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Collaborating to secure healthy and sustainable water resources throughout five watersheds of Southeastern Wisconsin

Upper Milwaukee River Basin Water Quality Forum

Ozaukee County Courthouse Port Washington, WI

January 23, 2013

Our Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds

Watershed: Area: (in sq. miles)

Kinnickinnic River
Menomonee River Milwaukee River Oak Creek Root River Lake Michigan Direct Drainage Area

135.8 700.0 28.2 197.6 40.7

Total Square Miles:


Total Perennial River Miles: Number of Counties:

600+ 9

Number of Local Municipalities: 83

The Formation of Sweet Water a Result of Two Major Initiatives

SEWRPC 2009 Regional Water Quality Plan Update Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Districts 2020 Facilities Plan Public Policy Forums 2006 Water Panel

Joint water quality initiative formalized with Wisconsin DNR

Urban and rural nonpoint pollution identified as key issue

A Blue Ribbon panel identified shared objectives for the Greater Milwaukee watersheds

Plans conclusion: A watershed approach is needed

Panels conclusion: Regional collaboration is essential

Sweet Waters Goals

Make measurable progress in improving regional water resources (with specific goals for pollutant reductions and land restoration)
Support land use practices that improve water quality Forge relationships to find & leverage funding Recommend policies to produce lasting water resource benefits

Implement cost-effective projects resulting in measurable improvements


Sweet Waters Steering Council

Officers: Nancy Frank, UW-Milwaukee Urban Planning Dept. Tom Grisa, City of Brookfield Dept. of Public Works David Lee, We Energies Members: Preston Cole, City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works Sharon Gayan, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources Susan Greenfield, Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network Michael Hahn, SE Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Andy Holschbach, Ozaukee County Land Management Dept. Scott Mathie, Metropolitan Builders Association Peter McAvoy, UWM School of Freshwater Sciences Neil Palmer, Village of Elm Grove Karen Schapiro, Milwaukee Riverkeeper Kevin Shafer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Dan Stoffel, Washington County Board Brett Wallace, Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

Research efforts in public knowledge

Clean Wisconsin

Regional Stormwater Outreach Campaign

Sweet Water Structure

Clean Wisconsin, Milwaukee Riverkeeper River Revitalization Foundation, American Rivers

Prioritizing projects

Communications Committee

Menomonee River

Clean Wisconsin, Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Kinnickinnic River

New bacteria markers

Science Committee

Sweet Water

Watershed Action Teams

Root River

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, American Rivers

Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network

Tracking emerging issues

Policy Committee
New water quality trading & phosphorus efforts

Midwest Environmental Advocates, Clean Wisconsin, Milwaukee Riverkeeper

Watershed Action Teams to follow:

Watershedbased storm water permitting effort

Rural nonpoint pollution reduction work

Oak Creek

Milwaukee River

River Alliance of Wisconsin

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) projects

Sweet Waters Key NGO Partners:

Sweet Waters 2011 Water Quality Survey

(388 respondents in three watersheds)
Milwaukee Co. Waukesha Co. Survey Respondent % 71% 13%

Actual % in Watersheds
71% 13% 7% 4%

Washington Co. Sheboygan Co.

Ozaukee Co. Fond du Lac Co. Spanish speakers Aged 60 or over White

8% 4%
2% 2% 1% 43% 72%

2% 8% 16% 72%

Female Household income $50,000 or greater



Knowledge of our watersheds

What is the closest body of water to your home?
Don't know 1%

Lake Michigan 44%

A stream or river 42%

An inland lake 13%

Values: lack of individual responsibility towards water quality

I have a responsibility to future generations to protect the regions water resources.
Being a good steward of the environment is an important part of my faith.

The actions of individuals do not have an impact on water quality and quantity I do not see a role for myself in protecting the regions water resources.
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90

% agreeing

Key Take-aways from the Sweet Water Tele-survey

Most residents believe that sewerage overflows and industrial waste are key to area water problems Many residents dont know they are near a river Their valuation of water and their sense of personal impact on water quality is very low BUT, they are willing to help, and to learn more So Sweet Water and its partners will focus on those opportunities in the coming years

So, Sweet Waters Outreach Efforts Are Essential

Public Stormwater Education A $250K, 2-year Partnership Underway

Sweet Water Teams Are Active in Multiple Watersheds

Residential Stormwater BMP Projects (Kinnickinnic River watershed)

Sweet Waters Mini-grants $130K to Civic Groups in First 3 Years

Advancing New Regional Water Quality Policy Efforts

Four third-party TMDLs underway, with Sweet Water in key stakeholder outreach role Root River restoration plan underway, with $300K in funds bridging a key border New efforts to institute water quality trading Promotion of adaptive management option for phosphorus Coordination of efforts to adopt new watershed-based storm water permits

New Menomonee River Watershed Based Storm Water Permit Adopted December 2012



For more info, visit Or contact Jeff Martinka, Sweet Water: the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. 414-382-1766