This project aims to alleviate high nutrient levels and algal blooms in Wisconsin’s Lower Fox River Watershed (LFRW) by establishing a water quality trading program. A phosphorus credit trading program in the LFRW is a market-based approach to enable the most economic solution to achieving water quality goals that will increase overall environmental and economic benefits. The Lower Fox River flows into lower Green Bay, both of which suffer from excessive sediment, nutrients, bacteria and heavy metal loads. The Lower Fox River is considered an “impaired” water way and is therefore subject to a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). A TMDL sets a limit on the amount a pollutant that a water body can receive without violating water quality standards.
The Great Lakes Commission is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) and the Wisconsin DNR to develop this innovative program. Funding is provided by NRCS through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative which has identified the Lower Fox River/Green Bay as a priority watershed for targeted restoration efforts.