Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance

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A watershed is a geographic water system where all water runs off to. All of that run off eventually ends up in the same place. As for the Fox-Wolf watershed, it runs off to the Bay of Green Bay. There have been many issues of pollution and health risks due to all of the chemicals from the big corporations and run off from farmland around the area. Now that the public has become aware of the issues due to the fact that the local beaches have been shut done and are a health risk to them, they have begun to realize the importance of making an effort to fix the issues. This pollution has lead to the beginning of the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance. It is an organization that's mission is to try to clean up and inform others of policies and practices that support the clean up of aquatic areas.

History of Fox-Wolf Watershed

The Fox-Wolf Drainage Basin covers about 6,430 acres across many different areas in the state. The water that comes from this basin comes directly from precipitation. The drainage basin eventually ends up at the mouth of the Fox River where it proceeds to empty into the Bay of Green Bay. [1] It then continues on to become a part of the Great Lakes system and will eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean. In the Green Bay Area, the Fox-Wolf Drainage Basin provides water for nearly 1.25 million people. [2] Since farmland and industrial areas are so abundant around the basin, the run off that is created is causing water quality problems. The run off takes in manure, eroding soil, erosion, and other materials that cause the water quality to dwindle. Studies of the water run off from the Fox-River Basin have showcased high levels of sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and heavy metal which leads the water to be at a high level of toxicity. [3]

History of FWWA

The FWWA or Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is a nonprofit organization that's goal is to advocate and protect the Fox-Wolf water basin. In order to simplify the vast area that the Fox-Wolf Drainage Basin covers, the FWWA split the basin into smaller areas to make planning and clean up efforts more efficient. Those smaller areas include: Wolf River, the Upper Fox River, the Winnebago Lakes, the lower Fox River, and the Bay of Green Bay. These smaller areas are then broken down into smaller sub-sections. The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance works with many other organizations as well as holding their own cleanup events. Some of these organizations include the Winnabego Waterways, Lower Fox Recovery, and the Northeast Wisconsin Consortium. [4]

Pollutants Found in Fox-Wolf River

The Fox-Wolf River has been contaminated with many different pollutants that have caused the water to become a hazard to the public. One of the main pollutants that has entered the watershed is Phosphorus. This chemical comes from large farms, industrial corporations, and water treatment plants. The Phosphorus creates and abundance of algae blooms that absorb all of the nutrients that other aquatic plants thrive on. [5] Another pollutant is tar based pavement sealant. This sealant includes the chemical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are toxins that cause cancer and also are the source of many developmental issues in children. This chemical causes tumors on large aquatic animals and fish. It also impacts the balance of the aquatic environment. Even after the sealant has been laid down for three months, it can still kill minions and water fleas which are indicator species of toxicity in aquatic environments. [6] Another contributing pollutant is polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and hyper-eutrophication, which are excessive nutrients. These negatively impact the entire watershed water quality. [7]

Efforts to Improve

The FWWA (Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance) has set up an annual clean up. The clean up has hundreds of volunteers that go to over 50 sites. At these locations their job is to clean up any garbage and debris. In doing this, the community hopes to improve the water quality and make an impact on the pollution and littering around the watershed. Another way efforts are being made is by having people take the watershed pledge. The watershed pledge is stating that you will focus on improving one aspect of your life to help improve the environment or pollution around you. [8]

Volunteer

If anyone wanted to help the efforts to improve the Fox-Wolf Watershed, they could sponsor the clean up events by donating money. Everyone is welcome to sign up to go to one of the sites to help clean up as well. Since the clean up is an annual event, everyone has an opportunity to try and get involved eventually. Another way people can try to help improve the watershed is by taking the watershed pledge to help improve upon the environment. In order to improve our environment to have a positive affect on water quality and the environment, we can reduce property runoff, reduce water usage, and try to prevent pollutants from reaching lakes and rivers. [9] Make the watershed pledge today! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeiyRaI-_-UkG_8fstf72OizMhNCd6PyWwikgGet62dqVTQPQ/viewform

References

  1. History of the Fox-Wolf Watershed, University of Wisconsin Green Bay. https://www.uwgb.edu/watershed/fox-river/history.asp. Acessed May 1, 2018.
  2. Our Waters, Fox-Wolf Alliance (Word Press, 2012), http://fwwa.org/our-waters/ Accessed April 26, 2018.
  3. Lower Fox River Basin, Wisconsin DNR (Wisconsin.gov, 2016), https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Watersheds/basins/lowerfox/ Accessed May 1, 2018.
  4. The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (Word Press 2012). Accessed May 1, 2018.
  5. Tivoli Gough, GLC Brokers Fox River Water Quality Trade,Wisconsin State Farmer,2016. https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2016/10/19/glc-brokers-fox-river-water-quality-trade/92398154/ http://fwwa.org Accessed May 1, 2018.
  6. Clean Wisconsin", Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (Word Press 2012). http://fwwa.org/2018/03/19/pah-pollution-tar-based-sealants/ Accessed May 1, 2018.
  7. History of the Fox-Wolf Watershed, University of Wisconsin Green Bay. https://www.uwgb.edu/watershed/fox-river/history.asp. Accessed May 1, 2018.
  8. Fox-Wolf Watershed Cleanup 2018, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (Word Press, 2012), http://fwwa.org/2018/04/26/register-today-2018-fox-wolf-watershed-cleanup-may-12th Accessed May 1, 2018.
  9. Take the Watershed Pledge, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance (Word Press, 2012), http://fwwa.org/watershed-pledge/ Accessed May 1, 2018.

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