Saturday, September 15, 2007

WEAL: The Alternative Voice In Waukesha

To many people, "Waukesha" means sprawl, annexations, and overuse of water.

What better recent example than the comments of State Sen. Rob Cowles, (R-Allouez), who told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that the state's recently-disbanded study committee on the Great Lakes Compact failed to write a bill because the committee's top-heavy Waukesha presence slowed down and obstructed the consensus process.

So Wisconsin still is the only Great Lakes state without a bill either adopted or under review to implement this historic, regional water conservation agreement.

But there is WEAL - - the Waukesha Environmental Action League - - an alternative, activist voice in Waukesha that is spreading the word from the grassroots about conservation, Smart Growth, and better water and wetlands management.

WEAL has taken a strong position in favor of the Great Lakes Compact.

And its members have helped form a companion organization, Friends of the Vernon Marsh.

The new group is trying to prevent encroachment onto and beneath a major remaining Waukesha County wetlands and wildlife area that is under pressure from developers, and the City of Waukesha, which wants to sink five wells at its edge.

The well sites are outside the Waukesha city limits - - boundaries that continue to spread through annexations that will accelerate if either the Vernon Marsh or Lake Michigan is tapped to fuel the growth.

You can check out WEAL's history and goals, here.

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