Paddling and Policy - 50 years of the Clean Water Act on the Wisconsin River
July 23, 2022
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Brokaw, WI
On this afternoon flatwater paddling trip we’ll combine leisurely paddling with some rich riverbank discussions about the history of the CWA and its implementation in Wisconsin with our trip leaders Bob Martini, Todd Ambs, and Denny Caneff - all experienced paddlers and longtime river champions.
At the time of the 1972 passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), few water bodies in Wisconsin needed clean up more than the Wisconsin River. Often called America’s hardest working river, the Wisconsin River Valley in the 1970s hosted a heavy concentration of pulp and paper mills, along with no less than 26 hydro-electric dams between Lake Tomahawk and Prairie Du Sac.
Meeting the standards established in the Clean Water Act required years of negotiation and some noteworthy collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the many pulp and paper mills and other industries along the river. The results of that effort are a true environmental success story. Our trip leaders Bob Martini, Todd Ambs, and Denny Caneff are experienced paddlers, longtime river champions, and conservationists who have been critical parts of those efforts
On this afternoon flatwater paddling trip between Brokaw and Wausau, we’ll combine leisurely paddling with some rich riverbank discussions over lunch about the history of the CWA and its implementation in Wisconsin. We’ll critically assess the state of the river today, including some longstanding threats to water quality the CWA has not addressed, including non-point pollution, newly emerging contaminants such as PFAS, and the ways in which environmental inequities are especially experienced in river communities.