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Contact: Bill Graffin
MMSD Public Information Manager
(Milwaukee, WI) – Improved drinking water protection and reduced flooding rise to the top of a long list of positive impacts that will result from a newly awarded $7.5 million collaborative effort with federal, state and local partners to carry out land and water conservation work in the Milwaukee River Watershed for five years, starting in 2021.
An initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the money is awarded to the Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partnership through the U.S. Farm Bill of 2018 and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partners will work with land owners to achieve healthy soils, improve stormwater management and groundwater recharge, and reduce water pollution to waterways that make their way to Lake Michigan.
As a lead coordinating partner, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) will utilize a portion of the award to preserve more than 1,500 acres of farmland and open space in the Milwaukee River Watershed floodplain through the Working Soils® Program and the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. MMSD is supporting the overall program with a yearly investment of $1.6 million in land conservation and water quality protection.
Permanently protecting undeveloped land in floodplains helps keep natural areas connected and provides environmental benefits naturally at a much lower cost than large scale, engineered flood management projects that accompany future development.
“Through collaboration and aligning our resources toward a common goal, we’re making an impact for natural resource conservation that could never have been realized on our own. We’re excited to continue the Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District through RCPP.” said Angela Biggs, State Conservationist in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee River Watershed Conservation Partners include:
Land and Water Conservation Departments of:
Producer-led watershed protection groups: