is going to give us additional opportunities to do work out there. It’s such a nice place — only four miles from campus, but you get out there and you feel like you’re in a wilderness.”

Undergraduate and graduate students alike conduct research and do restoration work at Point au Sable, and the grant will facilitate additional efforts in that vein, Howe said. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed during summer 2014, with phase two kicking off thereafter. The project is contingent on the University providing matching contributions, which will occur in the form of personnel, student volunteers, ongoing endowment funding from a Fox River group and institutional support of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.

Point au Sable is a prominent peninsula located on the east shore of lower Green Bay, approximately four miles north of the UW-Green Bay campus. This University-owned natural area consists of 181.6 acres of wetland, woodland and shoreline habitats adjacent to about 70 acres of undeveloped private lands. Together, the tracts encompass the largest coastal wetland along the eastern shore of Green Bay.

For more information on Point au Sable and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, visit www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity.

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