Water Hero: Michana Buchman

“I retired and started doing stream monitoring. I take water samples to DNR to check phosphorus levels.”
Rock River Basin
Fitchburg, WI

How do you work to protect Wisconsin’s waters?
Citizen science is the name of the game. Since I retired from Isthmus in May 2017, I’ve volunteered doing stream monitoring work under the auspices of the Rock River Coalition. I have my own beautiful stretch of Pheasant Branch Creek, where I check for oxygen saturation and turbidity and identify macroinvertebrates. I also take a water sample once a month for the DNR, to monitor phosphorus levels. (Biggest thrill: getting my first pair of chest waders!) 

What are your biggest concerns right now?
Between the challenges of climate change and the current political climate, there are problems facing us on so many fronts right now—it’s a little like whack-a-mole. I’m trying to keep my focus local, getting environmentally aware people elected into office, and contributing to whatever citizen science projects I feel suited to.

What keeps you strong and inspired in the face of challenges?
Wisconsin has a great heritage of appreciating and protecting its waters, and it’s important for me to do what I can to uphold that tradition. There are so many people striving to do the same—it’s hard not to be inspired. In addition, I’m motivated by my grandchildren—it’s vital that future generations inherit the same clean, navigable waters we’ve enjoyed.

What’s your favorite “water spot” in Wisconsin?
Skillet Creek at Pewit’s Nest and Pheasant Branch Creek.

More information:
Rock River Coalition

Learn about other Water Heroes in Wisconsin:
River Alliance Water Heroes – 2018