Wisconsin Coastal Management Committee Met in Door County

•The Wisconsin Coastal Management Committee met in Door County on Thursday, Sept. 26, for its Autumn meeting.The committee started in Egg Harbor, where it heard from village president Josh Van Lieshout, Door County Land Trust program director Terrie Cooper, Landscapes of Place program manager Dan Collins and other local and state water experts.

The committee is in charge of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, which runs a grant program to fund coastal projects around the state, publishes the annual Great Lakes Chronicle and tries to boost the state’s coastal environment and economy.

“Water is life, and the quality of water determines the quality of life,” said committee chair and Bayfeild, Wis., Mayor Larry MacDonald, quoting Bob Browne, a Lake Superior water quality advocate who died in August.

After the traditional morning meeting, the council members hopped on a bus and went to Sister Bay to discuss beach improvements and to Plum Island to tour the light station.


• The Village of Sister Bay released bids for its beach expansion project.

The project is scheduled to start this fall and be done next May or June. When it’s over, the swimming beach will grow from 55 to 520 feet, the stormwater pipe will be moved farther from the swim area and natural beach vegetation will be planted to clean runoff water before it hits the bay.

The village will also move the existing volleyball court to the new beach, take out the Helm’s dock and replace it with a quiet watercraft launch. The swim dock will stay the same, and the village will build a rock groin in the location of the current kayak launch to keep sand at the beach and away from the marina.

An anonymous donor has donated money to build a new performance pavilion, scheduled to be built by May or June. The village will also relocate underground sewer and water pipes downtown this fall and bury overhead power lines in the spring.

These projects were meant to coincide with the Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of Hwy 42, which was rescheduled for 2015.


• The town hall filled with applause on Saturday, Sept. 28, when the Jacksonport Town Board announced its unanimous decision to not endorse permitting a zip line course in the town.

This summer, Gravity Trails owners Michael Fischer and David Rack applied for a conditional use permit to construct a commercial zip line course on their Elm Drive property in Jacksonport, zoned as general agricultural land.

The town initially supported the permit, but the Door County Resource Planning Committee denied the permit after hearing from neighbors, most opposing the zip line. Neighbors in opposition said a zip line wouldn’t fit the area’s agricultural culture, could potentially create noise and could bring more traffic to Elm Drive.

Fischer and Rack appealed the committee’s decision, which sent the discussion back to the town. The town held a public hearing to discuss the permit, and more than 40 people attended the two-hour hearing.

The issue will now go to the Door County Board of Adjustment, for a hearing tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 pm at the County Government Center in Sturgeon Bay. The hearing will be structured like the resource planning committee meeting in July, with both sides given an opportunity to address the board.

After the Board of Adjustment makes a decision, anyone who feels “aggrieved” by the decision, according to Door County Planning Director Mariah Goode, can appeal the decision within 30 days to take the case to the circuit court.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, awarded a contract for covering Renard Island, an inactive dredged material placement site located in Green Bay, Wis.

The $1,909,300 contract was awarded to Peters Concrete Co., Green Bay. The firm will remove about 250,000 yards of clean sediment from the Bayport Confined Disposal Facility in the city of Green Bay and use it to put down a three-foot cover on the Renard Island placement site.

“Beneficial reuse of dredged material is always a win-win,” said Lt. Col. Robert Ells, district engineer. “Reusing dredged material from an active facility to cover the island allows us to extend the life of the Bayport facility while closing out Renard Island, which has served the community for many years. We are pleased to get this project under way.”

Renard Island served the Green Bay region for nearly two decades as the placement site for sediment from maintenance dredging activities. Located near the mouth of the Fox River about two miles southeast of Bayport CDF, the 55-acre island was constructed in 1979 and was used for dredged material disposal through 1996.

The contract calls for completion of work by spring 2015. Most of the work will be done in late fall to early spring months when the Bayport CDF soil is hard enough to support excavation equipment.