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YEAR IN REVIEW SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE WISCONSIN WATERS, 2019

Capturing and sharing a summary of an entire year’s worth of research, education and outreach conducted by committed and creative people does not come easily.

What does comes easily, though, is the passion behind the activities, a dedication to Wisconsin’s rich water assets—groundwater, inland lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and the Great Lakes.

They are laboratories, playgrounds, economic drivers and the inspiration for all we do.

Winter

Nearly 15 pounds. That’s the latest statistic on the amount of seafood the average American consumes in a year. Through workforce training, and fisheries and aquaculture research, Sea Grant is helping to meet the demand for shellfish and fin fish.

Getting hands-on with yellow perch, Freedom High School students met with Sea Grant’s Fred Binkowski and heard about his U.S. patent that gets the fish to spawn out of season.

In a six-month period, learning took flight as more than 1 million people stepped up to Dane County Regional Airport display cases to explore the Great Lakes and other water facts.

The science of a world-class lake sturgeon fishery and the art of the sport came together for attendees of an installation at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, Fond du Lac, sponsored by Sea Grant and partners.

Spring

Researcher Christy Remucal’s Water Resources Institute-funded investigation into how dissolved organic matter (DOM) may affect the formation of harmful disinfection byproducts is a step to protect drinking water. It can happen when DOM interacts with chlorine, added as part of a water utility’s disinfection practices at treatment facilities such as the one pictured.

The bounty of our waters was featured on several southern Wisconsin billboards.

Summer

A calm day on mighty Lake Superior.
The Great Lakes were at record-high levels in 2019 and new coastal engineer Adam Bechle helped homeowners, businesses and municipalities cope with erosion and damage. In Washington, D.C., Sea Grant Director Jim Hurley stepped up to the grill, along with Steve Summerfelt, chief science officer for Superior Fresh, to cook Atlantic salmon as part of the annual NOAA Fish Fry.

Our Voices of the Coast video series debuted in June. It’s an ever-expanding catalog that is profiling Great Lakes themes and champions, like decoy carver George Schmidt.

Fall

Wisconsin weather brought an October cold snap, turning the Lake Mendota shoreline, where our main office is located, into a wonderland.

Green infrastructure reduces stormwater runoff. This fall, and throughout the year, Water Quality Specialist Julia Noordyk consulted with coastal communities about changing local ordinances, embracing clean-water benefits.
An image from the "In a New Light: Under the Surface" photography project, which offers science learning and Lake Superior photographic outings as a therapeutic experience for youth struggling with mental health issues. It’s through Northwest Passage and Sea Grant provides support.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

FROM WISCONSIN SEA GRANT and UW WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE