Restoration Plan for Oak Creek Watershed

The Commission staff is preparing a restoration plan for the 28-square mile Oak Creek watershed, which is located entirely within Milwaukee County and includes portions of the Cities of Cudahy, Franklin, Greenfield, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and South Milwaukee (see Map 1). The plan is being prepared within the context of the 2007 SEWRPC regional water quality management plan update for the greater Milwaukee watersheds. The watershed restoration plan will provide a guide for addressing the water quality impairments that have been identified in the watershed, and it will include specific, targeted recommendations to address a set of focus issues related to conditions within the watershed. 

The Oak Creek plan is designed to maximize funding opportunities for plan implementation by addressing the nine elements of a watershed-based plan as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

The following four major focus areas are being addressed by the watershed restoration plan:

  • Water quality,
  • Recreational access and use,
  • Habitat conditions, and
  • Targeted stormwater drainage and flooding issues.

In addition, the status of the Mill Pond and the associated dam located on Milwaukee County parkland within the City of South Milwaukee are being addressed considering their relationship to multiple focus issues.

In 2020 SEWRPC staff continue to make progress on the plan, with work continuing on Chapter 4—Inventory Findings.  The Chapter will include an extensive review and analysis of all available surface water quality data, which will be evaluated in light of our completed field observations in 2016 and 2017.  Chapter 4 also will include a summary history of the mill pond and dam, an inventory of the biological data, channel conditions, and a habitat assessment for the streams in the watershed.  The Chapter provides a historic and “existing conditions” assessment of the Oak Creek watershed which will lay the groundwork for recommendations and strategies for restoration, which will be presented in Chapter 6 of the plan.  The SEWRPC staff anticipate that the next Advisory Group meeting to review the remaining Chapter 4 sections will be in early summer 2020.


Summary Presentation for the second part of Chapter 4


Summary Presentation Chapter 4 (second part)


Preliminary Draft Chapters to Be Reviewed


Chapter 4 – Inventory Findings (second part)

Appendix M – Macroinvertebrate Surveys

Appendix O – Outfalls

Appendix R – Riparian Buffers

Appendix S – Field Survey Data (partial)

Appendix X – Stream Crossings

Appendix Pesticides – Pesticide Data

Appendix Z - Streambank Erosion Load Estimates


Previously Reviewed Preliminary Draft Chapters


Chapter 4 - Inventory Findings (partial)

Chapter 4 - Appendices


Final Draft Chapters


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Prior and Ongoing Studies, Plans, Projects, and Programs

Chapter 3 – Characterization of the Watershed


Upcoming Meetings


Agenda for June 23, 2020 Advisory Committee meeting


Meeting Materials


Meeting Minutes – Advisory Group Meeting – June 23, 2020

Meeting Minutes – Advisory Group Meeting – October 30, 2019

Meeting Minutes – Advisory Group Meeting – November 14, 2018

Meeting Minutes – Advisory Group Meeting – February 7, 2018


Meeting Presentations


Stakeholder Group Meeting – April 12, 2016

Stakeholder Group Meeting - August 30, 2016

Stakeholder Group Meeting - April 26, 2017

Stakeholder Group Meeting - March 8, 2018

Stakeholder Group Meeting – December 13, 2018

Stakeholder Group Meeting – December 12, 2019


Plan Progress


Oak Creek Watershed Protection Plan – Fieldwork Progress 2017

Oak Creek Watershed Protection Plan -- Fieldwork Progress 2016




Use the box below to submit any comments you may have about the Oak Creek Watershed Restoration Plan. A record of public comments will be assembled and provided to the Local Planning Team for deliberations in preparing the final report.

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You may also submit a comment
by the following:

Email: lherrick@sewrpc.org
Fax: 262-547-1103
U.S. Mail: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission
P.O. Box 1609
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607


If you have any questions,
please contact: 

Kevin Muhs, AICP, P.E.
Executive Director


Laura Kletti Herrick
SEWRPC Chief Environmental Engineer



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Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission


W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607


Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Phone: (262) 547-6721
Fax: (262) 547-1103
E-mail: sewrpc@sewrpc.org

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