Wisconsin Buffer Initiative (USGS # BQY36)


In 2007 the USGS began monitoring nutrients, suspended sediment, and streamflow for two small paired watersheds in the Upper Pecatonica River Basin in SW Wisconsin (Upper Mississippi River Basins) as part of a pilot project of the Wisconsin Buffer Initiative. This study involves a partnership among Dane County Land Conservation Department, UW-Madison, The Nature Conservancy, WI DNR, and the USGS to study the effectiveness of targeted agricultural best management practices in reducing phosphorus loading to streams. Along with monitoring nutrients, suspended sediment, and streamflow at the watershed outlets, USGS conducted channel stability assessments, channel cross section surveys, and pebble counts at nested sites in both the control and experimental watersheds to determine proportions of sediment and nutrient contributed by channel processes and legacy sediment. Spring, 2011 work will measure and map fine sediment deposition from 10 intensive sites in Pleasant Valley. Estimates of sediment volume contributed by bank erosion and in-channel fine sediment deposition will be completed. Sediment fingerprinting work to determine channel vs. upland sources of sediment also is being done by the USGS and UW-Madison Biological Systems Engineering Department. These results will be summarized into annual potential loadings from channel sediment sources. All the data collected with resulting GIS layers will be shared with other team members for inclusion in SWAT model. In addition, survey once approximately 11 cross sections and longitudinal profile along the planned restoration reach of Williams-Barneveld Creek. Compile survey data into spreadsheet, including maps and ancillary information on benchmarks and provide data to DNR

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