conference agenda

7:30 - 8:15 am


Continental Breakfast, Willow View Room                                                                                                                                                                                     

8:15 - 9:45 am

Morning Session, Caesar Ballroom

  • Welcome - Dean Wolter, Village President, Village of Germantown
  • Sweet Water Update - Linda Reid 

9:45 - 10 am

Coffee and networking break

10 - 10:45 AM

Keynote Address - Stephen McCracken, The Conservation Foundation

10:45 - 11:30 AM

Exploring the Gap Between Innovative Practice and Policy
Moderator:  Juli Beth Hinds
Presenters: James Wasley, Don Watson & Michelle Adams
Authors of the book Design for Flooding: Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design for Resilience to Climate Change join us for a discussion of cutting edge green infrastructure practice. The discussion will identify areas of practice that are calling into question current standards and policy assumptions, and that are pointing towards new areas of research and potential policy development.

11:30 - 11:45 am

11:45 - 12:45 PM

Refreshments/Buffet Lunch, available in the Willow View Room

Luncheon Program, Caesar Ballroom 

  • Luncheon Remarks - Vicki Elkin, Fund for Lake Michigan
  • Sweet Water Mini Grant Awards - Joan Herriges, Sweet Water

1 - 2 pm

session 1, caesar II

Creative Funding for Dual-Purpose Projects
Moderator:  Beth Wentzel, Inter-Fluve

Designing for Resilience at the Historic North Point Lighthouse
Presenters: Adrienne Cizek & Alyssa Schmitt
Stormwater Solutions Engineering worked collaboratively with North Point Lighthouse and Milwaukee County Parks on designing and installing a network of green infrastructure including rain gardens, porous pavement, and regenerative stormwater conveyance to manage stormwater from the lighthouse property. The project connects to existing green infrastructure at Bradford Beach and includes real-time flow monitoring that displays via an interactive touchscreen dashboard within the lighthouse museum.

Creative Partnerships and Funding for Restoration: The Oak Meadows Example
Presenters: Stephen McCracken & Erin Pande
The habitat enhancement of Salt Creek at Oak Meadows Golf Course is the first major project implemented by the Dupage River Salt Creek Workgroup through a program that creates a unique funding mechanism using regulatory incentives from the Clean Water Act. The presentation will discuss the partnerships, funding, and motivation for the project, as well as the flood storage, riparian wetland, and stream enhancement design.

session 2, Caesar I

Habitat Issues & Solutions
Moderator:  Tom Sear, TRSear Engineering, LLC

Determining Habitat Restoration Actions for the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern
Presenters: Gary Casper, Stacy Hron & Julia Robson
Fish and wildlife habitat and populations are considered impaired in the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern. This presentation will describe the process underway to determine what actions must be taken to restore these populations. It will also explore the process of assessing wildlife status through extensive new studies that clearly define impairments, provide metrics, and guide the selection of habitat and population projects leading to their recovery.

Effects of Various Stressors on Aquatic Organisms: Hypoxia to Contaminants
Presenters: Barbara Eikenberry & Peter Lenaker
Aquatic organisms are affected by many anthropogenic factors. Degradation of fundamental water-quality properties that are critical to aquatic life – such as dissolved oxygen – can be compounded by the presence of contaminants in waterways. This panel discussion will focus on a broad suite of stressors on aquatic organisms in Milwaukee-area streams, including hypoxia and micro-plastics, as well as their possible causes and adverse biological effects.

2:15 - 3:15 Pm

session 3, caesar II

Reducing Chlorides in Our Waterways
Moderator:  David Strifling, Marquette University Law School

Winter Maintenance Assessment Tool: An Innovative Approach to Reducing Chloride
Presenter: Lauren Tjaden
Chlorides are a growing, permanent pollutant. Minnesota has developed the Winter Maintenance Assessment tool as an innovative approach to the chloride problem. The tool is a series of BMP questions produced through collaboration with the winter maintenance industry that allows organizations to evaluate their current practices. Instead of a short list of steps that everyone must take, the tool allows the organization to create a strategic individualized salt-reduction plan.

Reducing Chloride Discharges to Waterways: Engineering, Legal and Policy Perspectives
Presenters: Matt Magruder & Michael Hahn
High chloride concentrations in waterways resulting from over-application of salt adversely affects human health and the environment. This panel will examine the underlying causes and present the results of a recent study undertaken at Marquette Law School to examine potential legal and policy strategies to address the issue. There will also be a discussion of the planned SEWRPC chloride impact study for the Southeastern Wisconsin region.

