The Clean Bay Backers Work to Promote the Health of the Lower Fox River & Bay

The Clean Bay Backers is a diverse group of public, private, and nonprofit members who act as the Citizen Advisory Committee to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern. They represent the community’s interest in creating a better future by restoring the health of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay.

For the past four years, the group has coordinated the “Bringing Back the Bay Tour” targeted for community leaders and elected officials. The tour topics change every year, but focus on environmental concerns and restoration efforts in the Green Bay Area of Concern. Last year’s tour focused on innovative agricultural solutions and invited attendees on a tour of Brickstead Dairy and Brandenburg Acres showcasing Conservation Efforts of these Fox River Basin agricultural producers. This year, the tour will focus on shoreline revitalization through restoration and will offer guided tour stops at Bay Beach, Green Isle Park, and Ken Euers restoration area.

The Fox River & Green Bay Area of Concern:
An area of Concern (AOC) is geographic area in the Great Lakes that has experienced pronounced environmental degradation. Lower Green Bay (out to long Tail Point and Point au Sable) and the Fox River below the De Pere Dam were designated as one of five Great Lakes Areas of Concern in Wisconsin. This area was designated mainly because of contaminated sediment, polluted water and lost or altered habitat. Before the 1970s, untreated sewage and industrial wastes were often dumped directly into the river. Consequently, sediments in the Fox River were contaminated in many areas. Clean-up is underway, but several issues remain including polluted runoff, degraded wetlands, and invasive species. Addressing these problems is critical, so that the river and bay can provide both good quality fish and wildlife habitat and redevelopment opportunities.

Clean Bay Backers include representation from:

Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission
Brown County Land and Water
Conservation Department
Citizen volunteers
City of Green Bay
Ducks Unlimited
East Shore Drive Neighborhood Association
Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance
K-12 education
League of Women Voters (Lake Michigan Chapter)
NEW Paddlers Association
NEW Water (Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources University of Wisconsin–Extension
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Wisconsin Marine Association

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