Four Wisconsin projects net $400,000 to reduce phosphorus and sediment in Lake Michigan Basin

MADISON – Four projects in Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan Basin will receive more than $400,000 to help reduce phosphorous and sediment pollution in the lake. The four awards are part of nearly $2 million given by the Great Lakes Commission to 14 projects across the region

The Great Lakes Commission is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division Administrator Pat Stevens is a member of the commission.

“These projects are yet another example of the effort underway to reduce phosphorous pollution in the Great Lakes Basin,” said Stevens. “These efforts are important for improving environmental and economic conditions in communities up and down our Great Lakes shorelines.”

The projects were selected by the Commission’s Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program. Funding is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative under a cooperative agreement between the Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  • Pipe “P” Trap: A Collaboration for Cleaner Waters ($175,728) – This funding was awarded to Fond du Lac County Land and Water Conservation. While the Pipe Creek watershed may seem relatively small in relation to the Upper Fox, Lower Fox and Wolf River sub-basins, it contributes among the highest phosphorus loads.

    This watershed feeds into Lake Winnebago and has 74 percent agricultural land use. The LWCD staff will identify areas of priority within the Fond du Lac County portion of the Pipe Creek watershed and generate a map that prioritizes land parcels based on the Erosion Vulnerability Assessment for Agricultural Lands, or EVAAL model. The priority levels will be used by the county agronomists to set three different phosphorus index brackets for high, medium and low priority.

    Landowners or producers who wish to participate in a practice or project in the Pipe Creek Watershed will receive between 70-90 percent cost share rates for implementing practices/projects in high, medium or low priority areas.

  • Lower Fox Perennial Forage Project ($164, 876) – Managed by the Alliance for the Great Lakes (primarily as the fiscal agent), this project will provide technical assistance, cost sharing and outreach to increase the number of acres in a multispecies perennial forage. Targeting these multispecies perennial forage mix to high priority acres will provide benefits for the producer and improve water quality.
  • Applying Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to Reduce Phosphorous in the Lower Fox Area of Concern ($30,000) – Funding to apply TEK on the Lower Fox was awarded to the Intertribal Council to work with Oneida White Corn Growers tribal farmers. This demonstration project is based on using traditional ecological knowledge, like no till practices, and applying it to a traditional Oneida crop. The White Corn project is an extension of low-impact agricultural practices and a traditional crop that would enhance the sharing of seeds, community health ideas, techniques for growing and promoting culture.
  • Mequon-Milwaukee Farmland to Pollution Control Project ($30,000) – This funding was awarded to the Mequon Nature Preserve. located along Trinity Creek, a Milwaukee River tributary. The project includes reclaiming 35 acres of agricultural land that is part of Milwaukee County Kohl Park (MCKP), owned and operated by Milwaukee County Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.

The Great Lakes Commission is a public agency established by the Great Lakes Basin Compact in 1955 to help its Member states and provinces speak with a unified voice and collectively fulfill their vision for a healthy, vibrant Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River region. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators and agency officials from its eight member states.