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Fish & Wildlife Habitats


The Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern (LGBFR AOC) consists of 18 priority habitats that were identified as critical components to the LGBFR AOC ecosystem. Because of discussions with local experts and stakeholders, nearly all of them were identified in the original Remedial Action Plan, and plant communities were identified and mapped in 2015. These priority habitats have historical significance, conservation status, geographic significance to water, importance to wildlife biodiversity, and/or functional significance. Conditions of these priority habitats are assessed after restoration, and enhancement projects are completed and used to evaluate the "loss of fish and wildlife habitat" beneficial use impairment (BUI).

The total area within the LGBFR AOC, including the 1 km coastal zone, is approximately 12,800 ha (31,630 acres), 48.44% of which is open surface water. Of the 6,600 ha of land and wetlands within 1 km of the LGBFR AOC shoreline, 200 ha was classified as "agricultural" and approximately 3,200 ha as "developed," including residential neighborhoods, roads, golf courses, mowed lawns, and industrial properties. This leaves 2,761 ha (6,823 acres) or 41.83% of the land/wetland area as relatively undeveloped, semi-natural land that qualifies as wildlife habitat or potential wildlife habitat. Other than open water in Green Bay and the Fox River, the most extensive habitats were hardwood swamp (764 ha), high energy emergent marsh (348 ha), submergent marsh/submerged aquatic vegetation (249 ha), and inland emergent marsh (170 ha). Early successional forest and woodland (i.e., other forest; 173 ha), surrogate grasslands, including old fields and other uncultivated grasslands (140 ha), were the only other habitat categories that wer represented by more than 100 ha. 

In order to evaluate the "loss of fish and wildlife habitat," the UW-Green Bay project team then identified "priority areas." They defined these as areas of importance that contain available fish and wildlife habitat that may serve as convenient management units or focus areas for restoration planning. Most of these priority areas are well-known and many are already under some form of public or conservation ownership. Selection criteria for the priority areas required that tey: 1) consist of adequately large, relatively intact area of fish and wildlife habitat and 2) are beneficial to multiple priority species or natural community types. The project team delineated 29 priority areas and wrote detailed narratives for 14 of them:

Additional Fish & Wildlife Habitat Information