Protecting assets – Insight on Business
Some special initiatives in Northeast Wisconsin are aimed at enhancing, protecting and promoting one of the region’s most important assets—fresh water. The shipping industry through the Port of Green Bay, business and industry along the lakeshore, science and research through colleges and universities, and recreation and tourism are all tied to the water and its amenities. A recent University of Wisconsin-Whitewater study showed the economic impact of recreational fishing alone on Green Bay was about $264 million annually, says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
…UW-Green Bay is leading the multiyear process to establish the NERR in the region surrounding Green Bay.
The non-regulatory NERR designation would bring in at least $1 million in federal funding annually for estuary, wetland, shoreline and freshwater research, education and training, allowing for long-term studies, says Emily Tyner, director of freshwater strategy at UW-Green Bay. The NERR designation would not limit development or restrict land use or activities or add any federal regulation limiting land management or public access.
“Hunting, fishing, commercial boat traffic, shipping — all those things remain the same and continue on as they were in the region,” Tyner says. “It’s really about celebrating fresh water and all the ways that water touches our lives. We’re trying to take a real holistic approach with thinking about the NERR.”