The City of Sturgeon Bay recently announced that they are preparing a bid to become the home of the 30th National Estuarine Research Reserve Center. The efforts put forth by the UW-Green Bay system have resulted in the bay of Green Bay being named a National Estuarine Research Reserve. NERRs are areas that strive to conserve, study and protect coastal and estuary systems nationally, and to support the health of the reserves’ ecosystem, economy, and communities. The title of NERR is paired with a research and visitor center, and the City of Sturgeon Bay is hoping to become the official site. Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward initially sought this opportunity because of his long-standing relationship with UW-Green Bay, as well as his awareness of the importance of our environment. After learning more about the program, Ward put together a committee to help bid on the location of the center. The NERR Advisory Committee was hand-selected based on members’ knowledge of the county’s ecosystem. The committee has so far collected 17 Letters of Support from the area to help support their bid. Mayor Ward describes that the visitor center being located in Sturgeon Bay is a step forward in creating a better future for the great lakes.
If the research and visitor center is located in Sturgeon Bay, there would be other benefits to the county other than the environmental positives. The research and visitor center will most likely have a tour-like section, a place where schools in the area can learn about estuaries and how important they are for the lakes. The center would also help attract tourists to the area looking for an educational visit to learn about our environment and keep it safe.