Children's Books and Videos 

Lake-related books to share with that special child in your life. Curl up to read some of these wonderful stories together and reveal your own lake experiences. While these books may have been designed for children, they’re a great fit for anyone who enjoys wonderful illustrations and fun stories. These fun, educational options also make great gifts for your local library or school, where many people can enjoy the magic of lakes. These articles were originally run in the UWEX Lake Tides newsletters.  

Keeping Lakes in the Family Series

The Magic Goggles: Discovering the Secrets of the Lake  

Maggie and her little brother Tate are visiting their grandparents’ lake cabin when they discover two pairs of really weird, old goggles with leather straps in a dusty old trunk in the attic. Down at the lake with their goggles, the kids discover the magic goggles make them as light as a damselfly and let them see right through lily pads to the underwater forest below. 

When a mother wood duck befriends the duo and sees how they like exploring the shoreline, she takes them for a flying ride around the lake to get a bird’s-eye view. From this viewpoint they see that the deep blue jewel of a lake is surrounded by a forest of green, a summer camp, and a few houses located way back from the water. Based on what they’ve seen, Mama Duck explains how all the trees make the lake a good spot to raise a family.
This book’s descriptive text and rich, detailed illustrations will boost readers’ understanding about the importance of forests around lakes, while luring them into discovering their own magic at the lake.
To order, call 715-346-2116 or email uwexlakes@uwsp.edu. Cost: $8.00 includes shipping and handling. 

Waterfront Property Owners 

A Second Life for Trees in Lakes: As Useful in Water as They Were on Land  

Remarkably, after a tree falls in the lake, it might last another 300 to 600 years in the water. Fish use submerged trees in a variety of ways. Many species spawn on, adjacent to or under trees that provide cover which help some species protect their incubating brood. Newly hatched smallmouth bass will often inhabit submerged trees. 

Large submerged trees can host entire fish communities. In Wisconsin, fifteen species of fish inhabited a single white pine tree in Katherine Lake including black crappies, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, muskellunge, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch and minnows. Waterfront property owners can increase fish habitat by leaving trees that fall in the water in place. 

Available book formats:

- PDF Booklet, 8 pages

- Printed copies: call 715-346-2116 or email uwexlakes@uwsp.edu 


Impervious Surfaces: How They Impact Fish, Wildlife and Waterfront Property Values

Impervious SurfacesHow do impervious (hard) surfaces impact lakes and streams? This publication was developed for waterfront property owners and local officials to help answer this question. It does not discuss all of the potential impacts of impervious surfaces; rather it primarily focuses on impacts to: waterfront property values, fishing, and wildlife. Healthy lakes, rivers, and streams are truly the basis for creating fond memories of time spent near the water, like walleye fishing on a crisp fall morning, swimming with the kids in the afternoon, and entertaining friends on the evening shoreline.

Healthy fish, abundant wildlife, and clear, clean water all depend on the individual decisions that we make on our waterfront properties. When we develop waterfront lots, trees, and native plants are replaced by impervious (hard) surfaces. Driveways, rooftops, and other hard surfaces decrease the ability of the shoreland area to serve its natural functions. Links to the full-length version and the condensed versions are provided below.

Impervious Surfaces Materials:

- Free printed copies: call 715-346-2116 or email uwexlakes@uwsp.edu

- Full-length PDF Booklet, 20 pages

- Condensed PDF Booklet, 6 pages 

- Poster

- PowerPoint Presentations (Video and Audio):

    • Impacts of Impervious Surfaces on Fish, Wildlife, and Waterfront Property (PowerPoint, Video)

Shoreland Development Density and Impervious Surfaces 

This 19 page publication describes how shoreland development density and impervious surfaces affect the quality of our lakes and streams.

Shoreland Development Density and Impervious Surfaces  


Choosing the Right Waterfront Property  

 If you are thinking about buying waterfront property in Wisconsin, this guide is meant or you. A little time invested in learning about waterfront living will pay back sizable dividends in matching your expectations to the realities. This guide provides:    

- Ideas to consider before you start your property search

- Considerations to help you decide on the right lake or river

- Factors to help you choose just the right property 


Choosing the Right Waterfront Property PDF Booklet 


Protecting Your Waterfront Investment, 10 Simple Shoreland Stewardship Practices 

Healthy watersheds make healthy lakes and higher property values.  -- this booklet show how property owners can  take simple steps to curb pollutants, cut runoff, and capture and cleanse pollutant-carrying runoff before it reaches a waterway.



