Rock River Recovery - August Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis


Don't push the river—it flows best by itself. — (Fritz Perls, Gestalt)

Rock River Beloit Solar Project

Largest solar project in Wisconsin on Rock River

Wisconsin's largest solar project is now providing clean power to Alliant Energy customers near the Rock River.

Officials with Alliant Energy say the 2.3-megawatt Rock River solar project recently started its service near Beloit.  Read more....

Science Fact
Scientific Fact - People who have more birthdays live longer....


Aug 3:  Producer Led Watershed Grants

Aug 11:  Yahara Lakes 101 - The Future of Digesters

Aug 16:  Yahara Pride Farms - Ag Innovation Days

Aug 25 - Sept 13:  DATCP Nutrient Management Training

Aug 30:  Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

Aug 31:  Agronomy & Soils Field Day



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 Farm Bureau Federation

Wisconsin Farmers Union

Wisconsin Land & Water

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
Cave of the Mounds
Cave of the Mounds, in Blue Mounds west of Madison, is one of Wisconsin's more dramatic karst formations. - Yinan Chen via Wikimedia Commons


The following article is courtesy of Scott Gordon and WisContext

What Karst Is, And How It Affects Wisconsin's Drinking Water

Is there karst in the Rock River Basin?  Yes!

Can the Rock River Recovery play a role in protecting groundwater and drinking water?  Absolutely!

But, what is Karst?  Karst is a geological formation that results when naturally acidic rain or surface water seeps through soluble minerals in the bedrock underneath the topsoil. Most karst consists of limestone or dolomite — the latter predominates in Wisconsin. This long-term combination of water and minerals results in an underground landscape shot through with cracks, fissures and other fragmented characteristics.  Read more....

Karst in the Rock River Basin
In Wisconsin's karst regions, bedrock is often relatively close to the surface, making groundwater more susceptible to pollution. - Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
Sustain Farmer Training

The following article is courtesy of Barbara Grady and GreenBiz

Industry Led Sustainable Farming

A major cooperative of ag retailers in the Midwest, United Suppliers, whose members supply and advise farmers who collectively grow crops on about 45 million acres, developed a program called SUSTAIN with the help of the Environmental Defense Fund. SUSTAIN is a toolbox of proven technologies and practices, data and advisory information on sustainable field nutrient management and efficiency, water management and soil health.

Farmers who provide crops to suppliers of General Mills, Unilever, Campbell Soup, Smithfield Foods, and Kellogg use the SUSTAIN program.  Starting Aug. 1, SUSTAIN will be joined with the sustainability program of Land O' Lakes, itself a cooperative of farms and agriculture companies, to influence an even larger swath of the Midwest farm economy.  Read more...

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Sector Team

The Ag Sector Team had a working meeting Wed July 27.  A number of topics relating to implementation of NPS conservation and soil health efforts were discussed and worked through.  Main points of progress include (note, some counties had conflicts and could not participate to share their progress updates):

  • Counties have made excellent progress working towards watershed-based NPS reductions,
  • Rock County has completed assessment for 4 watersheds, is completing a 5th, and will be partnering with neighboring counties for shared watersheds,
  • Dane County is pushing ahead with participation in the Yahara WINS full-scale project, has completed a 9KE plan for Door Creek, is conducting an inventory on Badfish Creek, addressing legacy sediments in Dorn Creek, and hired an intern to support more NPS efforts in Six Mile and Pheasant Branch creeks,
  • Walworth County has made excellent progress in developing and implementing numerous nutrient management plans with producers, is focusing on expanding efforts throughout the county where opportunities allow, and developed NPS reduction estimates and forecasts for the implementation plan,
  • Dodge County is undertaking a groundwater and bedrock study to assess vulnerability to contamination, progress continues to grow with the Nonpoint Task-Force including building a farmer-led initiative and planning for a soil-health workshop.
  • Planning is beginning for a soil health workshop to be hosted in the southern half of the Rock River basin,
  • and counties are working with WDNR to bring NPS reduction estimates into the draft implementation plan.
  • Next Ag Sector Team meeting will be in October - stay tuned....