Road Salt in Milwaukee River Watershed
Presenter: Zac Driscoll
Milwaukee Riverkeeper will discuss environmental impacts of winter road salt runoff, with specific focus placed on rivers and streams within the Milwaukee River Basin. Riverkeeper will discuss community outreach efforts, a proposed training for private contractors, and results from volunteer road salt monitoring.

session 4, caesar I

Community Collaboration Around Brownfields
Moderator:  Tory Kress, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee

Collaboration Between Neighborhood Group and Redevelopment Authority to Redevelop Brownfields
Presenter: Graham Fazio & Andrew Haug
The Northwest Side Community Development Corporation and Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, working with consultants at NRT and GZA, have developed a plan to combine grant funding and other resources to redevelop nearly 3 acres of environmentally impacted land in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. The redeveloped property will consist of multiple green infrastructure strategies that will include limited parking areas and significant green space, and will address stormwater quality, retention, and environmental impacts.

The Greening of 30th Street Brownfield
Presenters: Justin Hegarty & David Johnson
The Cream City Farms project is a collaborative effort with many project partners that converted a blighted industrial brownfield into a state-of-the-art green infrastructure and urban agriculture site. The project includes a remotely monitored and controlled 40,000-gallon underground cistern that forecasts rain events and proactively manages stormwater, as well as a 1.5 kilowatt solar plant to power the 1.25 acre farm in the center of the city.

3:30 - 5 PM

session 5, caesar II

Adaptive Management Examples
Moderator:  Maureen McBroom, Ruekert & Mielke

Implementing an Adaptive Planning Strategy for Watersheds
Presenter: Brian O’Neill
Watershed planning and restoration can be challenging not only because they are complex systems, but also because of political, social, and environmental uncertainty. Adaptive planning processes provide flexible, iterative approaches, enabling organizations and communities to better adapt to changing conditions. This presentation highlights the importance of adaptive plan implementation, evaluating performance, and mistakes to avoid when using an adaptive planning approach.

Partnerships and Collaboration Yield Success in NEW Water's Watershed Adaptive Management
Presenters: Brent Brown & Jeff Smudde
For the past 2.5 years, NEW Water has been implementing an Adaptive Management pilot project in the Silver Creek Watershed that includes dozens of growers, landowners, farms, and the Oneida Tribe. The pilot project is a voluntary partnership that has required building collaboration and trust among team members. This presentation will provide an update of the project and review the details of how partnerships were developed, grown, and leveraged for the collective benefit of the watershed. It will review real-life examples of challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned so others can benefit from New Water’s experiences.

The Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program: A Bold Step Toward Meeting New Phosphorus Limits
Presenter: Thomas Steinbach
The City of Oconomowoc is spearheading a long-term, unprecedented watershed project for the Oconomowoc River Basin, titled the Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program (OWPP). This presentation will present a detailed overview of the program, starting with the City’s initial evaluation of alternatives for compliance with the new TMDL requirements. Also discussed will be the application process for Adaptive Management and RCPP Programs, the organization of the OWPP, farmer education and interaction, water quality monitoring, and progress-to-date.

session 6, caesar I

Regulation and Policy: Getting Green Infrastructure Right
Moderator:  Pam Ritger, Clean Wisconsin

Adopting River- and Lake-Friendly Regulations: Three Communities' Perspectives
Presenter: Juli Beth Hinds, Gabriel Gilbertson, Melinda Dejewski, and Burgess McMillian
As municipalities throughout Southeast Wisconsin work to enhance local waters, reduce erosion and flooding, and grapple with MS4 and TMDL requirements, many are considering “water-friendly” changes to zoning, stormwater regulations, and municipal codes. Representatives from three communities in metropolitan Milwaukee – all in different stages of changing regulations – will join a panel to discuss the use of regulatory changes to encourage green infrastructure, enhance erosion control, and protect other watershed functions.

Green Infrastructure Specifications and Standard Templates
Presenters: Andy Kaminski & Phillip Bzdusek
In 2016, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Strand Associates, Inc. developed green infrastructure specifications, design templates, and a high-level planning tool to help facilitate green infrastructure implementation throughout the region. The planning tool sizes green infrastructure strategies to store the first half-inch of rainfall. The tool also estimates the percent reduction for total suspended solids and total phosphorous, which can be used by municipalities to estimate green infrastructure benefits to meet various regulatory requirements.

Green Infrastructure Center of Excellence
Presenter: Lisa Sasso
MMSD recently launched its new Green Infrastructure Center of Excellence. Learn more about the services available to help you and your organization manage water where it falls.

5:15 - 6:30 PM

Watershed Champion Awards Reception, Willow View Room