Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Public hearing on fate of Estabrook Dam tomorrow

Courtesy: Milwaukee Riverkeeper
I am forwarding the following from Milwaukee Riverkeeper. Please consider attending the public hearing (details below) or sending a message to your county supervisor (contact info below).

Help Us Remove the Deadbeat Estabrook Dam!

Quick Facts about Estabrook Dam:

1) Milwaukee County built the Estabrook Dam in 1937 to elevate water levels for recreation (following some blasting of bedrock to alleviate flooding). Milwaukee County failed to maintain and repair the Dam per State Dam Safety regulations over the years. In 2009, the gates were ordered permanently open by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) due to hazardous conditions.  

2) Recent studies of the Dam have shown that it increases flooding upstream, poses a liability for Milwaukee County, and will lead to increased flood insurance costs for upstream residents.

3) The ecological health created by a free flowing river offers greater long term value than maintaining the present impoundment behind the Dam. Dam removal will: a.) allow fish to swim to upstream spawning habitats and restore the natural and wild aspect of the Milwaukee River; b.) reduce flooding upstream of the Dam; c.) improve water quality upstream of the Dam; and d.) improve recreational opportunities such as fishing and paddling.

4) Over $8 million has been spent upstream to improve access for fish to spawning habitat via dam removal and construction of fish passage structures.  The removal of the Estabrook Dam would expand the benefits of those projects.

5) County consultants estimate it will cost 3 times as much to repair than remove the Dam if maintenance costs of $2.6 million are included for the next 20 years (the estimated life expectancy of the Dam). These costs do not include the administrative costs associated with state and federal permitting required for the Estabrook Dam.

How You Can Help!

1) Attend the County’s Public Information Meeting on the draft Environmental Assessment:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Nicolet HS (Cafeteria)

2) Contact your County Supervisor and the County Executive and tell them that Estabrook Dam should be removed (contact info on back). The County Board Parks, Energy and Environment Committee will vote on a "preferred alternative" for the Dam at their meeting on Tuesday, September 9th. The full Milwaukee County Board will vote on their preferred alternative on Thursday, September 18th.  Public comments on the draft EA will be accepted by the County through September 17th at surveymonkey.com/s/EstabrookDamComments.

3) Attend the County Parks, Energy, and Environment Meeting on Tuesday September 9th. The Agenda is posted one week in advance, but this meeting typically begins at 9 AM at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 301-B.

4) The WDNR and Bureau of Land Management (who owns some of the land the dam sits on) have both indicated that they will hold a public hearing to fulfill state and federal permitting requirements pertaining to dam operations and construction. We will publish information as it becomes available. 

5) To receive more information, please email: christina@milwaukeeriverkeeper.org and keep up-to-date on our facebook page, or our website at: http://milwaukeeriverkeeper.org/content/estabrook-dam-removal.  

To find your supervisor go to:
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?PreserveOurParks/9e7fec6aa7/3865a739aa/42340b9b41 and click on “Find Your District or Supervisor.”
Then click on the photo of the supervisor to get to contact information.

(Full disclosure: I was formerly on the board of Milwaukee Riverkeeper.)

No comments:

Post a Comment