Planning is currently underway by McDonald Companies with grant support from The NRDA Trustee Council to improve the fisheries and shoreline habitats near South Bay Marina. The objectives are to support fish production by refurbishing damaged rock reefs, designing for shore bird environments and promoting public use and access to the bay as a natural resource.
Stakeholder kick-off sessions were held on Sept 10 and 11 and lead by McDonald’s consultants, Edgewater Resources of St. Joseph, MI. Edgewater is experienced in coastal engineering and marina design and brings a significant amount of experience from work with Great Lakes communities and private clients. Stakeholder groups included over 45 professionals and lay people who contributed in the following areas.
The improvements are along the north shoreline of the South Bay Marina property. The Concept Study and Design work is scheduled for completion early in 2019.
McDonald Companies investments are being supported by grant funds provided through the Fox River Green Bay NRDA Trustee Council. Grant support for this project will further promote recovery and long-term sustainability of fisheries and wildlife consistent with the Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Lower Fox River/Green Bay NRDA Restoration Area.
This website will be one of our main communication tools for those involved and interested. The link below is to the presentation created for attendees at the end of the two-day Stakeholder Session. Please feel free to review it. Given this was the first group effort to help us with the project, keep in mind that when looking through the presentation, it represents a starting point and is subject to further development and change. We will post significant updates as the project moves forward.
Our general process for completing the work is as follows:
DRAFT CONCEPT PLAN INCLUDED IN NRDA GRANT APPLICATION
PLANS FOR IMPROVEMENTS
Fishery Resource Enhancements
McDonald Companies will refurbish and extend two rock reefs to improve existing fisheries habitat. The reefs were damaged by wave and high water in recent years. The reefs are along the northern shoreline of our South Bay Marina property. The reef structure located furthest east, will include a walkway along the top surface to provide for public use and increased fishing access.
When completed, over 28 acres of fisheries habitat will be greatly improved in the area. The existing rock reefs (eastern finger is shown in picture), have become less effective spawning grounds because much of the original stone and gravel was washed ashore from high water and wave action. The old structures will be overlain with various diameter stone and gravel per WDNR recommendations.
A third and new, 300’ long rock finger point will be constructed at a future date and located west of the existing structures to increase the overall size of the fisheries habitat area. McDonalds proposes to add two fish stick structures in conjunction with the reefs to create additional fish habitat.
The fish species that will will benefit from these improvements are panfish, Small Mouth Bass, Walleye and Great Lakes Spotted Muskie.
The improved rock reef barriers will not only create more habitat for fish, they will help protect shoreline from northeastern winds, allowing sediment to build beach and mudflat environments for shorebirds. Additionally, the reef’s protection will help allow aquatic plants to grow and survive.
Public Use Enhancements
The concept study also calls for an approximate 100’ long ADA compliant dock for public access with launch systems suitable for small sail boats and kayaks. The ADA compliant dock will be highly utilized during summer months, providing water access for a growing number of area youth and adults through organizations promoting fishing, sailing and other forms of water recreation. Open to public launch of kayaks and canoes, the dock is also a good location for bay access for fishing and hunting. The dock system proposed has the same standard ADA features currently on other docks along the Fox River making it familiar to people with disabilities and others who have used those access points.