Bradford Beach, Getting Cleaner, Gets Special "Blue Wave" Status
Thanks to pioneering scientific work by the UW-Milwaukee WATER Institute, and remedial funding and improvements by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission that prodded Milwaukee County into action, a cleaned-up Bradford Beach gets recognition today at an 11 a.m. news conference by "Blue Wave."
Ironically, Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive will participate, though his administration had to be pushed to clean up the region's signature beach by MMSD's fiscal generosity (it was not MMSD's pipes that were polluting the beach), and growing public awareness that the county was fouling its/our nest.
I believe the first media airing of the WATER Institute's findings that Milwaukee County was regularly dumping polluted stormwater onto Bradford Beach at five so-called "outfall" pipes appeared in an online column I wrote in 2005 for WisPolitics.com, here.
The good news: the beach is much-improved by swale filtration, as plantings near the outfalls act as mini-wetlands and clean the stormwaer before it hits the beach and lake.
Did you see the crowds at the beach yesterday?
A big victory for the public, and hats off to all who helped, including the Lubars, whose donations restored the lifeguard service.
The rebirth of Bradford Beach is a great story that's worth telling and replicating. In addition to the necessary remediation to clean up the beach, the investment in volleyball equipment, lifeguards and upgrades to the food concession also played a major role. Kudos to Sue Black, Shel Lubar, Alterra and the rest of the cast that made this happen.
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