"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 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.
As many as three tanker transits destined for the Port of Green Bay are planned for the month of December and two to three transits for the month of January. Depending on local need, there could also be a transit or two in February.
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 and watch for future announcements. "We want people to continue to enjoy their recreational activities, but we also want them to be safe," added Haen.
Prior to each ice breaking, a 72-hour advance notice to the public will occur via broadcast notice to mariners on VHF-FM marine radio channel 16, 21 or 23, as well as public outreach through media notification and social media outlets @USCGGreatLakes on Twitter and on Brown County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page.
The 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 resources for the status of regional waterway closures.
"Coast Guard waterway managers balance the needs of commercial operators moving the cargoes that fuel industry with those of recreational users enjoying the pristine natural beauty of our Great Lakes," said Capt. Amy Cocanour, commander of Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. "Those who choose to recreate on or near ice-covered waterways may potentially put themselves at increased risk when recreating near still-operational shipping lanes."
For more information on the Port, visit www.portofgreenbay.com or Twitter @PortofGreenBay. NOTE: Portions of this news release came from the U.S. Coast Guard's release about ice breaking operations. http://coastguardnews.com/coast-guard-prepares-for-bay-of-green-bay-ice-breaking-operations/2016/11/18/