Sweet Water: Water quality projects get boost from new fund

Contact: Kate Morgan –

414.416.6509, [email protected]

Sweet Water and nine of its regional partners were awarded grants this June from the Fund for Lake Michigan to implement projects advancing water quality and habitat restoration efforts in Southeastern Wisconsin.

The Fund for Lake Michigan expects to award 4 million dollars yearly in grants over the next 24 years to projects that protect Lake Michigan, its shoreline and its tributary rivers.

Sweet Water’s partners receiving grants include:

* American Rivers — to support implementation of two green infrastructure projects in the Wilson Park Creek sub-watershed of the Kinnickinnic River

* City of Racine – to establish a baseline assessment of water quality in the Root River in support of the development of a Root River Watershed Restoration Plan

* Groundwork Milwaukee — to restore un-channelized portions of the Kinnickinnic River’s upper estuary and to serve as a demonstration project for other restoration work

* Kenosha County Division of Parks – to support the design and engineering phase of the removal of a non-functional dam in Petrifying Springs Park and the stabilization of the stream bank following the dam removal

* Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District – to support planting of 25,000 trees covering 33 acres of land along the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers converting agricultural properties into vegetated floodplains to improve water quality and provide critical habitat

* Ozaukee County Land and Water Management –to implement an agricultural buffer and field border initiative along Sauk and Sucker Creeks to protect water quality and restore and preserve usable habitat

* Ozaukee Washington Land Trust – to conduct a habitat management campaign in support of migratory birds to remove invasive species, plant native vegetation, and stabilize coastal bluffs, gorges, and stream banks and to monitor results

* Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network — to support Rook-Pike WIN’s Watershed-Based Grant Program funding small local projects to address water quality and habitat issues and a second award to support their efforts to develop a Watershed Restoration Plan for the Pike River.

* Sixteenth Street Community Health Center – to engage targeted communities in storm water best management practices and green infrastructure on their residential properties on three sites on the Kinnickinnic River.

Sweet Water was also awarded funding to support two initiatives. One grant will support the expansion of the Water Quality Mini-grant Program that funds small, neighborhood-level projects which utilize green infrastructure to protect water quality. The award is a matching grant with the potential to double the size of the current program. The Sweet Water Mini-grant Program will focus it awards on those projects sited in the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee watersheds.

Sweet Water was also awarded funding to support the development of a Root River Watershed Restoration Plan. Sweet Water and Root-Pike WIN will work together to engage a diverse group of stakeholders in the development of plan with targeted recommendations and prioritized projects to achieve improvements in water quality and habitat restoration.

All projects are slated to begin this summer.

Information about the Fund for Lake Michigan is found on the Greater Milwaukee Foundation website at: http://www.greatermilwaukeefoundation.org/grant_seekers/special_apps/LakeMichigan/index.shtml

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Sweet Water, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, is a nonprofit organization created in 2008 as a partnership of local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, academia, and individuals working collectively to improve the water resources in the 1,100 square miles of Greater Milwaukee Watersheds.

For more information on Sweet Water, visit http://www.swwtwater.org or contact Jeff Martinka, Executive Director, at 414-382-1766 or via [email protected].