Oak Creek Watershed Plan Update: Field Study Complete, Data Rolls In, Online Survey Launched, and More

What’s happening with the ongoing Oak Creek watershed study? A lot.

From completion of field surveys to gathering voluminous amounts of water and sediment quality data to launching a watershed survey, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission continues its work toward giving us the roadmap we need for a cleaner and revitalized watershed.

Read the full update here. Take the survey here.

From the update provided last week by SEWRPC …

Field efforts completed include the following:

  • Cross-section surveys at 166 locations on the three streams. This information will help assess the amount, quality, and diversity of instream habitat.
  • During the instream survey, 101 erosion sites were identified and measured along the mainstem, 18 along the North Branch of Oak Creek and 14 along the Mitchell Field Drainage Ditch. These measurements will help estimate the amount of total suspended sediment and phosphorus that is entering the Creek and its tributaries due to bank erosion.

Work is also underway to analyze available information related to the Mill Pond and Dam in Grant Park. Historical information related to the Mill Pond and Dam has been collected and reviewed. An evaluation to quantify the amount of sediment that has accumulated in the Mill Pond as compared to its original volume when constructed in the early 1930s has been started.

We will be discussing this at our city council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

The council will also consider adopting the Wind Point Watershed plan — an important document for us, as a portion of the city lies in that watershed. You can see that plan, recently endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency, here. Consider it a preview of what you can expect to see with the ongoing Oak Creek watershed work.

Expect more public meetings on the Oak Creek watershed plan beginning in early 2018, with a focus on individual topic areas in the report. I will keep you posted.

8 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

8 responses to “Oak Creek Watershed Plan Update: Field Study Complete, Data Rolls In, Online Survey Launched, and More

  1. SM Guy

    Survey complete. Highlights include dredging the Mill Pond immediately and not wasting money on studies / surveys that could have been spent on getting the job done – you know, just like they did when they destroyed Ebb;s Creek west of Fairview with no big announcement / survey / study.

  2. The Mill Pond/Lagoon was constructed in the early 1830′ s—not 1930’s. I can’t imagine what records were made then as to the content of the sediment.and what comparisons can be made. The sediment will continue to wash downstream into the Lagoon from the dirt creek banks and, since these banks will never be covered in concrete, the sediment will continue to settle in the Lagoon. That is why South Milwaukee and Milwaukee County periodically cleaned the sediment out. Our City deserves to recover this beautiful, historic 180 year old site.

    • Frank Millpond Gratke

      The date of completion of the current Mill Pond Dam is 1937. The Dam was part of Oak Creek Parkway . The Parkway development was overseen by Roger Sherman Hoar..That makes it a world class historical structure. He considered it his greatest accomplishment. There was a much bigger dam built in 1800’s previous that was used to power grinding wheels.
      Unfortunately, there is upstream pollution.Unless we can get some help from the companies that are responsible for the pollution, the only solution is to remove the dam, because of the cost of paying someone to take the polluted sledge. .The not in writing county position has been “we will not test it because we would have to clean it up”.

  3. Nels Monson

    I agree, Fix the sluice gate and dredge the lagoon. This historic landmark is important to our community and should be saved for future generations.

  4. Ed Worzala

    The lagoon was a great ice skating rink, during the 59’s, would be a shame if it wasn’t cared for. When I was a kid, I would take my fishing pole and walk a couple of miles from 15th and Madison and throw a line in and catch mostly bullheads, all the while, listening to the blue jays and enjoying the sounds and sights !

  5. Pug

    Fix the sluice! Dredge the pond.

  6. Frank Gratke—The WPA re-built the Dam in the 1930’s. I have a picture of the original Dam from the early 1800’s. Enter your address and I’ll send you a copy.

    • Frank Millpond Gratke

      Rebuilt is not really the truth. The two dams were completely different in their nature and use.The first was used to power grinding wheels to grind grain.The second and current,was an ornamental dam, The dam was a part of Oak Creek parkway, It was built to be a quiet peaceful setting where people should go to think over their daily troubles.Roger Sherman Hoar died in October 1963, at the age the 76. He had 26 years of walking along the parkway.
      He just did not complete one part of his lives task. That was to explaining the work of his friend,Wllder Penfield..Penfield mapped the brain and came up with some unbelievable conclusions. One task he did complete was the initial design of the now present social security act. .Losing the dam will on;y help bury the knowledge of the unfinished work of Mr Hoar..

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