To SAVE a River, We Need YOU
Milwaukee Riverkeeper has been fighting to remove the Estabrook Dam in Glendale for years. Two weeks ago, we scored a big win when the Milwaukee County Circuit Court ruled in our favor and declared the dam a public nuisance that must be abated.
We plan to proceed full-speed ahead, put the pressure on, and once-and-for all tear down the Estabrook Dam and restore a natural, free-flowing Milwaukee River!
How YOU Can Help - Take Action
Please contact your County Supervisor TODAY and urge him or her to do away with the Estabrook Dam – the only fiscally and environmentally responsible thing to do.
Just copy and paste the message below into an e-mail and send it to your supervisor (please cc: email@example.com when you do). If you would like to add your own reasons why the dam should come down, feel free! Or, refer to the additional talking points below.
"Dear County Supervisor ___.
I reside at ___ in your district and am concerned over the issue of the Estabrook Dam on the Milwaukee River in Glendale.
As you may know on Thursday, May 24th, in a lawsuit filed by Mlwaukee Riverkeeper, the Milwaukee Circuit Court deemed the dam a "public nuissance" that must be either removed or repaired. I am urging that as a Milwaukee County Supervisor you take the best action for both the environment and the taxpayer and choose to remove the Estabrook Dam. Here's why:
-The costs of repairing, replacing, and maintaining the dam in the long run will greatly exceed the costs of removing the dam NOW.
-Milwaukee County is facing huge budget deficits, continued cuts in the already beleaguered Park Budget, and over $100 million in deferred maintenance to County buildings and facilities. Removal of the Estabrook Dam is not only best for the river’s ecology, but also minimizes costs to Milwaukee County and thus provides the greatest good to the larger public.
-There has never been a formal vote to repair or abandon at the Parks Committee or County Board. Supervisors are extrapolating $2.1 million in bonding approval in the 2010 budget as commitment to keep the dam and spend ultimately double or triple that amount. An official vote at the Parks Committee and County Board has been held up by one Supervisor whose Grandfather built the dam.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper's motion to remove the Estabrook Dam is supported by:
-Sierra Club Great Waters Group
-Trout Unlimited-Southeast WI Chapter
-Milwaukee Lake and Stream Fly Fishers
-Milwaukee County Conservation Coalition
-Greater Milwaukee Green Party
-Glendale Natural Areas Group
-Riverwest Neighborhood Association
Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal Editorial Board agrees that the dam should come down. Please do the right thing for all of Milwaukee's taxpayers and bring down the dam now to avoid a costly trial.
Thank you for your time,
List of Milwaukee County Supervisors:
- Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. - 1st District - (414) 278-4257 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nikiya Harris - 2nd District - (414) 278-4278 - email@example.com
- Gerry Broderick- 3rd District - (414) 278-4237 -firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marina Dimitrijevic - 4th District - (414) 278-4232 - email@example.com
- Russell Stamper II - 5th District - (414) 278-4261 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jim "Luigi" Schmitt - 6th District - (414) 278-4273 - email@example.com
- Michael Mayo, Sr. - 7th District - (414) 278-4241 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Patricia Jursik - 8th District - (414) 278-4231 - email@example.com
- Steve F. Taylor - 9th District - (414) 278-4267 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Bowen - 10th District - (414) 278-4265 - email@example.com
- Mark A. Borkowski - 11th District - (414) 278-4253 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peggy Romo West - 12th District - (414) 278-4269 - email@example.com
- Willie Johnson, Jr. - 13th District - (414) 278-4233 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jason Haas - 14th District - (414) 278-4252 - email@example.com
- David Cullen - 15th District - (414) 278-4263 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- John F. Weishan, Jr. - 16th District - (414) 278-4255 - email@example.com
- Joe Sanfelippo - 17th District - (414) 278-4247 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deanna Alexander - 18th District - (414) 278-4259 - email@example.com
*Not sure what district you're in? Click here to find out!
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS
• The costs of repairing, replacing, and maintaining the dam in the long run will greatly exceed the costs of removing the dam NOW.
• There are currently great Federal funding resources available as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for dam removal and restoration of dewatered areas. It is likely that funding for dam repairs and continued operation would come entirely from County taxpayers.
• Remediation of contaminated sediment upstream of the Dam must be the first priority to protect the environment and public health. The County Board has allotted no funding toward removal of these sediments, and this funding can not be bonded. Even if the Board decided to spend allotted bonded funds for dam repair, the dam can not be operated until sediments are cleaned up first.
• We urge the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to vote against funding repairs of the Estabrook Dam and instead to seek funds for removal of the Estabrook Dam, removal of contaminated sediments, and the restoration of the Milwaukee River in the area of the dam and existing impoundment.
• We encourage the County Board to initiate a more thorough and transparent public process regarding the decision to remove or repair the Estabrook Dam. There has been no public referendum on this dam. County Board and Committee decisions around this dam have focused on individual Supervisor’s political interests and not what’s best for Milwaukee County taxpayers or their natural resources.
• Removing the dam would yield the greatest positive impacts on river ecology, flood management, water quality, sediment management, fish and aquatic life, terrestrial wildlife, and recreation. Dam removal will help restore the natural and wild aspect of the Milwaukee River for current and future generations. The ecological health created by a free flowing river offers greater long term value than maintaining the present lake behind the dam.
*For even more information on why the dam should come down check out our position paper by clicking here.