The orange moon and pre-storm pink sky made for a beautiful backdrop for the 2013 Milky Moonlight Paddle. On Monday, July 22nd Milwaukee Riverkeeper and our friends at River Alliance of Wisconsin led over 60 paddlers from river to Great Lake and back again, in the shadow of skyscrapers and under the light of the full moon. View pictures of the event!
Mayor Barrett and his staff unveiled Milwaukee’s new Sustainability Plan, called ReFresh, at a press conference Tuesday morning. Milwaukee Riverkeeper and other organizations cheered on the plan on the water.
After 30 years of delay, the EPA has finally proposed a variety of options for cleaning up toxic water pollution from coal fired power plants. Power plants are the biggest source of water pollution in the country--poisoning hundreds of lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers that are communities use to swim, drink, and fish.
The Natural Resources Defense Council rated South Shore beach as one of the most consistently contaminated in the U.S. Riverkeeper Cheryl Nenn was interviewed by WUWM on the issue and ideas on how to improve the problem:
“The problem is we have old pipes and we have a lot of old sewage pipes in the same trenches as the storm water pipes. As someone can imagine, you have a crack in an old storm water pipe and a crack in old sewage pipe, you start getting cross mixing. And then sometimes that human waste is finding its way into the lake via these storm water pipes.” Nenn says. Nenn says the good news is the community knows how to fix the plumbing.
Listen to the interview on the WUWM website.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper and over 50 other groups along the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basin signed on to a letter encouraging our representatives to co-sponsor the Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act (H.R. 358). This bill would create a national strategy to address one of the greatest invasive species threats in decades in two of the nation’s most significant watersheds, the Mississippi and Ohio River basins.
Asian carp are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations. No federal strategy currently exists to protect the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries from Asian Carp.
Our letter is available in the PDF below.
Since Waukesha’s first proposal for Lake Michigan water diversion in 2011, their application has had major changes. One of the major changes in the proposed application is that the water supplier has now changed from the City of Milwaukee to the City of Oak Creek, changing the water supply route. Other changes include the demand forecast, which is declining and the water conservation plans.Milwaukee Riverkeeper and a coalition of conservation organizations sent a letter to the DRN and City officials requesting that the DNR ask the City of Waukesha to complete a revised application and furthermore for the DNR to hold public hearings on these revisions. The City’s application will set a precedent for future water diversion requests all around the Great Lakes Basin. The Great Lakes Compact was adopted by all eight Great Lakes states and ratified by US Congress and signed by President Bush in 2008. The Compact is a multi-state agreement which requires the Great Lakes states to protect and manage this world-class resource in a unified manner, adopt and implement strong water conservation measures, and prohibit diversions from the Great Lakes. Exceptions to the water diversion prohibition are allowed only under very limited circumstances and if a community meets rigorous requirements. If you feel strongly about this issue, please contact Kenneth Johnson (DNR Water Division Administrator) at email@example.com and Eric Ebersberger (DNR Spokesperson for Lake Michigan Water Diversion) at firstname.lastname@example.org and request public hearings on Waukesha's application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water, particularly in the communities directly affected by the diversion and return flow. The coalition’s letter is below.
Last Thursday our Senior Water Advocates set out for a fun adventure to tour two family farms to gain an eye-opening view of farming operations.The first farm had about 400 cows, and was starting to prepare to be a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) near West Bend. The second was an already established CAFO in Ozaukee County with 17 full-time employees. The tours included information on how each of the farms managed their manure, toxic runoff and federal regulations. Be sure to check out the see photos of this great day!
The U.S. Senate plans to introduce another bad coal ash bill this session dubbed The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013 (SB __). This legislation would fail to protect public health and the environment from toxic coal ash; It would not include protective standards for disposal of coal ash: lack meaningful requirements to close or clean up leaking dumps; and prohibit the EPA from classifying coal ash as hazardous waste, thereby allowing the toxic ash to be reused in materials such as cement, concrete, and roofing materials without any safety limits. See the full list of deficiencies in the PDF below.