Land and Water Conservation Department


Photo: Stabenow Breakwall, Credit: Tim McEnroe, August 2023

Since 1941, the damage done at the Stabenow site by high water, waves, and ice has resulted in an average lateral recession of up to 2.5 feet of wetland per year, resulting in increased turbidity and loss of fish and wildlife habitat. Off-shore breakwalls were designed by the Winnebago County Land & Water Conservation Department (LWCD) and installed by local contractors to reduce sediment re-suspension within the habitat restoration area by reducing wave size and protecting the shoreline of the emergent marsh from further erosion.

To determine the efficacy of the breakwall structures, the LWCD has been monitoring to determine the regrowth of aquatic plants, both emergent and submergent species.

The aquatic plant monitoring comparison from 2021 to 2023 at the site has shown an overall impressive plant response in greater densities and species diversity.

About our Department

The Winnebago County Land and Water Conservation Department is dedicated to providing a full range of professional services in the planning, design, and implementation of programs and projects that PROTECT, RESTORE and SUSTAIN the natural resources of Winnebago County.

The Land & Water Conservation Department has a staff of 8 County employees, with backgrounds in geography, soil and water conservation, agronomy, watershed management, and GIS.  We work closely with federal and state agencies including Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection, UW-Extension, USDA Agencies, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 


Technical and financial services are provided in a number of ways. Some of these services are:

  • Land management planning and project design for individual landowners. This includes lands that are being cropped, tree planting, upland wildlife habitat development, wetland restorations, etc.
  • Design, cost-estimating, layout and construction supervision of "best management practices" built for land and water resource improvements.
  • Administer a county funded Water Quality Improvement Program.  This program provides funds to private landowners for various projects that improve water quality.
  • Secure and manage state and federal grants for County Land and Water Resource Management initiatives.
  • Secure and make available equipment, tools, and supplies that assist landowners in meeting their objectives in installing best management practices including planting protective vegetation on critical sites, tree planting, wildlife habitat development, etc.

Our focus is on the land and water resources of this County.

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