Milwaukee Riverkeeper helps the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in monitoring the aesthetics, or healthy appearance, of the Milwaukee River Estuary Area of Concern (AOC). The MilwaukeeRiver Estuary AOC is considered a pollution “hot spot” in the Great Lakes.

The AOC has 11 “beneficial use impairments” (BUIs) that EPA lists as barriers to water fully supporting aquatic life. Degradation of aesthetics from over 100 years of habitat degradation, industrial use, trash, nuisance algae is one of the BUIs.

In order to demonstrate that we are making progress in improving conditions within the AOC to the EPA and others, we are documenting the aesthetics of nine designed sites located on the Milwaukee, Menomonee, Kinnickinnic Rivers, and Lake Michigan.

Volunteers visit any of the 9 designated sites and fill out a simple survey for each site. These survey asks general questions about the overall appearance of each body of water and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Aesthetics monitoring runs from May through October. Participation in this program is flexible and volunteers do not have to visit all 9 sites. Volunteers are welcome to visit as many sites as they choose as often as they choose during the monitoring season.

Let us know you are interested becoming a volunteer aesthetics monitor for the 2018 season by filling out the form below. We’ll add you to our email list to receive more information about upcoming training sessions and other opportunities to get involved.
If you have additional questions, please email our Water Quality Specialist, Zac Driscollor call (414)-287-0207 x 4.

Where do we monitor for aesthetics?

Volunteers monitor any of the nine sites located throughout the Milwaukee River Estuary Area of Concern. Click any location for the site name, description, and more information about how to monitor that location.