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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding Improves Water Quality at Milwaukee Area Beaches

Release Date: 07/02/2013
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov

No. 13-OPA025

CHICAGO – Great Lakes beaches were open 94 percent of the time last summer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 BEACH report. EPA’s Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Report is available at: http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/2012_season.cfm.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is improving water quality so that people can enjoy more days at Milwaukee area beaches,” said Susan Hedman, EPA’s Regional Administrator / Great Lakes National Program Manager. “Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded projects make beaches safer by eliminating sources of harmful contamination and by monitoring water quality to protect beachgoers.”

The major sources of contamination that affect Great Lakes beaches are sewer system overflows, stormwater runoff and waste from boats, septic systems, and wildlife.

Since 2010, 22 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-funded projects, totaling more than $7 million, have been implemented to improve water quality at Milwaukee area beaches. Three projects are highlighted below.

Project TitleRecipient YearFunding AmountProject Description
Sewage Contamination Prevention- ShorewoodVillage of Shorewood2010$240,000 This project will reduce contamination near Atwater Beach in Shorewood by eliminating sewage leakage into storm sewers.
Stormwater Management at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Power PlantUniversity of Wisconsin - Milwaukee2011$85,733 The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will construct a cistern designed to capture the quantity of rainwater predicted to fall on the 13,000 square foot roof of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Power Plant during a two year storm event. The cistern system will drain into a rain garden. This project is expected to reduce the scale and frequency of combined sewer overflows into the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern, which will reduce pollution of Milwaukee beaches.
Milwaukee Volunteer Restoration ProjectAlliance for the Great Lakes2012$50,000 The Alliance and partners will preserve coastal habitat at three sites in Milwaukee County. Major restoration work will include invasive species control (289.8 acres), grassland enhancements (32 acres) and native plant installation (48.6 acres). This work will reduce erosion, thereby providing critical coastal refuges within the southern Lake Michigan basin and enhancing the ecological functions of the entire 643 acres of habitat at these sites.


The 19 other GLRI projects for the Milwaukee area are available at www.glri.us/beaches.html.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched at the start of President Obama’s first term to coordinate the work of 16 federal agencies to protect and restore the Great Lakes. More information about the Initiative, including an interactive project map, is available at www.glri.us.