UW-Green Bay to host public meetings to share updates on the site selection for the natural areas of the Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR)

Photo of a group of people rice planting from a boat in the Bay of Green Bay with the text, Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is hosting two events in September to share the preliminary recommendation for the natural area site(s) of the Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Both events will offer the same information and are open to the public.

1) In-person on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 1-2:30 pm (central time) at the S.T.E.M. Innovation Center on the UW-Green Bay Campus, 2019 Technology Way, Green Bay, WI 54311.

2) Virtual on Thursday, September 8, 2022, 3:30-5 pm (central time) via Zoom. If requested upon joining the virtual meeting, the meeting ID is 995 5126 4991, and the attendee access code is NERR. Participants may also join the meeting by phone by using this toll-free number +1 312 626 6799, and meeting ID 995 5126 4991, and attendee access code 688730.

Registration (found here) is encouraged but not required.

“We have reached a significant milestone in the designation of the Bay of Green Bay NERR, and the state team looks forward to hearing feedback on the proposed natural area sites and sharing updates on the designation,” said Emily Tyner, director of freshwater strategy at UW-Green Bay. “As we have worked towards site-selection, I have been energized by excitement in the region for the NERR and the associated opportunities that come with designation, including student engagement, water quality research, science training and community stewardship.”

Matt Dornbush, dean of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business and chair of the NERR Site Coordination Committee noted, “The Bay of Green Bay estuary is among the largest in the world and is precisely why people have called this region home for thousands of years. It’s also indisputable that freshwater will play an increasingly important role in our economy and in decisions as to where people choose to live,” said Dornbush. “This designation helps us collectively celebrate, protect, and build on the economic opportunities of our abundant freshwater. Designation will be a win for the region for decades to come.”

A map of the preliminary recommended natural area sites can be found here and a downloadable version here. The NERR designation is non-regulatory and would bring attention to the Bay of Green Bay as an important waterway in our area. Only publicly owned or lands open to the public are eligible to be included in the NERR and no new land will be purchased for the designation.

This particular site selection effort is a culmination of several years of local, grassroots-support for a research reserve in Wisconsin. The proposed site[s] presented follow a comprehensive evaluation process that sought the views of the public, affected landowners, and other interested parties. State and local agency representatives, tribal nations, estuarine experts, and industry representatives served as committee members and evaluated site proposals. Recordings from previous public meetings about the Bay of Green Bay NERR designation can be found here.

Comments on the recommended reserve site can be shared verbally at the public hearings and in written statements. Written comments should be sent to Emily Tyner, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Director of Freshwater Strategy, at tynere@uwgb.edu. All written comments must be received no later than seven days following the public meetings (September 15, 2022).

What is a National Estuarine Research Reserve?
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR) is a national network of 30 sites across the coastal US, including the Great Lakes, designed to protect and study estuaries and their coastal wetlands. The mission of the NERR System is, “To practice and promote stewardship of coasts and estuaries through innovative research, education, and training using a place-based system of protected areas.” Established through the Coastal Zone Management Act, the reserves represent a partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states. NOAA provides funding and national guidance, and each site is managed on a daily basis by a lead state agency or university with input from local partners. For the Bay of Green Bay NERR, UW-Green Bay is the state lead for the designation process. At the local level, a Green Bay NERR will offer a coordinating force to manage, restore, and protect the Green Bay ecosystem, with a programmatic focus on four sectors: research, education, stewardship, and training.

About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.


You may also like...