Public comment welcome on proposals that mark progress for Lower Menominee River

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. By Central Office September 9, 2016

    Contact(s): Steve Galarneau, director of DNR's Office of the Great Lakes, 608-266-1956, [email protected]; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, [email protected]

    MARINETTE, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is inviting the public to review and comment on the proposed removal of two beneficial use impairments listed for the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern.

    Information about the proposal will be presented at a public meeting in Marinette on Sept. 15.

    Removal is being proposed for two impairments including degradation of the benthos - aquatic organisms living on, in, or near the bottom of water bodies - and restrictions on dredging. Key benchmarks have been reached as a result of successful efforts to remove contaminated sediment and restore conditions that will allow native flora and fauna to return to the bottom of the waterway.

    "We are seeing continued progress on this important waterway and we are inviting public comment as part of the process to move forward and focus on next steps," said Steve Galarneau, director of DNR's Office of the Great Lakes. "We are grateful for the involvement of citizens dedicated to this effort."

    The two impairments are among five remaining for the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern; one impairment was removed earlier. The remaining impairments relate to fish and wildlife populations, habitat and fish consumption advisories.

    Areas of Concern are designated as part of an agreement between Canada and the United States to prioritize and address Great Lakes waterways with a legacy of industrial use. Designations occur under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement when waterways contain impairments that prevent a variety of beneficial uses and designation as an Area of Concern allows resources to be targeted for restoration efforts.

    Galarneau will be keynote speaker at an open house hosted by the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern Citizens Advisory Committee on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at UW-Marinette in the cafeteria, 750 W. Bayshore St., Marinette. The event will provide an overview of the work being done to restore the waterway and an opportunity to ask questions about the proposed removal of the two impairments.

    A walking tour of the Menekaunee Harbor Restoration Project will take place at 5 p.m. before the open house. To join in the tour, meet at the parking lot southwest of the harbor off Ogden Street.

    Information about the impairments and an explanation of the progress that has been made as part of ongoing restoration efforts can be found on DNR's website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching "Lower Menominee River." The documents for public comment that describe the proposed removal can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/greatlakes/menominee.html.

    These documents describe sediment remediation actions and also highlight public involvement in this process. Removal of the beneficial use impairments is being proposed by DNR's Office of the Great Lakes and the Michigan Department of Environmental QualityOffice of the Great Lakes and supported by the Lower Menominee River Area of Concern Technical Advisory and Citizens Advisory committees.

    Please submit comments to Laurel Last at 2984 Shawano Ave., Green Bay, WI 54313 or [email protected] by 5 p.m., Sept. 22, 2016. Questions about the draft removal packages may be directed to Last via email or to (920)662-5103.

    Last Revised: Friday, September 09, 2016

    [​IMG]