‘Cat Islands’ Near Green Bay Are Being Restored

Chain Of Islands Off Western Shore Of Bay Eroded, Disappeared 25 Years Ago

Above, crews working on restoring the Cat Islands in Green Bay. Photo: Public Domain.

A chain of three small islands known as the Cat Islands are being restored in Green Bay, after they eroded and almost disappeared 25 years ago.

The islands are off the western shore of Green Bay and used to be home to turtles, birds and fish like bluegills and largemouth bass. Beginning last year Brown County began taking dredge spoils from the commercial shipping channel and trucking them out to the islands via a temporary roadway.

Robert Rosenberger, a water management specialist for the Department of Natural Resources, says project is partially funded from a Natural Resources Damage Assessment associated with the cleanup of PCBs from the Fox River.

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“The material that they dredge out is clean,” said Rosenberger. “It’s not contaminated with PCBs or any other contaminants, its clean material. And Brown County had a goal of two things. They wanted to reduce the cost of dredging and disposing of the spoils and they wanted to do something that was good for the environment.”

The project is in its first stage. Rosenberger says it will take 20 to 30 years for it to be finished.

“They’ll be re-vegetated with trees and shrubbery,” said Rosenberger. “The wetland plants will grow up in the shallow water areas. They’re already very popular for a number of different shorebirds and waterfowl. We’ve seen a lot of immediate results from the project.”

Rosenberger says some provisions will be eventually made so people can access the islands.