Gov. Walker RESCINDS sanctuary nomination!

“We believe this designation would create further unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. The addition of another level of federal bureaucracy will not materially advance our shared commitment to protecting shipwrecks,” Walker said in a Feb. 27 letter to NOAA Administrator Benjamin Friedman.

That’s good news, but be wary.  NOAA and all those in favor of the sanctuary are not going to simply go away.  Check back here often, we’ll keep you posted.

And be sure to call Gov. Walker at (608) 266 -1212 and tell him THANK YOU!  You can be sure the other side is calling asking for meetings and reconsideration.

02/13/18: City of Mequon Unanimously Opposes Sanctuary

The city of Mequon in Ozaukee county unanimously passed Resolution number 3491 opposing the proposed National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Michigan.

A video of the Feb 13 Mequon Common Council meeting is at:
The resolution opposing the sanctuary was moved up in the schedule and starts at 2:55 in the linked video.

Mequon Resolution Number 3491

01/10/18: Town of Holland Unanimously Opposes Sanctuary


January 10, 2018


 Cedar Grove, WI: The Town of Holland, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin unanimously passed a Resolution opposing the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposed Wisconsin Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary (NMS).

In late 2014 NOAA provided initial information about the NMS to cities on Lake Michigan in Ozaukee, Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties. The NMS would control up to 1,260 sq. mi. of fresh water and 80 miles of shoreline from Mequon to Manitowoc. The intent was “to protect shipwrecks and ‘cultural resources’.”

In Dec. 2016, NOAA provided details of the NMS and collected public comments from an online format for three mMequonResolution3491onths. Since mid-March, 2017, many local residents, businesses and some municipalities have chosen to oppose the NMS for reasons ranging from duplicitous services, taxpayer waste and Wisconsin’s sovereignty.  The reasons for opposition include: NOAA’s designation of the Wisconsin Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary is irreversible; NOAA has provided no budget for the sanctuary and is unaccountable to Wisconsin taxpayers; the definition of a “sanctuary resource” is so broad and vague as to include almost any object found and virtually any contact or handling of such resource could be deemed unlawful; and Wisconsin’s shipwrecks have been researched and inventoried for over thirty years by the Wisconsin Historical Society and are currently protected by Wisconsin state and federal laws.

The Town of Holland acknowledges that “the strength of our republic is in local governance, the respect for individual property rights and the sovereignty of Wisconsin state territory.”

Additional towns signing Resolutions opposed to the NMS include the Town of Gibson, Resolution No. 2017-4, Manitowoc County, WI and Town of Two Creeks, Resolution No. 11-2-17, Manitowoc County, WI. A city in the proposed area has an opposing resolution on its January agenda.

Resolutions:  Town of Holland Resolution   Town of Gibson Resolution   Town of Two Creeks Resolution

10/19/17: Videos Online!

Video of Sanctuary presentation hosted by the Manitowoc Republican Party on August 29.

Also available at:

9/27/17: NOAA Hosts “fact Forum” at the Sheboygan Yacht Club.

A panel of 6 pro-sanctuary advocates offered the “facts” about the proposed Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary.  After their presentations, there was a question and answer session.  One of the audience asked how many of the attendees were opposed to the sanctuary – about 80% raised their hands.

The news article is at:

8/12/17: Important points from a retired lawyer familiar with complex financial transactions

The Governor’s response (8/10/17 below) is wrong.  There are no checks and balances.

1. Although the State retains legal title to the lands, it is NOAA that will have all legal decision making authority, or all material decision making authority over the land and water.  So retaining title is a formality.
2. A Memorandum of Understanding is NOT legally binding.  Entering into one and then being able to renegotiate it is meaningless.  NOAA still retains all the power to do what it wants.  It is saying, we are agreeing to let you talk from time to time.  It has no legal obligation to listen, let alone to act, on what it hears.
3. The State of Wisconsin’s designated Representative is the Wisconsin Historical Society, an entity that is funded by NOAA.  If you entered into a deal to transfer the assets of your business (the assets that protected your child’s college fund and your retirement account), and someone had to negotiate to protect your assets, would you want that person to be paid by the other side?  Of course not.  It’s not an arm’s length transaction.
4. As for his “100 letters and communities” those were all done in mid-2014.  NOAA released no material information then.  It was only in December 2016 that the draft Regulations and draft Management Plan were released.  That was only 3 months before the close of public comments.  Not surprisingly, most people did not find this stuff and review it and comment by the deadline.  NOAA designs it so that the public won’t comment, and so that folks will not make “informed” recommendations.
5. NOAA is under NO legal obligation to put in a penny.  In fact, they say that budget decisions of several other agencies will impact their budget.  However, they state they need various public and NGO local partners, without stating what OUR budget commitments will be.  It’s a perfect set-up.  If it is successful, they take the credit.  If it fails, they can blame it on their partners who failed to live up to their responsibilities.
(Emphasis added)
8/11/17: Gov Walker accepts $840,000 NOAA Grant

“The new project will support efforts to map shoreline recession to improve hazard planning and provide guidance on options to protect coastal property. The project team will work together with the counties and municipalities of Southeastern Wisconsin to plan and implement actions to reduce the impacts of coastal hazards.”

“Partners on the project include the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).”

“The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program balances natural resource protection and sustainable economic development along Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coasts. The program awards federal funds from the Office for Coastal Management in the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to local governments and other entities for innovative coastal initiatives.”

8/10/17: Response from Gov. Walker to emails & letters opposing the sanctuary.

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for the reaching out concerning the proposed National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) in Lake Michigan along Wisconsin’s Eastern shoreline. I appreciate the opportunity to address this important issue.

As you may be aware, the Wisconsin NMS proposal was initiated by the communities that border the proposed sanctuary boundaries. The nomination was developed by the communities and at submittal it included over 100 letters of support from local elected officials, civic and outdoors groups. The port, shipping, and fishing communities were also active in the development of the nomination, including the support of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force for the NMS.

I have looked into concerns that the State would lose jurisdiction over the State’s land and water. Under the nomination, the State of Wisconsin retains all existing authorities, as the bottom of State waters are held in trust for the people of the State. As an added layer of protection from federal overreach, the relationship between the State and NOAA will be defined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) if the nomination is selected. The State also can reevaluate the NOAA partnership on a regular basis if concerns arise. Please know that your priorities will be heard during the MOU development process.

Thank you for contacting my office concerning the NMS in Lake Michigan. Please stay in touch as we work together to move Wisconsin forward.


Scott Walker