Planning for the wetland restoration began as a result of recommendations included in the Southeast Side Area Plan which was completed in the 2008. Restoration of the wetland is also identified as a catalytic project in the 2017 Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan. The Fund for Lake Michigan provided the initial funding for restoration planning. The documents that resulted from this process included the Bay View Wetland Master Plan (2014), the Grand Trunk - Bay View Wetland Restoration Data Gap Analysis and Environmental Summary Report (2017) and the Grand Trunk – Bay View Wetland Restoration Engineered Design Feasibility Report (2017).
In the Spring of 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secured $250,000 through the US EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to develop a restoration plan and construction documents for the wetland restoration. In July 2017 the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select a consulting team to fulfill these tasks. The Sigma Group and their team of local experts were selected through the RFP process in September 2017. The City of Milwaukee, Harbor District, Inc. and the Sigma team have started the restoration planning process. The plan will be completed by September 2018.
On April 17, 2018, Mayor Tom Barrett announced a $3-million grant for restoration work at the Grand Trunk Wetland. The grant will be used to clean up environmental contamination, restore native plants, and create wildlife habitat. The grant will go to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, and is being provided through the GLRI and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
There GLRI planning process will generate a series of documents that will contribute to the restoration plan, construction documents and permits. These documents will be posted as they become available.
Our goal is to restore the wetland so that it can become an ecological and community asset, and we are excited that this long-awaited process has started. The City of Milwaukee and Harbor District, Inc. will provide regular updates and opportunities for public engagement over the next year.