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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:00am - 9:20am
SYMPOSIA-08: Spectacular Response of Waterbirds to Restoration of Cat Island Chain in Lower Green Bay, Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Robert Howe, Thomas Prestby, Amy Wolf, Erin Giese - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Gary Van Vreede, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Reena Bowman, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Brian Glenzinski, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT. The Cat Island Restoration Project in lower Green Bay, Wisconsin, represents one of the most ambitious habitat reconstruction initiatives in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Between 2012 and 2014 the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and other partners, constructed a 2.5 mile rock barrier that will eventually provide a framework for three irregular island habitats filled with sediments dredged from the Green Bay navigational channel. Preliminary monitoring has revealed a remarkable capacity of this structure to attract and support desirable migratory and resident waterbirds, including 30 species of shorebirds (2 federally endangered; 12 state special concern) and 4 state endangered tern species. When completed, the barrier islands are expected to provide 272 acres of nearshore/beach habitat and approximately 1,225 acres of shallow water and wetlands behind the islands. Although long term habitat management will present significant challenges, results from field surveys suggest that the Cat Island restoration has potential to provide exceptional breeding and migratory stopover habitat in an environment that has experienced widespread urbanization and habitat degradation during the past century. The project underscores the importance of habitat restoration projects in areas of strategic geographic importance for waterbirds.      

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am CST