Cat Island Restoration Project Nears Completion
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
SUAMICO, Wis.- An island restoration project nears completion today in the bay of Green Bay. Cat Island has slowly been eroding and it's taken environmentalists and city leaders a long time to get to this point and now they're finally celebrating.
The restoration project will build three islands that will help wildlife and bring back certain wetland species to the area, but this project is also good for the city's economy and it's because of how these islands will be built.
"The reconstructed islands serve as wind and wave barriers," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy regional director, Charlie Wooley.
They will be a barrier to protect more than 1,200 acres of shallow water habitat. As of now just the rocks to protect the islands are in place. They're the initial foundation for where the islands will be set up. It's a project that will ultimately protect everything from the endangered Great Lake pike to egrets and herons.
"It's been a long time in the making and it will probably take 20 years to complete the project," said the Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, Susan Hedman.
It's decades that are needed to build up the islands again using material dredged from the port of Green Bay and keeping the shipping lanes open.
"It'll make sure that we have the ability to bring in goods to this area," said Brown County Executive, Troy Streckenbach.
A move leaders say is good for Green Bay both economically and environmentally.
With the Cat Island foundation complete the next step in the $20 million project will be to start the habitat restoration. This project is funded by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.