Database hopes to guide runoff prevention in Wisconsin

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KIMBERLY, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin nonprofit has created a new database to determine the best methods for preventing chemicals, soil and manure from draining into Wisconsin waterways.

The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance database tracks how effective counter-runoff practices are near the Plum and Kankapot Creeks, which connect to the Fox River.

A 2015 study by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource says the creeks contribute the highest level of phosphorus and sediment into the river per agricultural acre. The watersheds received a $5 million grant from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to use cover crops, tillage practices, grass waterways, buffer strips and stream bank restoration to counteract runoff.

Jessica Schultz, the alliance's executive director, says agricultural and urban runoff contributes to increased algal blooms, some of which are harmful to humans.

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