DNR to issue permits for beach area at Bay Beach

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Bringing the beach back to Bay Beach is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Green Bay city leaders say the Wisconsin DNR has determined it will issue permits to authorize improvements to add a sand beach, a boardwalk and wildlife viewing platform at Bay Beach Amusement Park.

During the late 1800s, there was a beach at Bay Beach, but it hasn't been there since the 1930s, due to excessive pollution. 

According to reports researchers have tested the water quality and say it's safe for swimming.

“The water quality is very similar to any other beach along the shoreline of the Bay. So it's really dramatically cleaned up since the 1930s,” said Dan Ditscheit, the interim parks director.

In recent years, there has been a community push to bring the beach back.

“One of the overriding themes is the public wanted a beach here. They wanted to be able to interact with the beach and have a platform that goes out into the waterway, so it was something that was something asked that we provide. So that's what we're trying to accomplish,” said Ditscheit.

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt's office says in order to help with costs to restore the area; they have been awarded grants, more than $250,000. 

“We see this as a great attraction to get more people out there and we would love to see this happen,” said Ditscheit. 

The DNR is looking at the project would impact fishing and wildlife habits, as well as wetlands.  

The parks department has hired an engineering firm, and the next steps on this project will come from the DNR. 

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