Regional Planning News


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 A publication of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission                       Volume 1, Issue 1, July 2014 
Precipitation Data
ADID Wetlands
Regional Transportation Plan
VISION 2050 Workshops
Environmental Justice
Climate Change Research
Root River Watershed

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Can Switch to Digital News

A printed version of this newsletter has been mailed to SEWRPC contacts for whom we do not have e-mail addresses. Please sign up for the electronic newsletter here and help us save paper, printing, and mailing costs.

Soccer Beneath the
35th Street Viaduct 
Best in Show: VISION 2050
Portraits of the Region Photo Contest 

Sept. 8, 6-8 p.m.

Richard T. Anderson Center,
Waukesha County 
Technical College, Waukesha


Sept. 9, 6-8 p.m.
Matheson Memorial Library,


Sept. 10, 6-8 p.m.

Civic Centre, Racine


Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m.

Ozaukee County Pavilion,


Sept. 16, 5-7 p.m.

Civil War Museum, Kenosha


Sept. 17, 6-8 p.m.

Public Agency Center, 

West Bend


Sept. 18, 5-7 p.m.

Milwaukee County 

War Memorial, Milwaukee 

Latest Precipitation 
Data Posted Online

The latest data on precipitation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now available in NOAA Atlas 14. The data represents the most current precipitation depth-duration-frequency information for the State and Southeastern Wisconsin. It is used by public works professionals and engineers for stormwater and floodland management projects. 


The SEWRPC staff has coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation regarding the application of Atlas 14 in the State. The Wisconsin portion of the Midwestern States study that produced NOAA Atlas 14 was funded by the WDNR, WisDOT, and SEWRPC. Atlas 14 can be found here. Please contact Mike Hahn at for more information.


ADID Wetland 
Areas Updated
Maps showing the areal extent of Advanced Delineation and Identification of Wetland Areas (ADID) have now been updated to reflect 2010 data. Under ADID, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and with SEWRPC, identify Southeastern Wisconsin wetland areas determined inappropriate for the disposal of dredged and fill materials.
SEWRPC provides technical assistance in preparing the maps, which are available as PDFs for each county.
The ADID Wetland Viewer mapping tool displaying ADID wetlands, primary environmental corridors, and color orthophotography, can be found here. For more information contact Dr. Don Reed at
Find new and updated information at, including this newsletter under Recent Publications.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission is the official advisory areawide planning agency for land use and infrastructure for Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. More information can be found here.
Please contact us at  


SEWRPC Launches E-Newsletter

Welcome to the premiere issue of SEWRPC's electronic newsletter, Regional Planning News. We created this digital newsletter to keep you updated on the latest developments at the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), and significant regional news related to the issues SEWRPC addresses.


Our goal is to publish Regional Planning News four to six times a year. In this issue, SEWRPC congratulates Milwaukee County resident Daniel Adams, who won Best in Show for his VISION 2050 Portraits of the Region Photo Contest entry at left. Eleven photos from the contest are on display at the SEWRPC offices in Waukesha.


We have more news to share than we can include in this issue. Please browse and regularly for information about planning initiatives, publications, and meetings. Please pass along this e-newsletter to your contacts so they can sign up for it here.

2035 Regional Transportation Plan

Review and Update Completed


The Commission completed an interim review and update of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan as required every four years under Federal law. The review and update includes a review of the forecasts underlying the plan, current transportation system performance, an assessment of what has been implemented in the plan to date, and available funding for plan implementation. While the VISION 2050 plan will replace the year 2035 plan in about a year, the review of the year 2035 plan will help provide a better understanding of the issues that need to be addressed in the VISION 2050 plan.


The review of the 2035 plan indicated that funding constraints have significantly affected the implementation of transit recommendations and have modestly affected the implementation of recommended highway improvements. According to the updated plan, without additional funding, highway projects (such as reconstruction of the freeway system) will be delayed and public transit services will likely decline further.

Attend a VISION 2050 Workshop

The Southside Organizing Committee (SOC) held its second VISION 2050 Visioning Workshop in January 2014

in Milwaukee. The workshop was held in English and Spanish. SOC is one of eight VISION 2050 community partners. A report on the partner workshops can be found here.

Public workshop dates have been scheduled for the next phase of the VISION 2050 land use and transportation plan and are included in the newsletter calendar at left. At the September workshops, Sketch Scenarios--visual concepts of how the seven-county Region might look and function in the future--will be used for interactive public feedback.