WDNR Requesting Scope Approval for Changes to NR 151 and NR 243

At the Natural Resources Board meeting in August, WDNR will be requesting approval for scope and public hearing for proposed rules affecting chapter NR 151 and NR 243 related to runoff management and non-point source performance standards and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rule revisions to incorporate by reference those performance standards.  The proposed changes address agriculture performance standards and manure spreading in shallow bedrock (e.g. karst) areas of Wisconsin.


Webinar: Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants 2017 funding

This webinar will cover updates to the Request for Proposals (RFP) and thoroughly review proposal requirements for the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants for Fiscal Year 2017 funding. We will also allow time for any RFP or application questions.

Join the Webinar Wednesday, August 3rd at 11:00 am:



DATCP is offering Nutrient Management Implementation Work Group sessions Aug. 25, 25, 30, Sept. 1, and 13 in Richland Center, Jefferson, Oshkosh, Eau Claire, and Antigo.  These sessions are free of charge.  Just show up and participate from 9:30 until 12:30. 

We will be learning about the new SnapMaps software and soliciting your comments on the DRAFT NM Checklist for the 2015-590 NM Standard.  It is meant to be used for NM plan written with version 2015-590, Livestock Siting ordinances, and for NM plan reviews.  Click HERE for the AGENDA.

If you have any questions you can contact Sue Porter from the Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, at 608-224-4605  or


NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2017 Funding- Apply by Sept. 2, 2016

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced farmers interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) need to apply by September 2, 2016, for funding in 2017. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

The theme of this year’s conference is “Coupling soil quality and economics” featuring a bus tour of cover crop research at the UW Lancaster Agricultural Research Station, and a tour of farms who have incorporated cover crops into their operations to improve the bottom line.

Tuesday August 30, 9 am to 4 pm, Grant County UW-Extension Office, 916 E Elm Street, Suite A, Lancaster WI


Four Lessons From Cover Crops

In February of 2016, the Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC) hosted their annual conference in Madison, WI.  Want to learn more about the conference? The agenda and selected presentations can be found here.

Four lessons learned from cover crops.



Rain Gardens for Homeowners

Homeowners across the nation are building rain gardens to reduce runoff from their properties and protect water quality of our streams and lakes.  Rain gardens also provide:

  • critically important habitat for butterflies, dragon flies and beneficial insects,
  • homes for beneficial amphibians and reptiles,
  • beautify your residence and add property value,
  • and attract numerous species of song birds!

If you are interested in how you might fit rain gardens into your own property, check of Rain Gardens - A How-To Manual, from UW Extension.



E&O Sector Team

The Education and Outreach Sector Team had a busy July.  We finalized arrangements for the July Quarterly Networking Forum, and held the event on July 16.  See the topic below for more information on the event and to download copies of the presentations.

The E&O Team will be following up on the quarterly and developing plans for the October Forum at our next meeting.  If you'd like to participate in person, join us at UW Extension Madison, Lowell Center, Room 326.

When:   Wednesday August 10th from 9-11am

Join:  Global Meet Link

Via Telephone: (872) 240-3212


  • Effectiveness of Quarterly Forums
  • Planning October Forum - topic stormwater
  • Future activites/roll for E&O team


Rock River Quarterly Networking Forum - Water Redevelopment and Economic Revitalization

The latest Rock River Recovery Quarterly Networking Forum was held July 13th in Watertown.  The emphasis of the forum was on the value of water quality to communities on the Rock River and how communities can take advantage of the river to drive waterfront redevelopment and economic revitalization.  Presentations from the speakers are available, below:

Storm Pond


NASECA-WI Fall Field Event

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College and
American Excelsior Company Erosion Lab, Rice Lake, WI.

September 22, 2016, 8 am - 4 pm  

  • Morning classroom sessions will be held at WITC beginning with registration and breakfast at 8 am.  Lunch at noon.
  • Afternoon field sessions at American Excelsior Company ErosionLab will begin at 1:15 pm.

Secure your spot now by completing the registration form and return by mail.  Online Registration Opens Soon!

$140 (includes breakfast, lunch, CE/PDH)



Central States Water Environment Association

Please join your fellow water and wastewater managers & supervisors for our annual seminar focused on utility and personnel management. This year's program includes presentations on communicating with the public in challenging times, better management of assets, the always popular legal update and much more.


Wednesday, August 3rd

Hilton Garden Inn

11600 West Park Place

Milwaukee, WI