The mission of the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association brings people together in an open exchange, empowering all with experience and knowledge to steward land and water resources for the benefit and enjoyment of our communities, today and for generations to come. The goal of the Resources section is to be a growing body of information on a wide range of topics about the watershed. The more we know about the land and water that sustains us, the better able we are to preserve and protect it so that future inhabitants can love and enjoy it as much as we do. If you have a resource topic or link you would like us to consider contact us at with your recommendation.

Agriculture Practices

  • Targeted conservation practices in Dane and Green Counties, Wisconsin. To learn more click here.
  • Diversified crop rotation - How diversified farm systems can help farmers while protection soil and preventing pollution.


  • A short video explaining how biodiversity is good for the economy.

Carbon Foot Print

  • A website which allows you to track your carbon footprint using a carbon calculator, provides a shrink guide, weekly blog and publications which go deeper into the subject. 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

  • Public Comment on Proposed CAFO in Green County by Susan Lehnhardt on behalf of LSRWA.
  • The spatial relationship between impaired streams and Wisconsin CAFOs via interactive map.


Conservation Resources

  • Websites
      • Wisconsin NRCS  (Natural Resource Conservation Service) - A very comprehensive site concerning all facets of conservation practices in Wisconsin.
      • NRCS - Is the primary federal agency that works with private landowners to help them conserve, maintain and improve their natural resources. 



Cultural History

  • De Mun's Trading Cabin - Jules De Mun:  A French Fur Trader on the Sugar River, Wisconsin by Donald E. Thompson and Thomas Fey, Wisconsin Academy Review, 34(3): 16-22, 1988. Article presents historical details about Jules De Mun's life and about the archeological excavation of De Mun's cabin site on the Sugar River south of present day Decatur dam.  
  • Mary Sackett's Journal, 1841 and 1842. The journal was kept by Mary as she traveled with her parents from New York City to Laona, Winnebago County, Illinois. 

Field Guides

  • Books
      • Field Guide to Wisconsin Streams: Plants, Fishes, Invertebrates, Amphibians and Reptiles (2014) by M.A. Miller, K. Songer and R. Dolen; University of Wisconsin Press.




  • Websites
      • Wisconsin Vascular Plants - A fully searchable site including photos, habitat information, distribution, maps, herbarium speciman data and more.




  • Topography
      • Karst  - What karst is, and how it affects Wisconsin's drinking water.



Great Lakes

  • Report 
      • State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report - an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem.



Health and Safety

  • Studies 
      • Characterizing the sources of elevated groundwater nitrate in Dane County, Wisconsin - A study compiled of a database of over 61,000 nitrate records dating back to 1970's from wells in Dane County.



Invasive Species

  • New Species Alerts
      • Cardamine impatiens (Narrow-leaf Bittercress) - to learn more click here
      • Pimpinella saxifrage (Burnet Saxifrage) - to learn more click here and here.



  • New Zealand Mud Snail - Fact Sheet and video.
  • Reporting Invasive Species - The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists
  • Technical Publication(s)
      • Invasive Plant Atlas of United States - Is a collaborative project between the National Park Service, the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The purpose of the Atlas is to assist users with identification, early detection, prevention, and management of invasive plants.
      • TechLine - "A digital publication featuring new, innovative, and proven science-based information for invasive plant managers."



Natural Resource Apps

  • iNaturalist - "A place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world."
  • Merlin - A free, simple and easy to use bird ID app for both Apple and android smartphones by Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • Wisconsin eBird - All about Wisconsin birds.


Soil Resources

  • 12 videos with 2-3 minute messages explaining the role of soils in human health and prosperity prepared by the Soil Science Society of America in celebration of the International Year of Soils, 2015. 
  • The hugely popular Web Soil Survey (WSS) website recently released its latest version - 3.2.  Originally introduced in 2005, the latest update provides improvements and enhancements that help users at all levels be better informed and prepared when making land-use-decisions.  Developed by USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the free, web-based-application provides a wealth of soils information, data, and soil survey maps—all free and downloadable. Visit and see for yourself.

Sugar River

Teaching Resources

  • Kids Gardening focuses on educating and growing the whole child using gardening and academic curriculum in the garden with foci on horticulture, good food, biodiversity, soils, but also math, science, empathy and autism. A great tool for teachers. 
  • Wisconsin Fast Plants were developed as research tool at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and have been used by K-16 teachers around the world for nearly 30 years as an educational model-organism.
  • Multiple resource page for teaching gardening skills to kids and adults.

Water Quality

  • Beach Reports



  • Cyanobacteria - Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms and U.S. Geological Survey Science Capabilities - The U.S.G.S. scientists are leading a diverse range of studies to address CyanoHAB issues in water bodies throughout the U.S.
  • Nitrate - 2017 Wisconsin Groundwater Coordination Council Report to the Legislature. 
  • Nitrates - Nitrates in our drinking water - a report.
  • Missisippi River Basin - A report by Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC) addressing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the Mississippi River. In summary "MRC examined state administrative regulations and practices in the 10 states along the main- stem of the Mississippi River in order to measure what, if any, progress has been made under the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and EPA’s state partnership framework of 2011. The results of that assessment are dismal."
  • Municipal Water Supplies - Are they safe? A water quality database water users can search by ZIP code to examine what contaminates are found in their municipal drinking water supply.

Water Resources

  • Citizen Based Monitoring Results in the Lower and Middle Sugar River Watershed - 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  • Ground Water Quality Viewer - This is the go-to place to learn about ground water quality state wide and locally. Learn about private well water testing and interpretation of those results.
  • Wisconsin's Surface Water Monitoring Strategy 2015 to 2020 - A roadmap for understanding, protecting and restoring Wisconsin's water features.
  • Characterizing the sources of elevated groundwater nitrate in Dane County, Wisconsin - A study compiled of a database of over 61,000 nitrate records dating back to 1970's from wells in Dane County.
  • Wisconsin's 2018 Impaired Waters List  - Every two years, Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to publish a list of all waters that do not meet water quality standards. The list, also known as the Impaired Waters List, is updated to reflect waters that are newly added or removed based on new information or changes in water quality status.
  • Water and Agriculture Information Center (WAIC) - was established in 1990 to support the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) plan to address water quality concerns. As the focal point of the National Agricultural Library's water quality efforts, the center collects, organizes, and communicates the scientific findings, educational methodologies, and public policy issues related to water resources and agriculture.