Teams of UW-Green Bay staff and students, Oconto Sportsmen’s Club members, Appleton Breakfast Rotary Club members, middle and high school students, and conservation partners will seed ~300 lbs. of wild rice at coastal wetlands along the bay of Green Bay over the next few weeks. This year marks the fifth year of seeding effort as part of the restoration project, informed by UW-Green Bay aquatic vegetation research in lower Green Bay.
A poor harvesting year in 2021 has limited the amount of rice seed available, but restoration seeding will continue at a few key sites with project partners and community members. The project is funded by Ducks Unlimited and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program, among others. Wild rice, or manoomin in Ojibwe, holds important traditional, economic, nutritional, and cultural value in the region for Wisconsin’s First Nation tribes, including the Sokaogan Chippewa Community who harvested some of the rice coming to Green Bay and Menominee Indian High School students who plan to help seed.
Wild rice also benefits waterfowl as an important food source during fall migration and contributes to fish nursery habitat and ecological diversity in coastal wetlands. Historical accounts suggest the wetland grass occurred widely along the shores and river mouths in the bay of Green Bay; however, wild rice has been uncommon to rare in coastal wetlands and tributaries in recent decades.
UW-Green Bay’s monitoring program helps conservation partners learn more about manoomin response in seeded areas and environmental conditions impacting aquatic vegetation. Wild rice re-establishment is one of a series of restoration projects in lower Green Bay and along the Green Bay west shore to enhance coastal wetland habitat for fish and wildlife, improve the health of the bay, and engage communities in conservation.
Participants will hand seed manoomin at 4 sites along the Green Bay west shore on the following dates: Friday 10/22 and Tuesday 11/2- Students seeding at L.H. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, Suamico Tuesday 10/26- Offshore from Ken Euers Nature Area, Green Bay & Seagull Bar State Natural Area, Marinette Thursday 10/28- Offshore from Oconto Sportsmen’s Club, Oconto Media and community members may view seeding from an observation point on land at most locations. For more information about the project or the seeding effort, contact Amy Carrozzino-Lyon, Green Bay Restoration Project Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org, 920-465-5029)