The Fox River Natural Resource Trustee Council

Schmidt wetland restoration Common tern chicks Preservation of Herb Behnke Wolf River Bottoms Pike
Wetland restoration on the Oneida Reservation (photo by the Oneida EH&SD)
Common tern chicks on Lake Butte des Morts (photo by Colette Charbonneau, FWS)
Herb Behnke Unit, Wolf River Bottoms Natural Resource Area (Photo by Wisconsin DNR)
Young of the year pike photographed during spring monitoring on the west shore of Green Bay (photo by Brown County LCD)


The Fox River Natural Resource Trustees have completed a draft Restoration Plan Update for the Lower Fox River/Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The Restoration Plan Update will guide future NRDA restoration in the Lower Fox River/Green Bay restoration area. The RP Update builds upon the goals set forth in the 2003 Restoration Plan Update and Environmental Assessment.

2016 Update to the Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (2.5 MB pdf)

The public comment period for the draft Restoration Plan Update for the Lower Fox River/Green Bay NRDA is now closed. The final document will be posted upon completion.

We are proud to announce the release of our Restoration Progress Report compiling the restoration projects implemented by the Trustees in the Lower Fox River/Green Bay area, through June 30, 2012.

Restoration Progress Report (17.1 MB pdf)

Background Information

The Fox River Natural Resource Trustee Council supports the long-term recovery, protection, and enhancement of the unique natural resources of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay ecosystem. The council has provided settlement funding for over 100 restoration projects over the last decade that restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of natural resources that have been injured by PCB releases.

Starting in the mid-1950s, Lower Fox River paper companies and associated waste treatment facilities released PCBs into the Lower Fox River/Green Bay ecosystem. These releases resulted in injuries to wildlife, surface water, and sediments. Through a process known as Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), authorized under federal law, the Trustees assessed these injuries and determined what actions are necessary to restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources.

Studies undertaken by the Trustees and other parties have documented the presence of elevated concentrations of PCBs in surface water and sediment, as well as in the tissues of plankton, forage fish, predatory fish, and birds in the Lower Fox River/Green Bay ecosystem (link to assessment library).

To protect human health, Wisconsin and/or Michigan have issued fish consumption advisories foPublic Meeting Noticer the Lower Fox River and Green Bay. The State of Wisconsin has continued to warn against consuming fat or skin from mallard ducks in the same area because of the risk of PCB exposure.

In 2003, the Trustees published a Joint Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Lower Fox River/Green Bay area that describes restoration projects that compensate for PCB-related injuries to natural resources.