3 Simple Steps to Create a Lawn That's Healthy for Kids, Pets, Wildlife and Water Quality

How we manage our lawns affects the health of our children, pets, wildlife and water quality. This one page information sheet outlines three simple steps for creating a lawn that’s healthy for all.  

Shorelands, Wetlands, and Floodplains

Shoreland Zoning - Shoreland Science Workshop 

 Zoning Workshop Shoreland Science - PowerPoint


 Zoning Workshop Shoreland Science - PDF Handouts


Does Shoreland Zoning Work? (fact sheet) 

 This fact sheet describes the approaches of two states to shoreland zoning and if they are working to protect lakes.



Does Shoreland Zoning Work? PDF Fact Sheet


Zoning Board Handbook, Shoreland and Floodplain Chapters

 Shoreland and Floodplain Zoning


Siting Rural Development

Protect lakes and streams and decrease road costs. This fact sheet explores the existing road system in Wisconsin and its cost per person, and specific tools for minimizing pollutant sources and pollutant delivery to lakes and streams. 


Stormwater Management

Addresses high water issues in a changing Wisconsin climate.

Addressing Your Community's Flood Problems

A guide for elected officials on flood disaster preparation.

Addressing Your Community’s Flood Problems: A Guide for Elected Officials

Association of State Floodplain Managers, Inc., and the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force

Land Use and Wetlands  

Wisconsin Wetlands Association
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Shoreland Friends Guidebook 


The Shoreland Friends Guidebook Volume 1 

This volume of the guidebook serves as a 'how-to' guide for County Zoning Administrators and local groups that want to educate shoreland property owners about shoreland stewardship practices and related regulations.

The Shoreland Friends Guidebook Volume 2 

This volume provides shoreland educational plans for 10 Wisconsin counties and the process they went through to develop them.

River Owner's Handbook and Conservation Easement Brochure


The purpose of these two publications is to educate landowners living along river corridors on the benefits of conservation easements and to describe the best conservation methods developed for riparian lands.   These publications also address issues on the long-term benefit of various types of preservation techniques, and frequently asked questions concerning shoreland protection.


The Conservation Easement Brochure can be printed and redistributed to any individual who is concerned and/or interested in learning about protecting the aesthetic beauty, water quality and overall landscape in and around a water resource.



Protecting Wisconsin’s Groundwater Through Comprehensive Planning

 University of Wisconsin-Extension and the U.S. Geological Service, Wisconsin Water Science Center

Wisconsin Well Water Viewer


Groundwater and its Role in Comprehensive Planning. Comprehensive Planning and Groundwater Fact Sheet 1

 Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council

Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council Report to the Legislature - 2012


Well Water for Rural Residential Subdivisions

Madeline Gotkowitz, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey

Food Choices, Drinking Water Safety and Human Health


Map of pesticide use in Wisconsin

Center for Land Use Education. 2005 CropScape data from USDA was multiplied by the 2005 Wisconsin average pesticide use per acre for each crop from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Map of pesticide detections in Wisconsin private drinking water wells

Center for Land Use Education. Data from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and 2005 CropScape data from USDA.

Map of organic farms in Wisconsin

Wisconsin farmers are leaders in organic food production which affects human health, drinking water quality and farmers’ income and food processors.

Wisconsin Land Use Megatrends: Agriculture 

This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between agriculture and land use. Statewide trends for various agricultural sectors are explored together with economic impacts, environmental and human health impacts, and state and local policies to manage agriculture.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Wisconsin

Community Supported Agriculture in Wisconsin: Supporting Local Farmers and Protecting Drinking Water


Every “eater” affects groundwater quality through the farming practices they support when they purchase food. Buying food from local CSA farms protect farmland, supports sustainable farming practices, and conserves natural resources, including groundwater.