2011 River Report Card

Milwaukee Riverkeeper is proud to release its second annual Milwaukee River Report Card, showing results of the 2011 monitoring season.

The River Report Card uses data from Riverkeeper's dedicated citizen stream monitoring volunteers and from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to provide a snapshot of the health of our rivers at subwatershed, watershed, and basin levels.

This year, we expanded our scope by adding the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee River Watersheds to the Milwaukee River Watershed, as reported in our inaugural Report Card.  We also added new water quality parameters such as bacteria, phosphorus, chloride, and conductivity to our existing parameters: dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, pH, and macroivertebrates.  These contaminants are major impediments to our rivers meeting their fishable and swimmable goals.

However, the inclusion of the more developed and largely urban watersheds of the Kinnickinnic and Menomonee Rivers brought the overall Milwaukee River Basin to a sobering D+ in 2011.  The Milwaukee River Watershed grade fell from a B- last year to a C in 2011.

While the grade is disappointing to all of us who value clean water and healthy communities, the Report Card provides the information that we and our partner need to continue working to restore the health of our rivers.  The Report Card's information will help determine where in the watershed action is most needed to reduce pollution levels and improve water quality and aquatic habitat.  Also, it highlights how individuals can take part in the effort to improve our waters throguh chagning behaviors such as application of fertilizers and road salt, as well as by volunteering as a water quality monitor.


2011 River Report Card.pdf4.73 MB