STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -
Water quality in the Wisconsin River was discussed during an all-day event at UW-Stevens Point Thursday.
UWSP Water Resource Scientist Nancy Turyk says the 3rd Wisconsin River Water Quality Improvement Symposium brought people from many backgrounds together to discuss improving the river system. “Everyone’s talking about different ways that we can clean up the river without putting too much onus on one party or another.”
Turyk says the water quality of the Wisconsin River system is better than it was years ago, but there’s still room for improvement. “There has been good progress. We used to see 6 foot high foam floating down the river, and most people haven’t reported that recently. However, there are a number of water bodies along the river as well as tributaries that have significant problems that pose health issues as well as reduce the ability to recreate, reduce tourism.”
One of the big concerns is phosphorus levels in the river. That’s because small amounts of the fertilizer can feed enough blue green algae to seriously harm humans, pets, wildlife, and livestock.
Various stewardship groups, government agencies, industry representatives, and area citizens took part in the symposium.
More information about the symposium and efforts to clean up the Wisconsin River is available through the UWSP Center for Watershed Science and Education website.