Scientists and managers have long recognized the utility and efficiency in connecting floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, and wetland management, but government resources are not allocated in such a manner as to foster collaboration among these institutions. Funding is often tied to specific agency priorities and hazard mitigation and habitat conservation staff rarely collaborate. The goal of the Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat, and Flood Hazards in the Rock River Basin webinar series is to identify opportunities for emergency, floodplain, and wetland management agencies to work together to maximize the flood control and ecosystem service benefits of our wetlands, thereby saving financial and environmental resources and building community resilience to climate change.
The Rock River TMDL: Where Are We Now?
The Yahara WINS Adaptive Management Pilot Project is in its second year and is being watched closely by environmental engineers, scientists, technicians and policymakers for its environmental impact and ability to implement the Rock River TMDL (total maximum daily load) in the Yahara River Basin. Kathy Lake, Environmental Specialist for the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District, offers an overview of the first full year of the project, including a second growing season, with a focus on watershed benefits.
Her talk is complemented well with a case study offered by Kenneth Potter, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wiscosin. Riparian wetlands improve water quality in streams and rivers by trapping sediment and associated phosphorus. However, in poorly managed agriculturally regions excess sediment fill in such wetlands, causing ecosystem damage and reducing water quality benefits. Removal of this excess sediment would restore the water quality benefits and mitigate the ecosystem damage. Concurrent improvements in agricultural land management would limit future ecosystem damage.
The 2013 UW Water Resources Management Practicum conducted a study of a potential sediment removal project in the Yahara WINS pilot project Dorn Creek Watershed. The watershed drains into Lake Mendota. This talk summarizes the findings of that study.
- Kathy Lake, Madison Metropolitan Sewage District
- Kenneth Potter, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Recording of the event