Below are the current programs and projects of Milwaukee Riverkeeper. To see past programs, visit Programs Archive

Waukesha Diversion

After 3 years, the City of Waukesha has finally submitted its revised Great Lakes diversion application proposing to divert an average of 10 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to Waukesha.

SWIM Guide

SWIMGuideLOGoCurious if your local beach is open for swimming?  Check out our interactive SWIM Guide!  You can even download it to your phone and take the guide with you. 

Fish Passage Impediment Project

released!Throughout 2011 and 2012, Milwaukee Riverkeeper identified fish passage impediments and opportunities for aquatic habitat restoration in the 136 square mile Menomonee River Watershed.

Estabrook Dam Removal

Estabrook dam

Milwaukee Riverkeeper has joined with citizens, fisherman, property owners and elected officials to call for the removal of the Estabrook Dam.  Removing the dam will save millions in taxpayer money, while improving water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife.

Bacteria Testing

For the past 4 years, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, in partnership with the UWM-Great Lakes Water Institute has extensively monitored bacteria levels in the lower reaches of the Menomonee River and its tributaries, and to a lesser extent, the Kinnickinnic River Watershed.

Great Lakes Compact

Milwaukee Riverkeeper worked in collaboration with groups locally and throughout the Great Lakes Region to advocate for passage of the Great Lakes Compact, to protect Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes from water diversions and other threats to lake health.  We continue to monitor the implementation of the compact locally.

SWAN - Senior Water Advocacy Network

SWAN is a network of adults aged 50+ who are advocates for Lake Michigan and Milwaukee's rivers.  We offer training and workshops for those who want to speak out on behalf of area's waterways.

River Cleanups

Each year Milwaukee Riverkeeper organizes thousands of volunteers to clean up rivers, streams and parks in the Milwaukee River Basin.  Volunteers pull hundreds of thousands of pounds of garbage out of waterways and surrounding land, improving wildlife habitat water quality and aesthetics.


Milwaukee Riverkeeper is licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance to protect our waterways. As the Milwaukee Riverkeeper, we identify sources of pollution on our rivers, respond to citizen complaints and concerns, and work to find solutions to water quality hazards. Our Riverkeeper Boat allows us to conduct weekly patrols of the Milwaukee River estuary.

Milwaukee Urban Water Trail

We created this paddling guide and water trail to help local people access the downtown rivers.  Whether you are a seasoned paddler or someone just getting started, you can use the water trail to help you get on the river!

SWWT (Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust)

Sweet Water is working to support and coordinate Watershed Restoration Projects across multiple watersheds in Southeastern Wisconsin. These projects stem from Watershed Restoration Plans (WRPs) that were completed in 2010 for the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a member of SWWT (the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust).  SWWT is collaborative effort to achieve healthy and sustainable water resources throughout the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds.

Milwaukee County Grounds

Milwaukee Riverkeeper (then known as Friends of the Menomonee River) orginally formed to protect the County Grounds in Wauwatosa from overdevelopment.  Fourteen years later, we are returning to our roots to protect large portions of the County Grounds from being sold for development.

Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition

Milwaukee Riverkeeper, acting as part of the Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition, has been working to create the Milwaukee River Greenway between North Avenue and Silver Spring Drive. The Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition seeks to create a special zoning district that will protect the Milwaukee River Corridor, keeping the wild character of the area intact.