The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it will conduct ice breaking operations in the bay of Green Bay through January 2018 in order to keep the shipping channel open. Members of the public who fish, operate a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or otherwise recreate on the bay of Green Bay during periods of ice cover should be aware of this activity.
The U.S. Coast Guard recommends all recreational ice users plan their activities carefully, dress appropriately, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Recreational users should stay tuned to local media for the status of regional waterway closures.
The U.S. Coast Guard conducts ice breaking to keep the shipping channel open for safe navigation and transport of economically-significant commercial shipments. In particular, this allows for petroleum products to continue arriving at the Port of Green Bay, while the only fuel pipeline between Milwaukee and Green Bay is shut down. The pipeline was closed indefinitely in May 2016.
“The Port’s ability to handle petroleum products throughout the winter months is a key piece in the current supply chain as well as an important factor in keeping the Northeast Wisconsin’s economy strong,” explained Dean Haen, Director of Brown County Port & Resource Recovery. Prior to the closure of the pipeline, the Port of Green Bay was exporting petroleum products to the east coast of the United States and to Canada.
The U.S. Coast Guard will establish and maintain tracks through the ice from Rock Island Passage to the Fox River. The tracks through the ice will extend to Escanaba, Marinette-Menominee, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay.