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By storing and draining water into the ground naturally, Greenseams® helps prevent future flooding and water pollution while supporting and protecting MMSD's structural flood management projects - infrastructure investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Greenseams® is an innovative flood management program that permanently protects key lands containing water-absorbing soils.
The program makes voluntary purchases of undeveloped, privately owned properties in areas expected to have major growth in the next 20 years and open space along streams, shorelines, and wetlands.
"Since water flows downhill, what happens at the top of a watershed has a strong effect on conditions downstream. This means that wetlands in the upper portion of a watershed are particularly important for managing the timing, volume, and direction of surface and groundwater flow within the rest of the watershed." (Wisconsin Wetlands Association, 2017)
All land acquired will remain undeveloped. Wetlands maintenance and restoration at these sites will provide further water storage. Greenseams® also preserves wildlife habitat and creates recreational opportunities for people living in the region. Where applicable, the properties can be used for hiking, bird watching, and other passive recreation.
MMSD hired The Conservation Fund to run Greenseams®. It is a national non-profit conservation organization that forges partnerships to protect America's legacy of land and water resources, performs high volume real estate transactions for local land trusts and government agencies throughout the country.