This Weeks River News: Flood Control Completion, Osprey Revival, Burnam Canal Cleanup
[all articles excerpted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has completed three of its four largest Menomonee River flood control projects now that floodwater storage basins at the Milwaukee County Grounds are ready for use, district officials said Wednesday.
Total cost of the four projects will be $209 million.
The basins at County Grounds cover 65 acres, straddling Swan Blvd. south of the Menomonee River Parkway. These tubs will hold up to 315 million gallons of water from Underwood Creek, a river tributary, to reduce maximum flood flows downstream on the river, MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said.
The sound came from 30 yards upstream near the head of the pool. I turned to the sight of a flapping mass of white and black.
A large bird struggled at the surface. With each shake of the wings, water sprayed and its body scooted.
It clearly was trying to get airborne, but with great difficulty. After a dozen more laborious wing beats, the bird lifted clear of the water.
It didn't leave alone: A foot-long sucker was clutched in its talons.
The bird's size, behavior and distinctive black brow made it relatively easy to identify - osprey.
A proposed $2.2 million cleanup of the west end of the Burnham Canal, off the Menomonee River in Milwaukee, will be discussed at a public meeting in Milwaukee in late June.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends dredging contaminated muck from the canal bottom and excavating contaminated soil on the west bank of the canal as part of the cleanup plan. A recent investigation found health-threatening concentrations of toxic metals and chemicals from motor oils in the muck and soil.
The public meeting date will be announced next week, an EPA representative said Wednesday. A planned June 13 meeting in Milwaukee was cancelled.
The Burnham Canal is a navigation channel in the Menomonee Valley previously maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the mid-1980s, a street-level bridge was constructed across the canal at S. 11th St., blocking ships from moving upstream.