Several local and area leaders along with business leaders and tourism executives have reacted with general “disbelief and disappointment” to Governor Walker’s decision to rescind the nomination for the Lake Michigan-Wisconsin National Marine Sanctuary. The regional nomination as submitted to NOAA detailed a proposed 875 Square mile area National Marine Sanctuary stretching from Two Rivers to Port Washington. It would contain 39 known shipwrecks including the two oldest ship wrecks in Wisconsin and 15 intact shipwrecks. Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels.
The Governor states that this designation would create further unnecessary bureaucratic red tape something Walker says his administration has been paramount in reducing this burden on citizens of Wisconsin. Walker says there’s enough state and federal laws to protect these “cultural landmarks” adding that a new level of government for citizens to petition for permits and certifications for normal use of Lake Michigan “is too much of a tradeoff for the negligible benefit to protecting our
shipwrecks. Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley.
CEO of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum Rolf Johnson released a statement saying “Our communities have collaborated very effectively on our National Marine Sanctuary Nomination and that includes proud institutions of maritime heritage like our Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and partner organizations in Sheboygan and Port Washington. Working together over the past several years we’ve prepared and shared exciting—engaging new public exhibits that provide inspiring educational opportunities for future generations of scientists—researchers—engineers—explorers and historians.”
Local leaders are hopeful to have a face to face meeting with the Governor this month.