Friday, May 16, 2008

Milwaukee Addressing Beach Needs, Madison's Need Work, Too

It was just a few years ago that Milwaukee County was discovered dumping dangerous, polluted storm water runoff right on to Bradford Beach at Lake Park on Lake Michigan.

I am proud to say I had a hand in getting the word out about this outrageous and unacceptable situation, but the real credit goes to diligent scientists at UW-Milwaukee who were tracking the sources of e. Coli bacteria on the beach.

Right where people sunbathe, play volleyball, and watch their kids wade in the shallow water.

Today, there are rain gardens being built on the beach and lakefront - - you can see the construction underway just off Lincoln Memorial Drive - - to capture and naturally treat and filter that polluted runoff before it hits the sand and swimming areas.

Madison's lakes and beaches need upgrades, too, lest they be formally listed as "impaired."

I can't imagine that would sit well with capital city taxpayers.

It took years of pressure through inter-governmental cooperation and public embarrassment before Milwaukee County government moved to restore the lakefront, and had it not been for resources from philanthropists and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the region's premier public beach might still be a disgusting dumping ground for Milwaukee County pollution..

Let's hope Madison gets its act together faster.

No comments: