Reconstruction of the Cat Island Chain is a success so far

The Cat Island Restoration Project is called a win-win for wildlife and Green Bay's economy


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The Cat Island Restoration Project is a success so far, according to city and state leaders. The project in Green Bay is helping to bring back habitat for dozens of shore birds and fish.

The southern edge of the bay of Green Bay, where this project is taking place, used to be one of the largest and most diverse habitat areas in the Great Lakes. However, it hasn’t been the same after storms in the 1970s.

“Today is to show the Cat Island Chain Project as we’re actually under operation,” said Dean Haen, Director of Brown County Port & Resource Recovery Department. “We’re taking clean sands from the other harbor and putting it into the other islands which creates the habitat and all the other environmental benefits that go along with this.”

Restoring the habitat for area animals is just starting, but up to 30 species of shore birds are already back to calling the area home.

“It’s very exciting for us to see the results of this so quickly and to have an important bird such as the Piping Plover successfully nest here, has been amazing and great,” said Gary Van Vreede, Wildlife Biologist for the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service in Wisconsin.

A big supporter of the project, U.S Representative Reid Ribble (R-Green Bay), joined the tour Friday along with U.S Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who said this project is non-partisan.

“Just the economic benefit, you’ve got to dredge the channel here for the economic commerce here and this is an incredibly efficient way of utilizing those drudge materials right here to create a great habitat for wildlife and restore these shore lines,” said Johnson.

The goal is to restore the string of barrier islands to protect what’s left of the wetland habitat.

“It’s going to be great and I think you’ll see fish populations improve, you’ll see water clarity behind the Cat Island Chain and Duck Creek Delta Chain,” said Haen.

For more information on the project click here.