The Sketch Scenarios include different options for growth and development, public transit, highways, and bicycle/pedestrian facilities. They were developed based on the VISION 2050 Guiding Statements, which represent the key values and priorities expressed in VISION 2050 workshops to date, as well as input from the Commission's Advisory Committees on Regional Land Use Planning and Regional Transportation Planning, and the Environmental Justice Task Force.


Please review for comprehensive information about VISION 2050. Follow VISION 2050 on Twitter @Vision2050SEWis, and sign up for the e-newsletter here.

Environmental Justice Task Force
Ensures Participation in Planning


The Commission's 15-member Environmental Justice Task Force facilitates the involvement of, and helps to ensure the full and fair participation of, low-income and minority populations and people with disabilities in regional planning. The Task Force was instrumental in ensuring that SEWRPC's Year 2035 Regional Housing Plan addressed the housing needs of all residents of the Region. It is currently working with Commission staff to ensure that environmental justice principles and practices are an integral part of the VISION 2050 land use and transportation plan.


"The Environmental Justice Task Force is a dedicated and hard working group of volunteers," said Task Force Chair Adelene Greene, Director of Workforce Development for Kenosha County. "We take a close look at SEWRPC's regional plans and processes to make sure that they include a comprehensive analysis of the potential benefits and adverse impact on environmental justice populations. EJ Task Force members are engaged in the process to ensure that environmental justice needs are considered in all phases of SEWRPC planning."


According to the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, environmental justice is based on three principles: (1) To ensure public involvement of low-income and minority groups in decision making; (2) To prevent "disproportionately high and adverse" impacts of decisions on low-income and minority groups; and (3) To assure low-income and minority groups receive a proportionate share of benefits.


The Environmental Justice Task Force is designed to include seven representatives from the counties in the Region (one per county); three members representing the City of Milwaukee; one representative for each of the cities of Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha, plus one representative of the remainder of the Region; and an at-large member. Please contact for more information.


Groups Spearhead Climate Change Research

From left: Mike Hahn, SEWRPC; Sandra McLellan, UWM; Kevin Kratt, Tetra Tech; Dan Talarczyk, UWM and MMSD; and David Lorenz, UW-Madison, gave a presentation on the impact of climate change on Milwaukee area waters at the 10th Annual Clean 

Rivers, Clean Lake Conference on May 1 in Milwaukee.


Exciting collaborations involving multiple Wisconsin agencies and institutions, including SEWRPC, are developing cutting-edge science on climate change.


The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, was formed to address how climate change might affect Wisconsin. SEWRPC staff serve on the WICCI stormwater working group and co-chair WICCI's Milwaukee urban area working group.


SEWRPC is also conducting studies that will enable assessment of the possible effects of climate change on water quality and quantity issues in Southeastern Wisconsin. One effort is a partnership with the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences Great Lakes WATER Institute (GLWI), UW-Madison climate scientists, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), which also funded the project. This project used a water quality model and meteorological data reflecting projected climate change conditions to assess the possible effects of climate change on sewer overflows from the MMSD system. The water quality model was developed by SEWRPC and TetraTech for the 2007 Water Quality Initiative. The report can be found here.


In addition, SEWRPC, the GLWI, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Madison climate scientists, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have completed a study of the effects of climate change on the water quality of streams in five regional watersheds and the Lake Michigan nearshore area. The report can be found here.


Mike Hahn, Chief Environmental Engineer for SEWRPC, noted that the research projects are complex and allow scientists to create new tools for assessing the impacts of climate change. Additional research is needed to build on the data. Please contact him at for more information.

Root River Plan Rounds Final Bend


Members of the public and governmental and nongovernmental agencies provided input for the Root River Watershed Restoration Plan at a December 2013 public meeting in Sturtevant.


The Root River Watershed Restoration Plan is nearing completion, thanks to the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative NetworkSoutheastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, and SEWRPC. The plan will be published and available on July 31, 2014.


The watershed is notable for its mix of urban and rural land uses. The focus areas of the plan are water quality, recreational use and access, habitat conditions, and flooding. The plan also addresses the status of the Horlick dam.


The Root River Watershed Restoration Plan is an outgrowth of the 2007 Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds and was funded by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD), Racine County, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, and the Fund for Lake Michigan.