LETTER: Walker is right—state does not need federal sanctuary

The schooner Northerner, an amazingly intact shipwreck located five miles southeast of Port Washington in 135 feet of water, is one of the more than 30 shipwrecks that would have been included in the National Marine Sanctuary that NOAA proposed to establish off the coast of Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties. A storm sunk the Northerner in 1868. Gov. Scott Walker sunk the sanctuary initiative last week by rescinding his approval.


To Ozaukee Press:

In the wake of Gov. Walker’s decision to rescind the Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary nomination, Kathy Tank, executive director of the Port Washington Tourism Council, said Walker’s decision “represents a missed opportunity for all of us.” Let’s think about this. 

I believe this will be a missed opportunity if the very talented, professional Chambers of Commerce and tourism organizations in Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties forget everything they started to believe in 2014, when NOAA began painting a glowing picture. 

It will be a missed opportunity if they do not step outside their own counties and together share Wisconsin’s wealth and greatest resource: Lake Michigan. 

It will be a missed opportunity if they do not work with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Wisconsin Historical Society and feature the lake and its history by expanding the society’s Maritime Trails program, work with 400 public education outreach programs and develop new tools for tourism.

It will be a missed opportunity if three mayors, three county boards and other supporters of the sanctuary walk away because it would have been easier if the federal government took over and did the work.  

This will only be a missed opportunity if it is an ignored opportunity. 

Come on, Wisconsin coastal communities, you are already light years ahead of Alpena, Mich. (home of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary). Who built the Denis Sullivan? Who built the Manitowoc Maritime Museum? Who built Two Rivers’ Kites Over Lake Michigan? 

I believe the governor knows there is nothing NOAA suggested that Wisconsin cannot do on its own. 

Jane Hamilton



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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