The GBCP Landscape Blueprint

The Lower Fox River & Green Bay Watershed

OUR OPPORTUNITY
The Lower Fox River/Green Bay Ecosystem is challenged by nutrient loading, habitat degradation, and other stressors, but a deep and rich outdoor heritage and a tradition of collaboration yields great potential for tremendous collective impact to improve the system for current and future generations.

A Special Place

One of the largest freshwater estuaries in the world, the Lower Fox River & Green Bay is the historic home to a great diversity of fish and wildlife and provides tremendous ecosystem services to Lake Michigan and the entire Great Lakes.

Blueprint and Map from the Green Bay Land Conservation Partners

Challenges and Opportunities

Blueprint from the Green Bay Land Conservation Partners

The Cat Island Restoration Project is a multi-partner habitat restoration project involving the reconstruction of an island shoal in lower Green Bay. A 2.5-mile long wave barrier, constructed 4 years ago along the remnant Cat Island shoal, will protect and help to restore approximately 1,225 acres of shallow water and wetland habitat behind the shoal (below, @Photo Dynamix). Dredge material from the Green Bay navigation channel will be used to create 272 acres of upland and shoreline habitat behind the wave barrier. Although the project has just begun, the site has already been utilized by federally-listed species including Piping Plover (left, @U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Rufa Red Knot, and Whooping Crane. State-listed species including Forster’s Terns, Common Terns, Caspian Terns, and Great Egrets are also regular habitants of the newly restored portions of the Cat Island shoal.

A SUCCESS STORY

Cat Island from the Green Bay Land Conservation PartnersThe Cat Island Restoration Project is a multi-partner habitat restoration project involving the reconstruction of an island chain in lower Green Bay. A 2.5-mile long wave barrier, constructed 4 years ago along the remnant Cat Island shoal, will protect and help to restore approximately 1,225 acres of shallow water and wetland habitat behind the shoal (below, @Photo Dynamix). Dredge material from the Green Bay navigation channel is being used to create 272 acres of island habitat and improvements to the backwater wetland habitat are also underway. Although the project has just begun, the site has already successfully supported nesting by the federally-listed Piping Plover (left, @U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Rufa Red Knot, and Whooping Crane. State-listed species including Forster’s Terns, Common Terns, Caspian Terns, and Great Egrets are also regular habitants of the newly restored portions of the Cat Island shoal.

Success via Collective Action

Action Plan from the Green Bay Land Conservation PartnersFor many decades, public and private organizations, along with concerned citizens, have worked to restore the health of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay. Countless projects, including the clean-up of contaminated sediment, implementation of innovative pilot projects to improve water quality, and the restoration and protection of important habitat have improved this system, but more work must be done. By combining our knowledge, experience, and resources as we move forward, we can achieve our shared goals to improve quality of life, reduce water treatment costs, promote productive fisheries, enhance recreational opportunities, and increase economic vitality.

What IS the GBCP Landscape Blueprint?

Bay from the Green Bay Land Conservation PartnersThe Green Bay Conservation Partners’ Landscape Blueprint is both the process and products that achieve the collaborative conservation community’s shared missions, mandates, and goals. The shared conversations that take place within the Blueprint process are as important as the products that are produced. The Blueprint allows for collaborative decision making about the kind, quantity, and configuration of lands and waters required to sustain critical ecosystem functions and services while informing decision makers on what activities to undertake, and where. Geospatial and biological information are used to inform models, create tools and maps, and to evaluate every acre of the system. These ultimately feed tangible products—such as story maps, a priority action areas portfolio, decision support tools, and a comprehensive collaborative action strategy—aimed at improving conservation outcomes. Partners and stakeholders will use these products to leverage funding for, plan, and implement projects while ensuring the sustainability of ecosystem services for current and future generations.

The GBCP Landscape Blueprint Timeline

The first year of the Blueprint will consist of two main tasks: the
kick-off phase and the planning phase. The schedule and deliverables
are as follows: