The Wisconsin Nutrient Strategy is a framework that brings together diverse nutrient management activities for point sources and nonpoint sources across the state. It documents the progress of ongoing activities implemented by federal, state, or local agencies and identifies outstanding needs.
The effort is led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources with contracted assistance from University of Wisconsin-Extension. In addition, the strategy was crafted with substantial input from federal, state, and local agency representatives who served on three workgroups during the strategy’s creation. The original driver for this work was the U.S. EPA’s Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008, which called for Mississippi River basin states to develop a strategy by 2013 to reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen loading to address the biological “dead zone” in Gulf of Mexico. Wisconsin’s strategy also addresses water quality needs for the portion of the state’s surface and groundwater within the Great Lakes basin, consistent with Annex 4 of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The strategy does not call for new regulations for either point sources or nonpoint sources. It builds on existing programs and requirements at the local, state and federal level that either regulate point sources or promote voluntary conservation practices by agricultural nonpoint sources. It recognizes that implementation is occurring at the watershed scale through partnerships between municipalities, sanitary districts, county land and water conservation departments, farmers, environmental and watershed groups, UW-Extension, and state and federal agencies. By aligning these complementary efforts, the strategy seeks to increase outreach and education, enhance planning efforts, and accelerate conservation practice implementation, all with the goal of yielding measurable reductions in nutrient losses. It is intended to be a living document that changes to reflect new developments and advances in Wisconsin’s nutrient reduction efforts.