The world’s largest rubber ducky will return to the Port of Green Bay this July as part of the Tall Ships Festival — which created more than a $4.3 million economic update when it was last here in 2016.
That announcement was just one piece of news shared during the annual Port of Green Bay Symposium. Attended by shipping industry leaders, state agencies and elected officials, the event provided an opportunity for leaders to give updates on what’s happening in the port.
In addition to covering the Tall Ships Festival, which begins in July and will feature nine ships, officials also discussed the possibility of repurposing the WPS Pulliam Plant property for port-related industrial use. A county study looking at the best use of the site/port facility should be completed by the end of June.
The port also is looking at the Renard Island end-use plan to leverage those 55 acres as a Northeast Wisconsin tourist destination.
Looking back at 2018, port tonnage topped the 2 million mark for the first time in five years. Tom Klimek, Brown County Harbor Commission board president, explained that the biggest factor in that was the 123 percent increase in petroleum shipments since 2017, as well as a 34 percent increase in limestone.
The port also is essentially one of the top employers in Green Bay with its support of 1,289 direct jobs, as well as a $147 million economic impact, according to Mark Walter, business manager of Brown County Port & Resource Recovery.