GIS Maps and Data
Rain Gauge Data
Blue Notes Newsletter
Blue Notes Newsletter Sign-up
What We Do
Milwaukee Estuary AOC
Lincoln Park Oxbow & Estabrook Falls
Managing Water on Your Property
What You Can Do
Become a Fresh Coast Guardian
Home HazMat Collection
Water Drop Alert
What Not to Flush
Water Equity Task Force
Construction and CAD Standard Documents and Special Bid Attachments
Events & Outreach
Contract Compliance Login
Government & Business
Rules & Regulations
Private Property I & I
Industrial Waste & Pretreatment
Industrial Honor Role
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)
2020 Water Quality Initiative
State Of The Art Report
2020 Facilities Plan Reports
2020 Plan - Addendum 1
2020 Plan - Treatment Report
2020 Plan - Conveyance Report
News and Resources
Blue Notes Sign-Up
Education and Outreach
It's important that everyone take steps to reduce the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Find out more about COVID-19 in Milwaukee County, WI.
It's defined in the United States-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement as "a geographic area designated by the Parties where significant impairment of beneficial uses has occurred as a result of human activities at the local level." It is an area that has experienced environmental degradation. Since the identification of 43 Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes, seven have been de-listed.
The Milwaukee Estuary was designated an Area of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987 because sediment impaired public benefits such as fish consumption, healthy fisheries, boat access, and wildlife habitat.
The Milwaukee River Estuary represents the meeting of the three major rivers - the Milwaukee, the Menomonee, and the Kinnickinnic Rivers - and Lake Michigan. The boundaries of the Milwaukee Estuary AOC are shown on the map.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and other experts identified 11 areas of improvement called Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) to target here for improving our waterways.
Historical modifications and pollutants contributed to the listing of the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern.
An Area of Concern is officially de-listed when all Beneficial Use Impairments or BUIs have been sufficiently restored. Since the development of a Remedial Action Plan, much work has been completed and significant progress made towards improving conditions in the AOC. The Remedial Action Plan is periodically updated, click here to see the most recent version.
MMSD along with numerous partners is committed to making progress to eventually de-list the Area of Concern. Want to learn more about the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern visit WDNR’s Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern website.
MMSD is leading efforts in the following Milwaukee Estuary AOC projects. To learn about other Milwaukee Estuary AOC projects underway visit WDNR’s website.
In this video, Milwaukee historian John Gurda shares the next steps in an ambitious plan to clean up the remaining historical pollution in the rivers and harbor of the Milwaukee Estuary AOC. In scale, speed and impact, it's a historic opportunity to remove toxic pollution that is preventing our region from reaching its full potential. This project is vital to restore the health of our waterways and to open economic opportunities for Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region.
John Gurda further explains the history of pollution and the opportunities we have to clean up our rivers in this article.