MMSD dredged materials management facility and milwaukee skyline

Dredged Material Management Facility

Project Alert

Join us to learn about the Dredged Material Management Facility (DMMF) project and the Milwaukee Estuary AOC initiative to restore the health of our rivers and protect Lake Michigan.  A virtual public information meeting for the DMMF project is being held on May 18th from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required. Please follow this link to register for the event

Project Overview

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is partnering with the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), We Energies, and Port Milwaukee to create a new Dredged Material Management Facility (DMMF) in the Milwaukee harbor. When it is completed, this facility will provide safe, secure containment for 1.9 million cubic yards of sediment removed from the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers.

Over time, contaminated sediment has accumulated in the downstream portions of our rivers. The Milwaukee Estuary (the area where Milwaukee’s three rivers converge) was designated an Area of Concern (AOC) by the EPA in 1987 due to historical contamination. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts to clean up Milwaukee’s Estuary.

The existing Confined Disposal Facility located north of the Lake Express ferry dock is nearly at capacity and does not have available space for the sediment that will be removed from the rivers as part of the Milwaukee Estuary AOC Initiative. The new DMMF will provide the needed capacity for storage of this sediment.

The DMMF is a cost-effective approach that manages the contaminated sediment and protects both river and lake health. In addition to reducing the cost to remove and store the sediment, construction of the DMMF at the lakefront bypasses the negative environmental impacts of hauling the material to a new landfill.  If the material was trucked to a landfill instead of to the DMMF, there would be increased truck traffic and the need for landfill expansion. 

The facility is anticipated to be constructed between 2022 and 2023.  Once constructed, the DMMF will be owned and operated by the Port of Milwaukee.

The DMMF project is part of a larger initiative to clean up the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC). Learn more about the AOC by watching this John Gurda video, Toxic Legacy, or visiting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website here.

Partner List

Project Map

dredged materials facility map

Project Benefits

  • Safe containment for dredged contaminated sediment removed from the river beds
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat
  • More cost-effective than hauling the material to an approved landfill

Project Timeline

  • Spring 2021 – Public Information Meeting
  • Summer/Winter 2021 – Engineering design finalized
  • Fall 2021 – 2nd Public Information Meeting
  • 2022-2023 -- Project Construction

Get Involved / Stay Informed

  • Sign up to receive Dredged Material Management Facility project updates in your inbox.
  • Participate in upcoming events. MMSD will conduct a number of stakeholder and public outreach activities throughout the entirety of the project to obtain project input and feedback.
  • Learn more about the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC) by visiting milwaukeeestuaryaoc.com and following AOC initiatives on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).

Comments / Questions

Sign up to receive Dredged Materials Management Facility project updates in your inbox.

Please wait...