Rock River Recovery - March Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade." - Charles Dickens


"You can't trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it." - W.C. Fields

Breaking News

 U.S Supreme Court rejects American Farm Bureau challenge to legality of Chesapeake Bay TMDL and regulation of Nonpoint Source Pollution.

Biologic Condition Gradient

New EPA Biological Condition Technical Guidance

US EPA has just issued their new "2016 Practitioner’s Guide to the Biological Condition Gradient: A Framework to Describe Incremental Change in Aquatic Ecosystems". 



Mar 2:  Lake Project Quarterly Forum

Mar 3:  Yahara Pride Farms Conference

Mar 5:  Yahara River Stream Monitoring

Mar 7:  SNAP+ and Nutrient Management Workshop

Mar 12:  Rain Garden Workshop

Mar 16:  Lake Country Ag Resource Day

Mar 16:  River Alliance Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Mar 31:  Nutrient Management Workshop

Apr 4:  Nutrient Management Workshop

May15-19, 2016:  Paddle and Probe:  Testing the Waters

June 16:  Healthy Lakes Conference, Oconomowoc



BEACH Conditions

Clean Lakes Alliance

Clean Water Association

DATCP Land and Water Conservation

Delavan Lake Improvement Association

Kettle Moraine Land Trust

Lake Sinnissippi Improvement District


Midwest Cover Crops Council

Partnership for Ag Resource Management

Rock Koshkonong Lake District

Rock Lake Improvement Association

Rock River Coalition

Rock River Stormwater Group

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Tall Pines Conservancy

UW Discovery Farms

UW Extension

UW Water Sustainability and Climate - Yahara

Watershed Planning

Wisconsin Land & Water

Wisconsin Farmers Union

Yahara Pride Farms

Yahara WINS

Contact us to have your organization listed here.

DNR Logo


Rock River Recovery


Impaired Waters

Water Quality Trading

Adaptive Management

Phosphorus Rule



Project Manager 

Ag Nonpoint





Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

Gov Delivery
Testing the Waters

Testing the Waters

Plans are being finalized for the exciting Rock River Coalition event, "Testing the Waters - A Paddle and Probe Adventure".  This amazing multi-day paddling, networking, and educational adventure provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to learn more about our Rock River basin, and even meander along the journey with our student-scientists from UW Whitewater.  There are numerous opportunities for our basin community to participate in the multi-day floating science extravaganza including (but not limited to);

  • river side events,
  • paddle along stretches of the voyage,
  • business sponsorship support,
  • helping with event logistics,
  • and MUCH MORE!

Check out THIS BROCHURE for details.  Please contact Suzanne Wade if you would like to volunteer, sponsor, or participate in the event.


Sugar River

Restoration Success Story

The Rebound of the Upper Sugar River

Check out the radio broadcast on WORT reporting on all of the amazing progress from community efforts to restore the Upper Sugar River Watershed in Dane County.  Much of this work has been championed by the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association.

The Rock River Coalition is our own organization championing similar efforts in the Rock River Basin.  WORT interviewed Suzanne Wade last year to report on similar efforts


Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Oconomowoc Ag Resource Day

Wednesday March 16th - check out the "Ag Resource Day" in Oconomowoc sponsored by a number of our watershed partners in the Lake Country.

Farm Transition and Succession - Elkhorn

A farm transition and succession planning workshop to help farm families utilize the available tools to ensure their farm business is successfully transferred to the next generation will be presented by University of Wisconsin-Extension Walworth County on March 8. The workshop will be held at the UW-Extension Office in the Government Center on 100 W. Walworth Street, Elkhorn and begins at 9 a.m.

Heart of the Farm - Women in Agriculture

The University of Wisconsin-Extension is offering a series of conferences for Women in Agriculture throughout Wisconsin during the months of February, March and April 2016.  Topics in the upcoming workshops include: Dairy Outlook, Beekeeping, Google Apps, Retirement Planning, Multi-Enterprise Farm Issues, Water Quality and Nutrient Management, Cow/Calf topics, Human Resources, and wine and cheese tastings.

