Evers advances adding Green Bay estuary to national conservation network | Wisconsin Public Radio
UW-Green Bay researchers say federal designation could enhance coordination with other estuaries
Gov. Tony Evers is backing an effort that would add Green Bay’s estuary to a national network of estuaries focused on conservation.
In a statement Thursday, Evers said he would formally request the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration add Green Bay to the National Estuarine Research Reserve, or NERR, System, a network of nearly 1.4 million protected acres.
Becoming a member of the network would mean “more resources and attention to this critically important ecosystem,” said Evers, a Democrat campaigning for a second term against Republican challenger Tim Michels.
Green Bay is the world’s largest freshwater estuary, according to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay researchers.
The governor’s request effectively clears way for UW-Green Bay researchers spearheading the effort to submit a detailed request to the NOAA by late November, said Emily Tyner, the university’s director of freshwater strategy and state lead on the project.
Estuaries are typically bodies of water where rivers connect with seas or oceans. The national network consists of 30 sites across the U.S. coastline, which includes the Great Lakes region. Its goal is to protect and study estuary systems and crucial wetlands.
The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is Wisconsin’s sole member of the national network and one of two on the Great Lakes. Becoming a member of the network can take four to six years. Green Bay began its first steps in the process in 2019.
Tyner recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” to discuss the effort. She talked about how joining the National Estuarine Research Reserve System can help researchers coordinate conservation projects, keep tabs on water quality and draw public interest.