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Stearns, Forest (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume LXVI (1978)

Bosley, T.R.
Loss of wetlands on the west shore of Green Bay,   pp. 235-245 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 235

LOSS OF WETLANDS ON THE WEST SHORE OF GREEN BAY 
T. R. Bosley 
University of Wisconsin— Green Bay 
ABSTRACT 
 The Land Survey of 1832-66 found 86 square miles of coastal marshes and
swamps on Green Bay's west shore. In recent years, marsh and swamp habitat
on the west shore have been reduced severely until approximately 24.3 square
miles remain at low water and 17.5 at high levels. Both natural and human
influences have contributed to wetland diminution and species composition
has been altered at several sites. 
INTRODUCTION 
 Freshwater and marine coastal wetlands may serve exclusive (fish spawning
habitat versus site for disposal of dredge spoils) or complementary (wildlife
refuge and environmental education) purposes. In contrast to marine coastal
wetlands, the impact of human alterations upon freshwater coastal wetlands
is more difficult to assess, because there are few baseline studies of prealteration
natural conditions. Both ecological and economic evaluations are required
before a reliable assessment can be made of the probable impact of a proposed
wetland use. An evaluation would be enhanced by a review of the environmental
changes associated with each of the previous uses of a wetland site. This
historical perspective provides for a more accurate assessment of the beneficial
and deleterious influences affecting' ecological integrity. 
 Bedford, et at. (1975) called for improved ecological data for the coastal
wetlands of Lakes Michigan and Superior. The ' 495 miles of Lake Michigan
shoreline in Wisconsin now support less than 30 miles of coastal wetland
(Kleinert, 1970). These wetlands occur on 
235 


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