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The Milwaukee River and its streams are degraded by excessive phosphorus, sediment, and bacteria from urban and rural stormwater runoff. Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, forests, crops, grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. Protecting our land and water is key to sustaining the natural character of our watershed, as well as our resiliency to extreme weather.
The Working Soils® Program aims to permanently protect privately held working land in the Milwaukee River watershed floodplain. Healthy soils store rainwater, recharge ground water, and reduce water pollution. We work with landowners to acquire agricultural easements on priority lands. The landowners retain ownership and the right to work the land. Natural Resources Conservation Services staff work with the landowner and operators to implement an Agricultural Conservation Plan to improve soil health and mitigate future flooding.
The Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partnership was created to encourage information sharing and investment in agricultural conservation practices that promote healthy soils, clean water, and smart business. The partners implement conservation practices that are not only cost effective for production, but also benefit local waterways and protect the area’s natural character for generations to come. A funding allocation from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Program, a U.S. Farm Bill Initiative, helped participants focus on specific activities and results for 2016-2021.
Assist the agricultural community to improve soil health, water quality and reduce the risk of flooding. The MRWCP aims to promote agricultural conservation practices along priority streams and rivers.
Evaluate performance of conservation practices on soil health; measure the impact practices have on agricultural production through outreach and practice demonstrations.
Support a vibrant farm economy by permanently protecting local farmland to ensure it remains available for production in the future.