Save the Bay Seeks to Improve Water Quality...

Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 19:30:31-05

Cleaning up the bay, that's what brought Representative Reid Ribble to Green Bay on Friday. He’s hoping to reduce phosphorous run-off from Lake Winnebago and area watersheds by working with various groups’ right here in northeast Wisconsin. It’s all in an effort to create new methods to solve pollution problems.

The US Department of Agriculture has made up to 20 million dollars available for new conservation efforts that could help local entities improve and protect water quality. On Friday folks from Save the Bay gathered in Green Bay to discuss how they could accomplish those goals together.

Congressman Ribble managed to bring together conservation groups, water treatment professionals and farmers all in one spot at NWTC today, which is no small feat.

"By him bringing that group together it's created a dialogue of how we can clean up the bay. How we can save the bay," says Bill Hafs the Director of Environmental Programs with New Water.

This group’s goal for the last year and a half has been to reduce the amount of phosphorus running into our most valuable resource.

“Let's not point fingers at somebody and say you're to blame. Instead let's focus all of our energy and attention at solutions,” says Representative Reid Ribble.

By building trust, educating each other and talking a lot about manure, the odds of water quality in the bay improving is becoming realistic.

 “Everyone has been pulling together to solve this problem. If we can fix it here in northeast Wisconsin it can be fixed anywhere,” adds Representative Ribble.

Because after decades of taking advantage, or not understanding, what is being done to our waterways on the account of phosphorous runoff, today things are beginning to look more positive.

"There's many places in the world that don't have the luxury of all this water," adds Hafs.

And believe it or not, it started with a conversation about how farmers and politicians can work together.

This process of improving water quality for the next generation is far from over. Save the Bay representatives will continue to teach new and older farmers what new science has taught them to improve the quality of our waterways.