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Fox River Watershed Monitoring earns statewide recognition

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Prof. Kevin and Jill Fermanich, Volunteer Stream Monitoring Award

The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recognized UW-Green Bay’s Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program (LFRWMP) for its contributions to the state knowledge base about the health of Wisconsin’s streams at the annual Volunteer Stream Monitoring Symposium, held this year at UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 14 and 15.

Kris Stepenuk, of Water Action Volunteers presented the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program with the annual Wisconsin Stream Monitoring Award to recognize UW-Green Bay faculty and staff and program teachers and students for their commitment to monitoring, collecting data, raising awareness and sharing knowledge about Wisconsin streams. Professor Kevin Fermanich, long-time director of the program and Jill Fermanich, former outreach and school program coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of all the program partners.

The Wisconsin Stream Monitoring Award promotes awareness and participation in volunteer stream monitoring work in Wisconsin. Winners receive an engraved plaque and a certificate signed by the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

UW-Green Bay and partners established the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program in 2003, with funding from Arjo Wiggins Appleton, LLC. For over 10 years, this innovative program uniquely combines watershed education and the collection of quality scientific data with support from university, business, agency, and community groups. A goal of the program is to collect high quality data for resource restoration decision-making as the Lower Fox River Watershed is restored. Seventy to 85 students and 17 teachers from eleven area high schools participate in the program each year. The school-based teams have created a high quality, long-term database of nutrient, water quality, biological, and habitat conditions of their local streams. Students use their data and field experiences to explore research and management questions in their communities and share their data at an annual Watershed Symposium at UW-Green Bay, and at other community outreach events. This hands-on, problem-focused program develops and enhances scientific literacy and community stewardship which are critical to the long-term success of basin-wide restoration efforts and the sustainability of our most valuable natural resources, the Fox River and Green Bay ecosystems.

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