Collaboration is Key
Milwaukee’s success as a Water Centric City is built on collaboration. Government, academia, businesses, and non-profits are all working together to make Milwaukee a world-class center of water innovation and restoration. The partners listed on this page are only a sample of the many organizations helping on water.
The Fund for Lake Michigan is a regional funding organization that helps sustain Lake Michigan on behalf of the people and places that depend on it. It provides grants to local projects and organizations on a range of topics including beach, stream and habitat restorations, green infrastructure, monitoring and watershed planning, research, and environmental education. The Fund for Lake Michigan has been a primary funder of the Water Centric City for the past five years.
The long-term goal of Harbor District, Inc. is to achieve a world-class revitalization of Milwaukee’s harbor that sets the standard for how waterfronts work—environmentally, economically, and socially—for the next century. Harbor District Inc is the organization that is making this vision a reality.
Marquette University's Law School has a Water Law and Policy Initiative that seeks to assess the legal and regulatory aspects of water policy to pursue opportunities for information exchange and collaboration within and outside the university, and to provide the means for the public to become better informed on legal and policy aspects of critical water-related issues. Marquette also has a Water Quality Center that works in environmental engineering and water resources engineering.
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Its main job is to help protect Lake Michigan. MMSD serves 411 square miles that cover all, or segments of, six watersheds. MMSD has been a national leader in promoting green infrastructure strategies. For over 90 years, MMSD has produced Milorganite,® one of the oldest branded fertilizers composed of heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic matter in wastewater.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a science-based advocacy organization working for swimmable, fishable rivers throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. Its mission is to protect, improve and advocate for water quality, riparian wildlife habitat, and sound land management in the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. Milwaukee Riverkeeper envisions a future in which people from all walks of life can enjoy the healthy waterways of the Milwaukee River Basin. Riverkeeper is a licensed member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition ensuring clean water and strong communities.
Milwaukee Water Commons is a cross-city network that fosters connection, collaboration, and broad community leadership on behalf of our common waters. The Commons promote stewardship of, equitable access to, and shared decision-making for our common waters.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc (Sweet Water) is committed to restoring the Greater Milwaukee watersheds to conditions that are healthy for swimming and fishing. It brings diverse partners together and provides the leadership and innovation necessary to protect and restore our shared water resources.
Founded on a century of discovering inventive solutions for water issues, The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education, and government leaders to align the regional freshwater research community with water-related industries. Headquartered in the Global Water Center, The Water Council links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic research programs, and water professionals.
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences is the only graduate school of freshwater science in the U.S. and the third in the world. Its mission is to advance fundamental and strategic science and train the next generation of freshwater professionals to inform policy, improve management, and promote the health and sustainability of freshwater systems worldwide.
The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute promotes research, training, and outreach to confront water resources problems. It is one of 54 such institutes at land grant universities that are a link between water experts and those who manage and use water. Known as the Water Resources Research Institute Program, it is authorized by the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. Housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center, it is joined by the Sea Grant Institute, which has a complementary mission in the Great Lakes.