Sturgeon Bay – The city’s Ad Hoc NERR Advisory Committee, established in April, continues to work to position the city for selection as a public headquarters for a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).
Mayor David Ward said during the most recent Common Council’s meeting that they’re going after private donations to help foot some of the cost that may be required for the site location. Sturgeon Bay is competing with the cities of Green Bay and Marinette to become the NERR’s headquarters site.
The waters of Green Bay form the world’s largest freshwater estuary, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is leading the charge for that body of water to become the 30th NERR in the country, a designation granted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A NERR is a protected area established by partnerships between NOAA and coastal states. Although research is a NERR’s primary focus, other benefits include opportunities to reconnect people with the water (education), address pollution challenges (stewardship) and introduce citizen-science-based programs to the region (training).
UW-GB’s Site Evaluation Committee will review information and visit possible NERR sites in October. Ward said the Sturgeon Bay committee intends to have its proposal together by mid-September.
“It doesn’t have to be down to the last detail, but we want to present a good proposal,” he said.