NERR- N-E-R-R is an acronym you’ll be hearing in the coming weeks and months.  It stands for National Estuarine Research Reserve.  The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, in partnership with local and national agencies, is leading efforts to recognize the local waters of Green Bay as part of the national system of 29 NERR’s. NOAA is the federal agency that oversees the program. The Green Bay estuary includes the system of rivers that empty into the bay as well as the Bay itself.  Green Bay is the world’s largest freshwater estuary.

The NERR designation will help UW-Green Bay and its partners bring in funding—more than $1 million per year—for water-focused scientific research, education, stewardship and training, and will include a visitor center for hands-on and place-based education, lab space, conference area, and a boat launch. A selection committee will determine where the NERR and the visitor center will be located.  Officials hope it could be located in our local area.

The designation of a Green Bay NERR will not add any new regulations and it does not preclude any existing uses of the area so designated.


Requests for more information about the NERR should be directed to Emily Tyner at