The waters off of Door and Kewaunee counties could eventually become part of the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary. Supporters of the sanctuary, which would include waters off of Sheboygan, Ozaukee and Manitowoc counties, are more optimistic that it will become a reality with the election of Tony Evers as Wisconsin Governor. Outgoing Governor Scott Walker withdrew support from the project last year. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first proposed the sanctuary Kewaunee and Door counties were considered as part of the plan. Pabich says NOAA scaled back the plan, which now covers nearly 1100-square miles from Sheboygan County up to Manitowoc County. Pabich adds once the sanctuary is established it could be expanded.
The proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary would protect 37 shipwrecks and 80 potential shipwreck sites. Pabich says Door County also needs to assess potential impacts a sanctuary might have on the Lake Michigan fisheries.