About the Coalition
The Eau Claire River Watershed Coalition (the Coalition) began to come together in 2015, when several area stakeholders decided that a watershed plan was needed for the Eau Claire River watershed. Issues like sedimentation of the flowage lakes on the Eau Claire River, degraded water quality in many of the streams and lakes of the Eau Claire River watershed, soil being lost from area farms, and streambanks losing their stability, were some of the reasons that stakeholders in the watershed determined that something more focused was needed.
Such a focused plan would meet the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) guidelines for watershed plans (making the watershed eligible for certain grants), and also act as a guide for implementation throughout the watershed, setting goals and developing methods to reach those goals. With much facilitation help from the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, this ten-year plan, “Healthy Soils and Healthy Waters; A Community Strategy for the Eau Claire River Watershed”, was completed in 2016 and approved by EPA and WDNR in 2017.
The Coalition is the entity overseeing the implementation of the Plan. The Coalition meets every month to discuss and implement elements of The Plan, create collaborations, conduct events, acquire resources, and track progress. The Coalition operates using the following statement of identity and purpose:
The Eau Claire River Watershed Coalition is a diverse partnership committed to protecting and improving
soil and water quality. Such improvements will be achieved through data collection, education,
cooperation, and civic engagement of watershed stakeholders.
Members of the Coalition include:
Citizen water quality monitors
Land Conservation Departments from the Counties in the watershed
Lake Associations and Lake Districts
UW-Division of Extension
County Health Departments
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Other organizations and individuals with interests in the watershed
The Coalition has secured grants for and guided the establishment of educational workshops, farm field days, soil health demonstrations and kits, educational materials, collaborative meetings with outside stakeholders, and many other events/resources/activities focused on the goals of the Plan. The Coalition continues to plan and learn as we go, and will, at the end of the ten years of the Plan, reassess to determine how to further improve water quality and soil health within the Eau Claire River Watershed.