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Watershed Management through Cooperation: Milwaukee's Experience with SWWT Success

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The vast majority (89 percent) of fecal loadings to area waterways of the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds is from nonpoint source pollution. Because nonpoint source pollution comes from across the region and generally ignores municipal boundaries, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and many others recognized during facilities planning in the mid- 2000s that receiving water quality can only be improved by the actions of strong partnerships. Later, the MMSD helped to establish such a partnership group that is now known as the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. (SWWT). Together with SWWT, the MMSD spearheaded the development of watershed restoration plans (WRPs) founded in strong facilities planning and a regional water quality management plan update. Advisory committees of SWWT factored heavily into WRP production in 2009 and 2010, and SWWT will continue to play a strong role in piloting Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and other water resource improvement planning actions (not to mention implementation) through the foreseeable future. MMSD remains an active SWWT member and is committed to various other water resource endeavors, such as watershed-based permitting, throughout the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds.
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Keywords: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; Green infrastructure; Joyce Foundation; Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Natural Resources Defense Council; Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust; TMDLs; United Nations; nonpoint source pollution; partnerships; public health; public involvement; total maximum daily loads; watershed-based permitting

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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