It all started when…
In 1977, Brown County and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) executed a memorandum of agreement to construct the Renard Island Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) on a legislative lakebed granted by the State of Wisconsin to Brown County for disposal of material generated from annual maintenance dredging in the Green Bay Harbor and navigation channel. From 1978 to 1997, approximately 2.7 million CY of dredged sediments were placed on the island. The island remained uncapped until Brown County received funding from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) to develop a Closure Plan for the island. Eventually, the County, the Corps and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) agreed to a final Closure Plan detailing the construction of a cover protecting human health and the environment; however, it did not address the final end uses for the island. Beginning in 2010, Brown County and the Corps began the process of closing the island and installing an engineered soil cap. As part of the closure process, the Corps built a causeway to access the island. In 2010, Brown County received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to move approximately 230,000 CY of capping material to Renard Island from the Bay Port Dredge Material Storage Facility. From 2011 to 2014, an additional 600,000 CY of clean dredged material was placed on the island as a final cap shaped to meet the requirements of the WDNR-Approved Closure Plan. In 2015, the WDNR approved the final cap and subsequently, in 2017, the Corps transferred ownership of the causeway and island to Brown County.
Renard Island is one of the only areas in the Green Bay metropolitan area that provides direct access to the waters of the bay.With the transfer of ownership, the County is now looking at end-use options for the 55-acre island.