Four counties and Oneida Nation sign Water Quality Pact

GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) -- County executives come together in the fight for clean water in northeast Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, four of them and the Oneida Nation signed the first-of-its-kind Water Quality Pact at the 20th annual Watershed Conference in Green Bay.

Farming, along with urban and industrial development, have contributed to the decline of water quality in the Bay of Green Bay, Lake Winnebago and its tributaries.

“Generations of land management practices were just to continue to put on phosphorus, put on phosphorus to grow the crop. They're learning a new practice to be able to protect that long term,” said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.

Brown, Outagaime, Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties were joined by the Oneida Nation in making a long term commitment to protect waterways by signing the Northeast Wisconsin Water Quality Pact.

“It's an intent for us to pursue policies that would reduce phosphorus in the water system,” said Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris.

“This is going to be good not only here in northeast Wisconsin, but working at best practices and ways in which we can show the rest of the state, the rest of the country,” said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

The pact creates a steering committee to come up with solutions to ensure the health of waterways by continuing to work with landowners and municipalities on best practices that will hopefully be seen across the state and country.

“When we're looking at the state initiatives, they see four counties and a nation working together having the same goals, the same vision of clean water and that bodes well for other areas in the United States saying that we have a system here that works,” said Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill.

Calumet County is also supportive of the pact.

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