Thursday, October 04, 2018

Have you noticed the weird foil wrapping on some Fond du Lac trees? What’s going on? As it turns out, quite a bit. Bill Selbig, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, will explain it all at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 4, at the Fond du Lac Public Library. The program is free; no registration required.

The foil wrapping and other devices are helping researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, U.S Environmental Protection Agency and UW-Madison in their work for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. They’re taking measurements to determine how trees in town can reduce the volume of stormwater runoff. The scientists want to understand better the role urban trees play in what they call the whole-water cycle: from rain to gutters, through sewers and back into lakes and rivers.

There are many components to the whole-water cycle under study. Along with stormwater quantity, the scientists are interested to learn how trees can affect the quality of stormwater in relation to how cities manage leaf litter. Information learned from this study will assist environmental managers across the Great Lakes as they work to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world.