The Midwest Biodiversity Institute (MBI) was contracted by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) through the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust (“Sweet Water”) to develop a watershed-based monitoring and biological assessment Plan for the Milwaukee River Basin and adjoining MMSD service area watersheds. MMSD specifically requested that the content and uses of the Plan follow that previously developed by MBI in support of two major projects in Ohio and Illinois. The common elements of these projects include rotating annual watershed assessments to document the effects of pollution on biological condition, chemical water quality, and physical factors and development of an Integrated Prioritization System (IPS) which serves as an information warehouse and toolset of data, stressor relationships, and a prioritization scheme to set restoration and protection priorities within the requirements of the respective State Water Quality Standards (WQS).
The Plan describes a spatial and temporal sampling design and the indicators and parameters that are to be collected at each sampling site and options for managing the scope of the project. Data collection will follow current Wisconsin DNR methods and protocols. Chemical and physical measures are intended to provide supporting data. All biological, chemical, and physical parameters are to be collected as paired data to support subsequent stressor analyses and the development of tools and models for the diagnosis and management of limiting stressors. The Plan can be used by MMSD and/or local stakeholders to guide the development of detailed study plans for the actual field work and the subsequent data analysis for baseline bioassessments in the near future. The recommended spatial sampling design is not necessarily binding and can be modified to suit the objectives and resources of various stakeholders.