the lower fox river watershed monitoring program    
University of Wisconsin Green Bay
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Project History

The Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program was established in 2003 with a $1.5 million grant from Arjo Wiggins Appleton for a multi-year water monitoring program in and around the Lower Fox River watershed. The program was conceived by a broad-based group of interested academic, government, industry, and community participants, and intends to provide independent, high-quality data that can be used to help make resource restoration decisions in the revitalization of the Lower Fox River watershed.

The school program was begun in 2003 when the first annual teacher workshop was held at UWGB. School-based monitoring sampling events are currently performed 3 or 4 times a year. An annual student symposium is held each spring to provide a forum to share data between students, teachers, university researchers, and agency personnel.

Four USGS monitoring stations were initially established in summer 2003 on Apple Creek at CTH U, on Ashwaubenon Creek at Creamery Road, on Baird Creek at Superior Road, and on Duck Creek at CTH FF. Partnership with Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District proided an additional USGS monitoring station on the East River at Monroe Street. These stations recorded precipitation, gauge height, and discharge. Changes in streamflow due to runoff events triggered automated samplers at the stations to take water samples, which were analyzed by the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District laboratory for total phosphorus, dissolved phosphorus, and total suspended solids. Four of the stations were operated for 3 to 5 years. Through partnerships with EPA, USGS, WDNR, and BCPF, the Baird Creek Station has been in continuous operation from October 2003 to the present. The data, along with bimonthly low-flow sampling, enables researchers to model sediment and phosphorus loads delivered to Green Bay.

From 2003 through 2008, UW-Milwaukee biologists continuously monitored stage height, turbidity, conductivity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen at four of the stations. They also sampled the streams for fish and macroinvertebrate community composition.