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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published May 12, 2015

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Priorities for water quality protection set through 2017

MADISON -- Projects to protect Wisconsin waters against degradation, revise bacteria water quality criteria and develop guidance for blue green algae are among the priorities established by citizens statewide through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' triennial standards review process.

Every three years, DNR reviews Wisconsin's surface water quality standards and asks citizens to weigh in on priorities and topics of concern. This comprehensive evaluation is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to keep waters swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

Ashley Beranek, DNR water resources management specialist, said the review helps the department focus its resources to integrate the latest science, technology and federal requirements to protect public health, recreation and fish and other aquatic communities. As described in the 2015-2017 triennial standards review publication [PDF], DNR currently has eight projects underway related to surface water quality standards; the triennial standards review process allowed for the identification of three additional major projects over the next three years.

The new projects focus on:

The projects were chosen based on their environmental importance, feasibility and levels of public concern. Citizens used an online survey to rank their top water quality concerns.

DNR will use the identified priorities to plan work through 2017 and address the topics as resources allow. Any changes to standards must be approved by the Natural Resources Board, the Wisconsin Legislature and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The list of priority topics along with the full final report are available by searching the DNR website for "triennial standards review."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ashley Beranek, DNR water resources management specialist, 608-267-9603,; Sarah Yang, DNR environmental toxicologist, 608-266-9262, or Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084,



"Tour de Marsh" and "Paddle Horicon" events scheduled at Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center

HORICON, Wis. -- Get your friends and family together and come to the 5th annual "Tour De Marsh" at Horicon Marsh on June 6 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join bicyclists, hikers, motorcyclists and autos touring around and through the famous Horicon Marsh. Named one of the "Seven Wonders of Wisconsin" and a "Wetland of International Importance," seeing and experiencing Horicon Marsh is a great opportunity to enjoy one of nature's treasures.

There is no entry fee for the event and it is open to everyone. Choose from 40-, 18- or 8-mile routes.

Tour maps and refreshments will be available at designated spots along the route. The map is a suggested route for a self-guided tour. Participants can start at one of the designated spots and then proceed on their tour. Each stop will have parking, refreshments, maps, information cards and restrooms available. A drawing will be held for participants that visit all five stops.

There will also be a guided 8-mile bicycle tour on flat terrain at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.; meet at the main parking lot off of Highway 49 on the north end of the marsh. Bring binoculars and cameras for viewing and photo opportunities.

Routes along Dike Road and Old Marsh Road open two major nature areas allowing visitors into the heart of refuge areas for scenic views of nature. Featured stops along the route include the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center where visitors can see the Horicon Marsh Story movie and wildlife exhibits, and the Horicon National Wildlife Federal Refuge (exit DNR) Visitor Center to view and study marsh exhibits. Ledge Park and Marsh Haven are also attractions on the map. Prime overlooks like Palmatory Street, Bayview Road, and Bud Cook Hiking Area offer breathtaking views of the marsh and countryside.

Stops/Start Stations:

For more information or a printable map, visit or call Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center at 920-387-7890.

Paddle Horicon Marsh

Join fellow paddlers at Horicon Marsh to paddle the 6.5- mile water trail through Horicon Marsh on June 27 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife staff will be on hand to help guide you through while educating you and other outdoor enthusiasts about the wildlife, history, and management of the marsh as you make your way downstream through Horicon Marsh into the Rock River.

Aside from the 6.5-mile trail at the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area, features of the day include listening and talking to wildlife staff from the Department of Natural Resources who will be posted at various stopping places along the marked canoe/kayak trail, a free shuttle back to your vehicle, help loading and unloading your vessel and free parking. The trail starts at the Green Head Boat Landing and ends at Nebraska Street Landing in Horicon.

The DNR wildlife staff will briefly cover topics focusing on the birds of the marsh and how they are managed, and will be available for any other questions. A wildlife biologist will also navigate the route in an airboat to demonstrate one of the many management tools that are used on Horicon Marsh. This is a great opportunity to talk with experts and learn from some of the people that work at the marsh every day. Restroom facilities will be available at the beginning and end of the trail.

If you have your own canoe or kayak, two free shuttles will be provided by Johnson Bus. The shuttles will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Nebraska Street Boat Landing in Horicon back to your vehicle at Green Head Boat Landing. Anyone launching after 11 a.m. should park at the take out and take the shuttle back to launch because you will not finish in time to take advantage of the shuttle.

If you would like to participate but don't have your own vessel, you can rent one at Horicon Marsh Boat Tours in Horicon. For your convenience, Horicon Marsh Boat Tours will be running their own shuttles to the launch site at Greenhead for an additional fee. To inquire about canoe or kayak rental, contact Blue Heron Boat Landing at 920-485-4663 or visit

For trail maps or other paddle Horicon Marsh information contact 920-387-7893 or go to GPS coordinates for Greenhead boat landing are N43 30 19.5 W088 35 31.3 and the physical address is N8600 Green Head Road, Horicon, WI 53032.

Event sponsors include: Wisconsin DNR, Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, Beaver Dam Community Hospital, Marshland Pharmacy, Horicon Bank, Rock River Tap and Johnson Bus.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Liz Herzmann, 920-387-7893 or Leslie Hershberger, 920-387-7890


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

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