Rock River Recovery TMDL Implementation - January Newsletter


Monthly TMDL Implementation Update



"January in Wisconsin and it's going to be frigid. No need for alarm when it drops below's only just starting to get cold."


=> Happy New Year <=

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you as a better person" - Benjamin Franklin



Jan 2:  MDV - County Participation Deadline

Jan 10:  Yahara Lakes 101:  UW Lakes Research

Jan 16:  Ch. NR152 Administrative Code Hearing

Feb 1:  WDNR Lake, AIS, and River Protection Grant Applications Due

Feb 2-4:  Clean Lakes Alliance Frozen Assets

Feb 7, 8:  Dodge County Soil Health Workshop & Farm Day

Feb 9:  Milwaukee River Watershed Soil Health Workshop 

Feb 14:  Yahara Lakes 101

Feb 27:  Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference

Apr 15:  WDNR Urban NPS and Stormwater Grants Due

Apr 15:  WDNR Targeted Runoff Management NPS Grants Due

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Newsletter Archive

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Gov Delivery
USDA Conservation Innovation Grants


USDA Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.  Learn more...

Starkweather Creek Mapping Tool

USEPA has awarded an Environmental Justice Small Grant to Midwest Environmental Justice Organization in Madison, WI.  Midwest Environmental Justice Organization will develop an interactive watershed mapping tool and educate people about stormwater risks to reduce pollution to Starkweather Creek in Madison. The creek has been degraded from urbanization, airport and industrial waste discharges and stormwater runoff. The project will also engage with minority subsistence fishers in the area about contaminated fish consumption concerns. By hosting community meetings, in-person discussions, and using current EPA stormwater materials, the project will educate and recruit people to help reduce creek pollution.

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection


Dodge County Farmers and Lake Groups Working Together to Support Farmer-Led Soil Health Workshop and Initiatives

Lake groups in Dodge County have been working side-by-side with the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil and Healthy Water to support outreach, education, and implementation of economical agricultural practices that build soil health and protect water quality.  Lake groups have provided support for the upcoming soil health workshop  February 7 & 8, as well as providing cover crops cost-share incentives to help off-set the cost and risk of using cover crops.  The Lake groups include;

Creating Wildlife Habitat Acre by Acre

In Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, meet Jessica and David Gales who grew up hunting and fishing. The Gales’ young daughters share their love of the outdoors. That’s why they are teaching the importance of natural resources conservation by restoring native grasses and habitat to their land.

See the interactive story map featured nationally or read the full feature story.

Wisconsin Cover Crop and Soil Health Research Lunch-and Learn Webinar Series

This FREE webinar series will highlight the latest Wisconsin research on cover crops and soil health.

Connection information for the webinar will be provided upon registration available at:

Every Wednesday from January 17-February 21, 12-1pm (except Feb 7 will be 12-1:30).  For more information contact Heidi Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension, 608 224-3716



Waukesha & Washington Counties AIS Updates

It has been a banner year in Washington and Waukesha Counties for Clean Boats, Clean Waters. Together both counties inspected 5,945 boats talking to a grand total of 12,183 people. Every single contact was a fantastic teaching opportunity! 

There were some really great moments out at the launches this summer. Particularly seeing waterfowl hunters make the connection that mud on their decoys and dogs has the ability to spread AIS and take efforts to avoid the spread.  Read more....

New Zealand Mud Snail

New Zealand Mudsnails

An NR 40 prohibited species, New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) was discovered in samples collected during routine water quality and Water Action Volunteer sampling. The population abundance in these locations is uncertain at this time.

  • Mount Vernon Creek, Dane County, in the Mount Vernon Creek Fishery Area. (this stream flows to the Sugar River)
  • Rowan Creek, Columbia County at the Rowan Creek Fishery Area. (this stream flows to Lake Wisconsin)

Chelsey Blanke (Rapid Response Coordinator) will be planning a meeting in January to identify next steps.  New Zealand mudsnails are known to exist in three other stream in the state (See website).



USDA Invests $30M in High-Priority Watersheds to Improve Water Quality

Madison, Wis., Dec. 21, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will add 30 new watersheds in 2018 to its premiere water quality initiative, which helps landowners improve water quality while strengthening agricultural operations. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest more than $30 million this year in 201 high-priority watersheds across the country.

The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), now in its seventh year, focuses resources in watersheds most in need and where farmers, ranchers and forest landowners can use conservation practices to make a difference.  

Storm Pond


Municipal storm water permit eReporting - Coming Soon!

Coming January 2018, all municipalities permitted under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) WPDES program submitting MS4 permit documents, including the Annual Report, will have access to the online eReporting system. External testing has wrapped up and we are in the process of making final changes to the system!

The eReporting system is being developed to:

  • Allow for online submittal of MS4 annual reports, forms, and other documents directly to the DNR
  • Provide electronic storage of MS4 submittals
  • Support DNR’s efforts to meet EPA’s electronic reporting requirement

Please watch for more GovDelivery notifications and the MS4 eReporting webpage for additional information and resources.

  • Webinar information has been added to the webpage.
  • A copy of the Annual Report form has been added to the webpage.
  • You may use this PDF form to begin routing for information, however, data will be required to be entered into the eReporting system. We will not accept an uploaded or emailed PDF.

  • The municipality’s authorized representative will be able to delegate the electronic entry of data to other municipal staff and/or consultants via upload of a Designated Signature Authority form (available on webpage).
  • Notice of Public Comment and Hearing for ch. NR 152, Wis. Adm. Code

    Draft rule concerning storm water is now available for review and comment on the proposed permanent natural resources rules webpage. Ch. NR 152, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to the model ordinances for construction site erosion and sediment control and post-construction storm water management is open for public comment until January 17, 2018.

    The Department of Natural Resources announces that it will hold a public hearing on a permanent rule to revise ch. NR 152, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to the model ordinances for construction site erosion and sediment control and post-construction storm water management, at the time and place shown below.

    Hearing Information

    Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Time: 1:30 p.m.

    Location: Room G09 at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 101 S. Webster St., Madison, Wisconsin



    Multi-Discharger Variance (MDV) - County Participation Deadline is January 2 

    County participation in the MDV is completely voluntary. If counties participate, they agree to comply with the requirements of the program to the best of their ability. By participating in the MDV, counties will have access to additional financial resources for nonpoint source pollution control activities, including funds to supplement staff costs. Chapter 3 of the MDV Implementation Guidance [PDF] provides details about programmatic requirements and expectations for counties that choose to participate.

    How to participate

    To participate in the MDV, counties must submit a county participation form [PDF] to DNR no later than January 2:

    Department of Natural Resources
    Permits Section - WQ/3
    Attn: MDV Point Source Coordinator
    101 South Webster Street
    Madison WI 53703

    This form must be submitted to the department annually to continue to participate in this program.



    Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

    Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program has awarded more than $24 million in funding to over 1400 community-based organizations, and local and tribal organizations working with communities facing environmental justice issues.

    The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year. All projects are associated with at least one qualified environmental statute.