Little Menomonee River Habitat Corridor Restoration - Planning


Habitat restoration within the Little Menomonee River Corridor (LMRC) has been identified as a necessary fish and wildlife habitat restoration project in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC. Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture (DPRC) along with the Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), proposes to prepare restoration plans for the LMRC with input from other stakeholders. This 631.5 acre, 6 mile corridor, stretching from Brown Deer Road to the confluence with the Menomonee River, is owned almost entirely by Milwaukee County. The LMRC is also the location of the former Moss-American/Kerr-McGee Superfund site. While all remedial actions have taken place to protect human health in the short term, the impact of these actions and other land use impacts have left the habitat in the corridor degraded. Since the LMRC is almost exclusively in public ownership, it provides the opportunity to improve a sizable greenspace for fish and wildlife while providing improved connectivity to the upper portions of the watershed.


The proposed scope for the project is to conceptualize and plan logistically feasible habitat improvement projects for the entire LMRC. Due to the need to include some due diligence and high level planning within the first portions of this planning phase, the level of detail that will be achieved for the final project deliverable is not yet completely defined. It will depend on the restoration actions chosen for inclusion within the project as well as the level of effort and need for detailed construction plans. At minimum, the final product will be a concept plan and cost estimate for the proposed improvements throughout the LMRC. It will also include a comprehensive ecological restoration and management plan for the LMRC developed based on existing DPRC Ecological Restoration and Management Plan models. The outcome of this planning will be a product that could move the project to an implementation stage (i.e. a concept plan that could be used to produce final construction plans, if needed, with subsequent construction and/or a finalized management plan that directs restoration activities). To accomplish the proposed work, the Milwaukee County DPRC would hire a qualified consultant and temporary staff as needed to assist in the planning effort. The Milwaukee County DPRC would also undertake a sizable portion of the planning directly, in coordination with the WDNR. The concept plan(s) will be submitted for vetting to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) Superfund program to ensure that any proposed practices and/or proposed management actions would be consistent with the approved remedial actions on site. Little Menomonee River Corridor Habitat Restoration has been identified as a management action for the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat beneficial use impairment in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC Remedial Action Plan 2015 Update. This project is the first phase for this management action. The projects were selected in consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Technical Advisory Committee (Tech Team). The Fish and Wildlife Tech Team has not yet identified all of necessary project elements that will be included in the final design and implementation of the LMRC project (see 2015 Milwaukee Estuary AOC Remedial Action Plan Update). Some items that have been discussed include forest stand improvement to mitigate canopy loss due to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), riparian buffer management and fish and wildlife habitat improvements and management. Once more of the initial planning is complete, the Tech Team will provide input on these elements. Input will be gathered by the Milwaukee County DPRC (with the help of a hired consultant) and WDNR during formal presentations to the Tech Team. However, for projects of this nature, the Tech Team identifies the following necessary project elements: • Invasive species management plan completed. • Permanent protection for areas of restoration.

Study Design

In order to develop the proposed plan(s) for the LMRC a thorough baseline assessment of both native and non-native vegetative communities will need to be conducted. This assessment, for both native and non-native vegetation, will be conducted through the use of mapping programs hosted on Arc GIS Online via the Arc Collector application. The objective is to accurately locate sensitive native and invasive species populations within the defined project area, determine relative population levels, and prescribe recommended control/treatment where appropriate. Milwaukee County DPRC staff will also conduct control of rapid response invasive species as they are detected pursuant to control methods described in the Milwaukee County DPRC’s Invasive Species Quick Reference Guide. As they relate to habitat restoration, the recommendations made in the plan(s) for the LMRC should be developed based on existing and historical vegetative and wildlife data, so that any species considered uncommon or rare or listed as local conservation interest, special concern, threatened, or endangered may be preserved and managed for at their respective sites pursuant to the Focal Species Concept.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Reports and Documents
Final Scope of Work for the Little Menomonee River Habitat Corridor Restoration project coordinated by the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture.