The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary began operating in the mid-1930s as a public wildlife refuge for the city of Green Bay. This sanctuary is among the largest wildlife rehabilitation sites in Wisconsin and serves as a public environmental education and recreational facility. Gradually, surface waters there had lost the ability to provide a strong quality of life for the wildlife.


The sanctuary teamed with Foth to identify the root causes for the degradation and developed a multidisciplined solution that was completed in stages over several years. Innovative environmental and civil engineering concepts and designs were applied to save costs and provide long-term solutions. The Foth team’s master plan included designing the dredging sediments in the lagoons, shoreline stabilization, landfill cover rehabilitation and the creation of a continuous flow in the lagoon. The project used sediments from the lagoon on the adjacent closed landfill cover to save money and allow for a healthy growth environment capable of supporting vegetation and an upland wildlife ecosystem.


The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is an example of outstanding environmental stewardship. Their lagoons now contain an aeration system to keep oxygen levels up and to move the water more thoroughly. This will help keep sedimentation impacts from affecting the surface water quality and lowering the number of waterfowl in this fishing area. The sediments that once created an environmental problem in the lagoons now add value to the environment, adding soil nutrients that help the upland ecosystem flourish. And the ecological and social impacts are great. Habitats have been improved and visitors can enjoy the sanctuary free of charge. This project will serve as a road map to sustainable restoration engineering for years to come.