4R Certification

The 4R certification program for Certified Crop Advisers is available in Wisconsin.  The ICCA is now offering a new 4R Certification program.  Practices in a 4R program can potentially be funded through Adaptive Management and Water Quality Trading projects.

Training for Nutrient Management Planners


Training for Nutrient Management Planners is a self-paced seven hour online video series and a one day face-to-face, follow-up workshop.  The video series is available through April 15.  March 7 is the next SNAP+ and Nutrient Management Plannning workshop at Chippewa Technical College.  Click HERE for a full listing of locations and dates.

Farmland Preservation

DATCP has prepared this FAQ to answer common questions about soil and water conservation requirements of the Farmland Preservation Program.



Yahara Citizen Monitoring Meeting



On Saturday, March 5th, the Rock River Coalition (RRC) will host a meeting for volunteer stream monitors working in the Yahara River watershed. Results from our successful volunteer stream monitoring program will be presented along with a number of water quality topics.

This meeting will be at the Fitchburg Community Center. Morning sessions (9:00am to 11:45am) are open to the general public - click for a full agenda .  Pre-registration is required.  If interested in attending, please contact: Nancy Sheehan,

New EPA Biological Condition Technical Guidance

US EPA has just issued their new "2016 Practitioner’s Guide to the Biological Condition Gradient: A Framework to Describe Incremental Change in Aquatic Ecosystems"  This is an excellent resource and innovative approach to measuring and tracking biologic condition and change trajectories.  Check out the website here for more info, or the Fact Sheet.



The Education and Outreach Sector Team has been having regular meetings to draft the next version of the Rock River Recovery E&O Plan.  Once the draft plan is completed, there will be an opportunity for review and feedback to be incorporated into the final plan.  Contact Joe Van Rossum or Mark Riedel if you would like to be added to the team, receie meeting notifications, and participate in the process.   

Watershed Projects Quarterly Forum

Mark your calendars for our next Quarterly Networking Forum, "Local Implementation for Water Quality Restoration".

This forum will focus on providing information and networking opportunities to facilitate the implementation of watershed and water quality restoration efforts by local groups, lake associations/districts, watershed organizations, counties, and community stakeholder groups.  Click to download a copy of the agenda (PDF).

Space is limited to 70, please RSVP to reserve your spot.

Storm Pond


Rain Garden Workshop

The Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership is hosting a Rain Garden Workshop on Saturday, March 12, 2016 , 9 a.m.–12p.m.

Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd, Madison, WI 53711

Micro Stormwater Park

Dot Steinhorst Micro Park


A citizen community group and local schooles in Watertown are leading an initiative to develop the Dot Steinhorst Micro-park on vacant property adjacent to the Rock River.  The eco-micro-park will capture water, carbon, phosphorus, road salts and filter stormwater pollutants and includes a number of amenities, some of which are;


  • a rain-garden and ephemeral ponds,
  • paths with public river access,
  • a fishing pier,
  • interpretive trail signs and guides,
  • and much more!  Check out the website for details.

DNR Stormwater Publications & Guidance

These publications and guidance documents provide technical assistance for developing soil erosion control and storm water management plans; designing storm water management practices; practicing pollution prevention; and planning public education programs.

UW Extension Urban Runoff Resources

UW Extension has gathered a collection of stormwater runoff related references and resources.




Phosphorus / Sector Team Workshops

Department staff completed the first round of TMDL WPDES permits for the Rock River basin last summer.  Staff are now working on the remaining permits and with facilities as permits come up for renewal.  We anticipate holding more working meetings and workshops in 2016.  If you have specific questions about your facility or permit, please contact your WDNR Wastewater Engineer.

Multi-Discharger Variance


The Mutli-Discharger Variance is still undergoing review with US EPA and the Department is waiting to hear the results.  Updates will be posted to the MDV website.  At this time, the Department does not have an estimated timeline.



March 14: Healthy Watersheds Consortium A partnership of the U.S. Endowment and the Environmental Protection Agency 

April 1:  DATCP Producer Led Watershed Protection Project Grants

April 15: WI DNR Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water Management Grants

May 1: DNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program Urban Rivers Grants