11 Municipalities Collabrate On New System To Clean Up the Menomonee River
December 18, 2012 10:00 AM
First-of-its-kind watershed-permit system allows municipalities to pool resources to reduce polluted runoff.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust honored 11 municipalities for their work to improve water quality in the Menomonee River by formally adopting Wisconsin’s first watershed-based stormwater permit.
In traditional permit systems, each municipality works alone, with different standards, to reduce polluted runoff that flows into waterways and contaminates water used for drinking, fishing and recreation. But, the new watershed permit system, one of just three Environmental Protection Agency pilot programs based on recommendations from the National Research Council, allows municipalities to operate with a unified stormwater permit to reduce pollution that runs off city streets and urban areas after rain showers and storms, contaminating area waterways. A watershed-based permit has the potential to reduce cost, by targeting specific trouble areas to improve water quality watershed-wide.
“Today is a day to celebrate the work of 11 municipalities who are making history by joining together in the fight to clean up the Menomonee River,” Nancy Frank, Chair of Sweet Water - the Southeastern Wisconsin Watershed Trust, a Joyce grantee, said. “For decades our permitting system has been limited by arbitrary political boundaries. By adopting Wisconsin’s first watershed-based permit, these communities will not only improve the quality of the Menomonee River, but also set an innovative model for communities across our state.”
In her remarks at the event, Joyce Foundation Environment Program Officer Molly Flanagan heralded the permit system as a “model for collaboration and problem solving that should be a model for the rest of the country. It is critical that we take the time to note these successes and share them with others.”
The municipality teams are recognized at the event. Photo courtesy of Kevin Shafer, Greenfield Patch.
The Joyce Foundation applauds these 11 communities for taking this key step forward in working together and improving water quality in the Menomonee River and looks forward to continued success throughout the implementation process. The lessons learned in the Menomonee River watershed can be applied throughout the Great Lakes region as partners work together to protect and restore the lakes.
Greenfield Patch: Municipalities Honored for First-of-its-Kind Effort to Clean Up Menomonee River