Important Work Ahead: Kicking off the Watershed Plan

The work to restore the Oak Creek watershed begins now. April 12, to be exact.

That’s when the kickoff meeting for the Oak Creek Watershed Restoration Plan has been scheduled. It will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at South Milwaukee City Hall.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting — the first of at least six of these “stakeholder” meetings throughout this potential two two-and-a-half year process.

Your participation and input are welcomed to ensure this plan considers a range of perspectives, as the stakeholder group will assist Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission staff in development of the plan.

As I’ve written about numerous times, this is vital work for the long-term health of the watershed, and I’m proud to have helped drive it. According to SEWRPC …

The watershed restoration plan will provide a guide for addressing the water quality impairments that have been identified in the watershed, and it will include specific, targeted recommendations to address a set of focus issues related to conditions within the watershed. 

The Oak Creek plan is designed to maximize funding opportunities for plan implementation by addressing the nine elements of a watershed-based plan as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

The following four major focus areas are being addressed by the watershed restoration plan:

  • Water quality,
  • Recreational access and use,
  • Habitat conditions, and
  • Targeted stormwater drainage and flooding issues.

In addition, the status of the Mill Pond and the associated dam located on Milwaukee County parkland within the City of South Milwaukee are being addressed considering their relationship to multiple focus issues.

SEWRPC has created a web page with more information on the project. Check it out.

Funding is coming from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee County, the City of South Milwaukee and grant sources. In fact, the Fund for Lake Michigan announced just last week that it had awarded $25,000 for the effort.

So, lots of good momentum here. I can’t wait to get started. Nor can the watershed.

3 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

3 responses to “Important Work Ahead: Kicking off the Watershed Plan

  1. Betsy A.

    This is an exciting endeavor for South Milwaukee and the whole of the watershed. Not to mention the great Lake Michigan that is one of the most important players in and ultimate recipient of any water quality endeavor like this. I envision numerous issues being addressed, and highly realistic solutions proposed. One hope is that the groups now advocating for the Mill Pond, Lagoon, and watercourse will come together in a unified response within this great process. They are on the same trajectory, I think, and will see benefit from working together in a positive light. This is not an invitation, by the way, for the groups to naysay. It is an invitation to “come together.” Please.

  2. Disco

    Not looking forward to the meeting. The major problem for me is, I have found no one but myself, that really read the 500 plus page 1986 report. The report was good on flood plain, never followed on holding ponds for airport runoff., and did not include any data from the environmental protection agencies toxic release inventory. I also feel the problem of two 24 inch storm sewers going into 15 inch down spout at Mill Road and Hawthorn will not be included. This could lead a clasp of the bluff. I am not being a “naysay”. I just feel we of South Milwaukee need to do our homework and go over the 1986 report. This will make the updated report much better.

  3. Mike

    One thing I don’t see explicitly in the scope of work is the clearing of small trees and underbrush along the Oak Creek. Looking back at some old pictures of the Oak Creek in the late 1800s there were a few, if any, trees along the bank of the Oak Creek. That provided a place for people to sit on the grass and have a picnic along the Oak Creek. I would love to see some of that restored. As it is now, except that the bridges you’re not even sure there is a creek running through there. Wouldn’t that be a nice relaxing place to just sit and enjoy.

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