Press Release: DOA Secretary Blumenfeld Marks Coastal Awareness Month with Milwaukee Area Coastal Visit

Wisconsin Department of Administration Logo



Tony Evers, Governor

Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary

September 28, 2023

DOA Secretary Blumenfeld Marks Coastal Awareness Month with Milwaukee Area Coastal Visit

Program Grant Applications Due November 3, 2023

Milwaukee. Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld today presented a total of $176,000 in coastal grant awards to Clean Wisconsin, Harbor District Inc. and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, and the Urban Ecology Center in celebration of Coastal Awareness Month in September. The awards were part of an overall $1.4 million investment previously announced by Governor Tony Evers through the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP). 

Blumenfeld was joined by Urban Ecology Center executive director Jen Hense and staff, Clean Wisconsin resilient communities program director Nancy Retana, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District manager of sustainability Bre Plier, Wisconsin Coastal Management Council and program staff during a visit to Urban Ecology Center of the Menomonee Valley and discussion of ongoing coastal projects.

Coastal Grant award Milwaukee stop 9.28.23

(L-R: Nancy Retana, Clean Wisconsin; Meghan Schopp, Urban Ecology Center; Jen Hense, Urban Ecology Center; Gillian Spence, Urban Ecology Center; DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld; Ken Leinbach, Wisconsin Coastal Management Council; Sharon Cook, Wisconsin Coastal Management Council; Bre Plier, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District; Angélica Sánchez Mora, Urban Ecology Center; Kathleen Angel and Lydia Salus with the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.) 

“The Coastal Management Program has been supporting educational and public access projects in our coastal communities for many years, and it’s very exciting to see the growth of coastal education and opportunities as a result of grant-funded work and ongoing partnerships,” said Secretary Blumenfeld. “We particularly look forward to seeing many more applications from organizations pursuing Great Lakes education and other projects over the next few weeks.”

Clean Wisconsin received $43,323 for the expansion of Neighborhood Green Infrastructure Goals around Milwaukee’s 30th Street industrial corridor.

“Clean Wisconsin is honored to be a grant recipient of the Department of Administration’s Coastal Management Program,” said Clean Wisconsin President and CEO Mark Redsten. “This funding will help Milwaukee communities tackle one of the fastest-growing sources of water pollution in the country—stormwater runoff. Heavy rains can not only cause catastrophic flash flooding, but they can also carry bacteria, heavy metals, trash and other pollutants right to our waterways. As storms become more intense with our warming climate, this grant will help ensure that each neighborhood has the tools it needs to lead efforts to address stormwater challenges.”

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District received a grant for $88,000 to work with Harbor District Inc. on the construction of the Milwaukee Kinnickinnic Riverwalk which will provide safer and more enjoyable riverwalk access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Milwaukee Harbor District is thrilled to be partnering with MMSD, City of Milwaukee, and the State of Wisconsin on improving access to our important natural resources like the Kinnickinnic River,” said Harbor District CEO Tia Torhorst. “Having access to nature and water is shown as an antidote for stress. The southside of Milwaukee has disproportionately less access to our water and this project will change that. We are grateful for the support to allow a critical access point to our riverwalk system to be developed.”

The Urban Ecology Center was presented with a $45,000 grant for water-based experiential learning through the Preschool Environmental Education Project (PEEP) and Neighborhood Environmental Education Projects (NEEP).

Governor Evers has declared September to be Coastal Awareness Month in Wisconsin in recognition of the profound impact the Great Lakes have on the state. Coastal Grant applications for the 2024-25 season are currently open, with approximately $1.6 million in grant funding available. Proposals are sought to address needs and priorities for public access, historic preservation, Great Lakes education, community development, wetland protection, habitat restoration, or pollution control. Applications are due November 3, 2023, with additional information available on the WCMP website.

Since 1978, the WCMP has balanced natural resource protection and sustainable economic development along Wisconsin's Great Lakes coasts. The program awards federal funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management in the U.S. Department of Commerce to local governments and other entities for innovative coastal initiatives.


Find us on Twitter: @WisconsinDOA
Like us on Facebook: Wisconsin DOA
Find more DOA news in our Newsroom.
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.