Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust

General objectives of the project:

The Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.’s (Sweet Water) purpose is to achieve significant improvements in water quality, esthetics and habitat in the southeastern Wisconsin watersheds and move the region forward toward the primary goals of the Clean Water Act—fishable, swimmable waters. The collaboration activities focus on regional implementation of a variety of projects to reduce pollution from point and non-point sources. Sweet Water was formed to be a regional collaboration that addresses and implements both the point and non-point source pollution reduction recommendations that are a part of an integrated water resources management strategy for the long-term improvement and stewardship of the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds and Lake Michigan.

As part of this grant, the NGOs are performing the following activities to further the objectives of Sweet Water:

1. Monitoring, Modeling, and Science Work
2. Participate in the Development and Implementation of the Watershed Restoration Plans
3. Legal and Policy Analysis for the Implementation of the Watershed Restoration Plans.
4. Developing an Outreach and Communications Strategy
5. Sweet Water Administration and Committee Support

Primary Purposes of SWWT

Primary Purpose 1: To achieve water resource goals and objectives – such as clean water, conservation, and ecological function – through innovative and sustainable practices.

Primary Purpose 2: To improve water quality in the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds to support a healthy regional economy and improve quality of life.

Primary Purpose 3: To test and then implement innovative approaches and practices that will achieve improvements in water resources in a cost-effective way.

Primary Purpose 4: To build partnerships and to enhance collaborative decision-making and joint project implementation, engaging the government, businesses, the building industry, agriculture, environmental, and other stakeholder organizations to obtain broad agreement and recommend where to invest funds to get the greatest benefit.


Primary Purpose 5: Through collaborative action, increase the region’s success in attracting new funding and leveraging existing funding for water quality and water resource improvements.

The Greater Milwaukee Watersheds are defined as the watersheds of the Kinnickinnic River, Menomonee River, Milwaukee River, Root River, and Oak Creek; Lake Michigan direct drainage; the Milwaukee Harbor estuary; and nearshore Lake Michigan. These are the watersheds that were included in the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Water Quality Management Plan.

Sweet Water is working to support and coordinate Watershed Restoration Projects across multiple watersheds in Southeastern Wisconsin. These projects stem from Watershed Restoration Plans (WRPs) that were completed in 2010 for the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds. Click here to view the Kinnickinnic River WRP or here to view the Menomonee River WRP.

For more information on SWWT, visit