RESOLUTION of the Board of Lake Park Friends Board
WHEREAS, the County and the Northpoint Lighthouse Friends intend to install a so-called regenerative stormwater conveyance system (RSC©) in the South Lighthouse Ravine of Lake Park (the “South Ravine”) and has hired Stormwater Solutions Engineering, LLC (“SSE”) to design the RSC;
WHEREAS, the RSC project received approximately $198,000 in grant funding from several public sources, including the Milwaukee County Parks Amenities Matching Fund Program, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, and the Fund for Lake Michigan;
WHEREAS, Lake Park Friends has extensively reviewed the design plans dated January, 1, 2016 prepared by SSE for the proposed RSC in the South Ravine;
WHEREAS, Lake Park Friends hired an expert, Shabica and Associates, a Chicago-based consulting firm, with over 30 years of experience studying and designing Great Lakes coastal restoration and ravine stabilization projects, to independently review the proposed RSC design plans and the need for such a RSC in the South Ravine;
WHEREAS, the proposed RSC is an untested system in this Great Lakes region;
WHEREAS, the County has stated that installation of the RSC is an “experiment” to convey, manage and treat storm water runoff in the ravine prior to discharge to Bradford Beach;
WHEREAS, the County’s RSC experiment will forever alter the beauty and natural landscape of the ravine as well as the natural ravine drainage system by excavating the existing streambed along the lower 200 feet of the ravine and raising the ravine floor by 1 to 4 feet with stone, sand, and mulch;
WHEREAS, the County has not established the need for the RSC to stabilize the South Ravine and expert review indicates the South Ravine is in stable condition, with only minor evidence of erosion, and contains no direct storm sewer runoff, and therefore, is not an appropriate location for such an experiment as the proposed RSC;
WHEREAS, there has been no sampling of stormwater in or directly from the South Ravine to demonstrate that this ravine water quality is negatively impacting Bradford Beach or Lake Michigan;
WHEREAS, numerous scientific studies have shown that significant nutrient and bacteria reduction (natural to any ravine) can be achieved in Great Lakes ravines by simply conducting maintenance and relatively minor improvements to the current ravine as well as by removing invasive plants and planting native vegetation, for less cost than the RSC;
WHEREAS, there is no plan or funding set aside for long-term maintenance of the proposed RSC beyond the first 3-years for plants, if installed;
WHEREAS, the South Ravine, a significant valuable resource to Lake Park (a National Historical Landmark, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park) is not an appropriate location for a pilot study of this system in this region;
BE IT RESOLVED, Lake Park Friends hereby objects to the County and the Northpoint Lighthouse Friend’s installation of an RSC as described above in the South Ravine and calls on the County to immediately reject the design and cease and rescind all funding of the RSC.
Effective date 09/26/2016.