Biden-Harris Administration to Invest $17 Million to Restore Health of Milwaukee Rivers and Lake Michigan

Biden-Harris Administration to Invest $17 Million to Restore Health of Milwaukee Rivers and Lake Michigan

MILWAUKEE, WI (November, 2, 2023) – Today, at an event in Milwaukee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and Regional Administrator Debra Shore for Region 5 announced that Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Distract (MMSD) will be investing $17 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to protect and improve water quality in Milwaukee rivers and Lake Michigan.

“Protecting our Great Lakes is critical to the economic, environmental and recreational vitality of countless communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in America continue to preserve treasured waters like Lake Michigan and ensure families and businesses have access to all of the opportunity that clean water can generate.”

This investment will enable MMSD to address decades of pollution that has accumulated in Milwaukee harbor, and the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers. Ultimately this will result in improved water quality, healthier fish and wildlife, improved recreational opportunities, and full community revitalization.

“Here in Wisconsin, our freshwater resources are critical to our Made in Wisconsin economy, environment, and way of life,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “I am thrilled to have helped deliver this federal funding for Milwaukee to reverse decades of legacy pollution and revitalize our communities – making an investment in our health, our economy, and our future.”  

“Though the Milwaukee Estuary is an area of concern now, it does not have to remain that way,” said Representative Gwen Moore. “Thanks to this $17 million investment, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) can now move forward on a critical project to finally remove contaminated sediments from our local waterways, benefitting our community in many ways once this threat is removed, so residents and visitors can once again enjoy these areas. The bipartisan infrastructure law continues to deliver for my constituents by empowering our community with the resources it needs.”

“In Milwaukee, MMSD understands that protecting our rivers and Lake Michigan will improve the health, economy, and environment for everyone in the region, said Kevin Shafer, Executive Director of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize these improvements now!”

Today’s announcement comes after EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan joined U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI) earlier this month to announce the largest cleanup project to ever be implemented under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Legacy Act, thanks to historic resources from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda. Under a new project agreement between EPA and five non-federal sponsors, an estimated investment of $450 million will go toward the cleanup of nearly two million cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern. This funding is part of a $1 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to significantly accelerate cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes. EPA projected that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, combined with funds from annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative appropriations and funding from other sources, will enable the agency and its partners to complete work at 22 of the 25 remaining AOCs, with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding directly supporting 11 of these sites, including the Milwaukee Estuary AOC.


The Biden-Harris Administration and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. water infrastructure ever. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $50 billion through EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs. With this funding, EPA, states, Tribes, and localities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and rebuild America’s water infrastructure. EPA is committed to ensuring that all communities, particularly disadvantaged and underserved communities, get their fair share of this federal water infrastructure investment. More information about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available at

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