Clean Bay Backer Water Quality Pamphlet
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Basin Program Funds:
The Lower Fox River and Green Bay Remedial Action Plan identified nonpoint sources
of phosphorus and suspended solids to be the primary cause of most of the AOC's
11 impaired beneficial uses. Each year, an estimated 1.5 million pounds of phosphorus
is delivered to the Fox River, 80% of which originates from nonpoint sources
throughout the Fox-Wolf basin.
The Clean Bay Backer Water Quality Pamphlet sought to enhance the water quality
of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay through a public education pamphlet designed
to: 1) inform citizens about water quality, nonpoint source pollution, and remedial
actions they can help initiate throughout the watershed; 2) increase appreciation
from and understanding of local and regional water resources and the benefits
of restored water quality; 3) help the public make informed decisions about
water resources and fresh water coastal management; and 4) motivate citizens
to take individual actions to reduce or prevent nonpoint source pollution.
The Fox-Wolf watershed encompasses 18 counties spread over 6,400 square miles.
The Lower Fox River and Green Bay, identified as an Area of Concern (AOC) by
the International Joint Commission, are plagued with both conventional and toxic
pollutant problems. The primary cause of most of the AOC's 11 impaired beneficial
uses is nonpoint sources of phosphorus and suspended solids. The 1993 RAP update
concluded that the vast majority of the estimated 200 million pounds of
suspended solids delivered to the AOC each year are related to nonpoint sources.
Progress in improving water clarity and restoring the quality of the Fox River
and Green Bay depends on actions to reduce the flow of nutrients and suspended
solids to the Area of Concern.
This project covered the development and distribution of the educational pamphlet.
The pamphlet identified both healthy and degraded areas within the Fox-Wolf
basin and suggested actions to reduce/prevent nonopoint source pollution using
six animated characters called The Clean Bay Backers.
In order to meet the above-stated goals, a colorful and informative pamphlet
entitled How to be a Clean Bay Backer was designed and printed.
With considerable coordination with other projects from the pamphlet distribution,
such as a USEPA-funded Clean Bay Backer Media Campaign, over 10,000
copies of the pamphlet have been distributed across a 6,400 square-mile watershed.
The Clean Bay Backer media campaign promoted the pamphlet through newspaper,
billboard, radio, and television advertising, and a 1-800 number. Regional collaboration
efforts included environmental education programs associated with the Neville
Public Museum, the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, and UW-Extention.
A survey designed to measure the effectiveness of these education efforts has
indicated that the project has met or exceeded its goals for an awareness rate
(of the Clean Bay Backers and Polluted Runoff) of 25% in Northwest Wisconsin.
Contact: Dr. Vicky Harris, (920) 448-5127