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Our central Wisconsin farm was one of those rocky, sandy, hilly, and droughty farms where it never seemed to rain enough.

Near true-color image of Green Bay from October 1999, showing the immense scale of the algal bloom in the bay.

Welcome! This is the first of what will be many pieces on how different people relate to our shared waters.

Photograph of Jane Elder, executive director

How do the natural places we know and love define so much of what Wisconsin means to us?

Between 2002 and 2003, I was one of more than 700 hundred Wisconsin citizens who participated in the Wisconsin Academy’s Waters of Wisconsin (WOW) initiative.

At the 2013 Academy-hosted Innovators Showcase in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District director Kevin Shafer outlines how updated infrastructure and monitoring equipment saves the city water and energy at the same time.

Image composed from data provided by NEW Water/Great Lakes WATER Institute

As captain of the Bay Guardian, Tracy Valenta is out plying the waters of Green Bay at least twice a week. From her sturdy research vessel, Valenta studies Green Bay for NEW Water, the City of Green Bay’s municipal sewage district.

So where are we now, ten years after the publication of the first Waters of Wisconsin report?

My favorite passage from Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi is the part in which Twain writes about learning from his river boat pilot how to “read the water.”

Kevin Miyazaki (detail) at James Watrous Gallery

Solo exhibitions by photographers Ida Wyman and Kevin Miyazaki.

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Wisconsin Academy Offices 
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Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25