UW-Extension works with many projects and partners throughout the Lower Chippewa River Basin in efforts to preserve and protect natural resources. Here is a list of many of these projects with more details on each below. For information on these and other projects throughout the Basin, contact the regional Natural Resource Educator.

The Mead Lake and Watershed Partnership

Mead Lake was created when a dam was built on the South Fork of the Eau Claire River. Many people live on the shores of the lake, and many area residents use the lake for swimming, fishing and boating. Sediment and other pollutants from nonpoint sources run the lake and its tributaries, affecting water quality. The Mead Lake and Watershed Partnership formed in 2008 to raise awareness among residents about the importance of protecting the watershed’s resources and to develop strategies for protecting those resources. Read more about Mead Lake and the Mead Lake and Watershed Partnership.

The Red Cedar River Basin

The Red Cedar River is a main tributary of the Lower Chippewa River. The Basin encompasses much of Dunn and Barron Counties, as well as small portions of bordering counties. Along with many of the lakes in the system, the Red Cedar River has been suffering extended algal blooms for decades. Concerted efforts on the part of many agencies and organizations are underway to try to minimize the incidence of these blooms and improve water quality overall, and the Lower Chippewa Basin Educator is involved in many of these efforts.

For more information about the issues and efforts underway, visit the Red Cedar River Basin website.

Chippewa Valley Storm Water Forum

Municipal Stormwater Permits are issued by the state and determine how a municipality manages its stormwater to prevent pollution and flooding. One requirement of these permits is that municipalities must conduct education and outreach programs for citizens focused on stormwater issues and management.

Several municipalities in the Lower Chippewa region came together in 2007 and formed the Chippewa Valley Storm Water Forum in order to collaborate on the education and outreach elements of their permits. The Forum includes the City and County of Eau Claire, City of Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, City of Menomonie, City of River Falls, and several towns. The Forum chose to name the education and outreach program, “Rain To Rivers: Wise Choices For Cleaner Waters.”

For more information on the Forum and the Rain To Rivers program, visit the Rain to Rivers website.

Half Moon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation

In 2004, a TMDL determination was completed for Eau Claire’s Half Moon Lake. A few years prior to this, a Task Force had been organized to make recommendations for, among other things, reducing the phosphorus and sediment loads flowing into the lake. Read more about the Half Moon Lake TMDL project.