2035 Vision’s goals related to integrated watershed management (IWM), the District’s Regional Green 
Infrastructure Plan, and the District’s WPDES discharge permit.  

Green Infrastructure Partnership Program, an annual funding program, seeks to increase GI 
implementation and innovation within the service area. The selected projects provide the MMSD with 
information related to GI effectiveness , costs, feasibility and maintenance and demonstrate progress 
toward meeting the District’s Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit 
requirement of adding 12 million gallons of green infrastructure capacity over five years. Proposals must 
include detailing of how each project addresses the MMSD’s triple bottom line goals. 

The Menomonee Low Grade Barrier Project, one of over 25 Watercourse Projects, will remove five man-
made barriers to fish passage in the Menomonee River channel in order to improve hydraulic function 
aquatic connectivity and habitat along more than 34 stream miles. The five channel locations will be 
modified through bioengineering to restore natural hydraulic function and to improve habitat by 
mimicking the pool and riffle sequences of the natural river system. 

An Integrated Regional Stormwater Management Plan is in development. The goal of the plan is to 
improve stormwater management within the region by integrating stormwater runoff issues with flood 
management to improve both drainage and water quality. The plan will identify and inventory noted 
drainage problem areas situated near potential floodplain relief locations, evaluate alternatives that 
provide both a WQ improvement and water quantity drainage solution, and suggest a recommended 
plan with associated costs. 

The MMSD secured an EPA technical assistance award to prepare an implementation plan for the 
operation and maintenance (O&M) of green infrastructure (GI).The project took a holistic approach to 
O&M for GI, considering the needs of the region’s municipalities, best practices for operating and 
maintaining green infrastructure, job opportunities and associated training needs and likely sources of 
potential funding. The results of the study are foundational to MMSD’s current work to define regional 
GI needs for O&M. 

In 2012, MMSD piloted the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (then) 12-step standard for water 
stewardship at MMSD headquarters and labs. The refined 6-step standard was also piloted by Veolia 
Water Milwaukee, MMSD’s contracted operator, at the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility and 
South Shore Water Reclamation Facility.  

A continuous water quality monitoring system is in place at 16 sites throughout the Greater Milwaukee 
River system using multi-probe sondes. Testing, modeling, and analysis obtained through this effort will 
provide data to monitor the success of the Menomonee River MS4 watershed-based stormwater permit 
and implementation of the TMDLs. 

The River Skimmer Program, a collaborative undertaking between MMSD, the City of Milwaukee, 
Milwaukee Christian Center, and Veolia Water Milwaukee. The skimmer collects surface debris from 
early spring to late fall in the Milwaukee River helping to protect habitat and enhance recreational 
activities. In 2015, 1292 cubic yards of debris were collected as well as numerous trees.  

Through a partnership with 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Birchline Consulting LLC, Milwaukee County, and 
27 municipalities contracted with MMSD; municipal codes and ordinances were audited for barriers to 
green infrastructure. Recommendations and priorities were developed for each community in 
preparation for forthcoming TMDLs and in support of the MMSD Regional Green Infrastructure Plan.