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


"When you drink of the water, don't forget the spring from which it flows" - Charles Dickens



Mar 2:  Conservation Stewardship Grants

Mar 8, 9:  Wisconsin AWRA Conference

Mar 14:  Yahara Lakes 101 - One Water

Mar 20, 21:  WI Dairy & Beef Cattle Wellness

Mar 21:  Streamlined Waterways & Wetland Permit

Mar 23:  MS4 Permit Training - UW Whitewater

Mar 23:  Fox River Summit

Apr 4:  DATCP-County Update Meeting - Jefferson

Apr 11:  Yahara Lakes 101 - Aquatic Hitchhikers

Apr 15:  WDNR Urban NPS and Stormwater Grants Due

Apr 15:  WDNR Targeted Runoff Management NPS Grants Due

Apr 16: Nutrient Management Planning Grants Due

Apr 18-20:  WI Lakes Convention - Steven's Point

May 2:  Save Our Lakes Breakfast

Jun 21:  Master Naturalist Training

Oct 16-19:  WI Wastewater Operator's Conference

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Streamlining Conservation

In response to feedback from conservation partners, the WDNR Waterway and Wetland Program is planning to public notice a DRAFT new general permit for waterway and wetland activities (see official notice, below).  This will streamline the regulatory process for several agricultural water quality conservation activities including: grassed waterways, filter strips, lined waterways, grade stabilization structures, stream crossings, water and sediment control basins, dams, sediment basins, and constructed wetlands. This general permit will dramatically streamline the regulatory process for these activities and facilitate innovative programs including water quality trading, adaptive management and TMDL implementation.  This proposed general permit is intended to be used by county, state, and federal agencies and was developed in partnership with NRCS.  See the following announcement for more information;

Public comments sought on waterway and wetland general permit for water quality activities

Sector Team Updates


Manure Injection

Green Lake County Conservation Success Story

In Green Lake County, cooperative conservation contributes to cleaner water through the National Water Quality Initiative. Learn more about the 6-year effort involving various partners and landowners to install over 130 best management practices in Green Lake Watershed.

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program

NRCS will accept applications for enrollment in the nation’s biggest conservation program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through CSP, NRCS helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. 

Applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period.  Read more

2018 Ag Outlook Forum:  Navigating the Rural/Urban Divide

The 2018 Ag Outlook Forum was Jan 25, 2018 (topics below). The presentation videos are now available online.

  • Farm Income and Cost Outlook
  • Dairy Situation and Outlook
  • Grain and Livestock Situation and Outlook
  • Specialty Crop Situation and Outlook
  • Wisconsin Economy Situation and Outlook
  • Navigating the Rural Urban Divide
  • The Politics of Resentment
  • Myths and Realities of the Rural Urban Divide

Request for Applications: 2019 Nutrient Management Farmer Education Grants

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection provides Nutrient Management Farmer Education (NMFE) grants to local organizations to teach farmers how to develop their own nutrient management plans. Producer-led groups that qualify under the grant criteria are eligible to apply.  Applications will be due on April 16, 2018 for 2019 funding.  This funding will be available from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Tier 1 funding, $20,000 maximum:  Provide nutrient management training to producers and plan writers to develop 590-compliant nutrient management plans.

Tier 2 funding, $2,500 maximum:  Offer nutrient management training and education, but developing a 590-compliant plan isn't required. Tier 2 funding can be used for administrative, training and support costs.

Application materials can be found on our webpage

For questions, please email: Mark Jenks or Rachel Rushman

Placing pipes and similar structures over navigable waters.  

The waterway and wetland program just finalized a guidance document that might be of interest to CAFOs and others in the dairy industry. Feel free to take a look and pass along: Placing pipes and similar structures over navigable waters.  



Master Naturalist Training

Volunteer Training, Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Middleton; begins June 21, 2018

The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy is hosting a Master Naturalist Course in Middleton beginning June 21, 2018. The course will include some classroom time, but will focus mostly on outdoor experiences in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and field trips to other exceptional sites for learning in our topic areas. 

The Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program is a network of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within Wisconsin communities.  The Master Naturalist Volunteer Training Course provides 40 hours of coursework in natural history, interpretation, and conservation stewardship.  Courses combine classroom instruction with field experiences and are taught by professional natural resources educators and scientists.  Once trained, Wisconsin Master Naturalist Volunteers provide 40 hours of service and take 8 hours of advanced training each year to maintain their certification and receive a recognition pin.



Sixth Annual Fox River Summit

The Southeast Fox River Partnership is hosting their sixth annual Fox River Summit on March 23rd, 2018 at Veterans Terrace at Echo Park, Burlington, WI.  The Keynote Speaker, Elizabeth Riggs, Deputy Director,  Huron River Watershed Council, will speak about the Economic Impact of the Huron River.  Additional topics of interest include:

  • Urban Leaf Management and Stormwater Quality,
  • Impacts of Road Salt and Chlorides on Water Quality,
  • Changes in Oak Openings from the 1930's,
  • Waukesha County Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan
  • Community Planning, and
  • numerous other topics!  Click HERE for more information      

Storm Pond


MS4 eReporting Webinar

The MS4 eReporting Webinar recorded on January 10, 2018, has been posted on the Municipal storm water permit eReporting web page under the User Support Tools section. The webinar provided an overview of the new MS4 eReporting system.

The MS4 Permit for Municipal Field Staff

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit is required for many municipalities to help protect public health and local waterway quality.  MS4 storm water programs are to include practices to prevent pollutants from municipally-owned transportation infrastructure, maintenance areas, storage yards, sand and salt storage areas, and waste transfer stations entering the storm sewer system.  Municipal field crews are on the front lines for implementation of these practices as well as the detection and elimination of illicit discharges. 

This training, administered by Maureen McBroom, Environmental Coordinator for Ruekert-Mielke, will consist of short lectures and interactive elements to share experiences to highlight practical storm water management best practices for municipal staff to follow and share with seasonal staff. 

TIME:  Friday, March 23 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

LOCATION:  UW-Whitewater campus; Esker Dining Hall Room 118 – Esker is located at 420 N. Prairie St. Whitewater WI and parking is available in Lot 4.  Guest parking permits will be made available at the Visitor’s Center on Starin Road.

TO ATTEND THE TRAINING:  Send an email to with number of registrants, and municipality represented.  There is no cost to attend and all are welcome up to the capacity of the room.  Participants will be asked to sign in with name and email upon arrival for tracking participation.  Additional attendance verification can be provided upon request.



Water Quality Trading

Adaptive Management

Multi-Discharger Variance

There is ever-growing progress with watershed-based permitting as more and more communities and facilities choose to opt for Water Quality Trading or Adaptive Management.  This map depicts WPDES permit holders that have formally selected adaptive management or water quality trading as their preferred phosphorus compliance option.

If you have questions or feedback about phosphorus implementation or the MDV, contact your regional or statewide MDV coordinator [PDF]



Targeted Runoff Management Grant Program

The Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) Grant Program offers competitive grants for local governments for the control of pollution that comes from diffuse sources, also called “nonpoint source (NPS)” pollution. Grants from the TRM Program reimburse costs for agricultural or urban runoff management practices in targeted, critical geographic areas with surface water or groundwater quality concerns.

All application materials for projects beginning in 2019 are due April 15, 2018.