WUWM: Environmental Reporting

Many of us are environmentally aware — many recycle, some conserve water, you might ride a bike to work. But we do face profound environmental challenges.

Help WUWM’s Environmental Reporter Susan Bence dig deeper into the issues you are most concerned about.

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Susan Bence

Gov. Tony Evers' administration has been promoting action on climate change since his inauguration day in January. In Milwaukee Thursday, Evers took a step toward tangible action.

He announced the creation of a task force charged with coming up with recommendations to combat climate change.

Susan Bence

We Energies says it's time to increase its electric rates. But critics say customers will be paying more while the utility remains too reliant on polluting energy sources like coal.

Dmitry Naumov / stock.adobe.com

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thinks it's come up with a good formula to better protect Americans from lead in drinking water, calling it a major and much-needed overhaul. Officials unveiled the proposal Thursday in Green Bay. But concern is already bubbling up among those who feel the EPA changes aren't stringent enough.

malp / stock.adobe.com

Driving down poverty and increasing wellness — these are among the critical challenges being tackled at the annual Summit on Poverty.

The two-day program is a collaboration between Marquette University and the Social Development Commission. It’s designed to foster creative conversations among community leaders, educators, and members of the community. 

Ellen Damschen

As habitats shrink and the climate changes, animals and plants are facing challenges across the globe.

But a group of scientists, including from UW-Madison, is finding signs of hope through a research project in South Carolina. They wanted to see if they could improve the odds for species by experimenting with the longleaf pine savanna in South Carolina.

Dwayne Sperber

Chuck Leavell plays keyboards with the Rolling Stones. But he’s also a passionate environmentalist and forester.

"There was a personal connection for me. Where does that wonderful thing that's given me so much joy and a great career come from? Of course, it comes from the resource of wood, as do many, many other musical instruments. Without wood there would be hardly any music, we'd just be singing acapella," Leavell explains.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee’s harbor district is evolving. On its northern edge plans are afoot for a hotel, apartment and office complex. When that happens, a decades’ long fixture will  probably disappear — Jerry's Dock.

There’s nothing pretty about the place. It’s tucked along the Milwaukee River, on the edge of its intersection with the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers, on their path to Lake Michigan.

Susan Bence

People around the world, including in Milwaukee, concerned about climate change will take part in the Global Climate Strike, which starts Friday.

Ahead of Friday's Milwaukee rally, a corner of the cavernous basement beneath a UWM art studio building is filled with clusters of people chatting, munching on pizza. But mostly, they’re focused on the work at hand. Among them is Nicholas Lampert.

"I was screen printing these patches that people will wear at the demonstration and on the back of jackets," Lampert says.

Engberg Anderson

Have you wondered what will become of the iconic Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, better known as The Domes, on Milwaukee’s near south side?

A task force hopes to convince county leaders and residents that both The Domes and the green space around it can be restored by building partnerships and raising funds.

Susan Bence

An estimated 1.7 million Wisconsinites rely on private wells for water. That includes the residents of Richfield, which is located northwest of Milwaukee in rural Washington County.

Richfield is trying to balance development with ensuring there is enough well water for all.

Susan Bence

There's been a lot of talk about Milwaukee efforts to shore up its childhood lead program and remove old lead pipes that feeds drinking water to tens of thousands of homes in the city.

Now, Milwaukee County hopes a proposed initiative will help risks found in foreclosed homes. 

The idea is to create a small, revolving loan fund to help county residents remove lead hazards — both paint and old lead service lines – when they buy a foreclosed home from the county.

Светлана Лазаренко / stock.adobe.com

PFAS may be foreign to many, but residents in Marinette, Wis., are living with the man-made contaminant.

PFAS is short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of thousands of synthetic chemicals that don’t break down in the environment and bio-accumulate. That means they become concentrated inside the bodies of living things, like humans. PFAS are known as "forever" chemicals.

Jack Glover / UW-Milwaukee

Some cities are embracing the idea of edible urban forests. Food Forests have taken root in places like La Crosse, Wis., and Seattle, Wash.

Now, a Milwaukee advocate is trying to create a 2.2-acre version. Barbara Richards hasn't chosen one of the city's many empty lots, but one of its most popular areas – the Park East Corridor, just north of downtown.

Arlin Karnopp

Every four years Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reviews what is called the Livestock Facility Siting Law. The law, and its rules, regulate concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), including:

Susan Bence

You might assume Waukesha is installing massive pipes that will deliver Lake Michigan water to its residents. After all, the Great Lakes governors approved the city’s request three years ago. But Waukesha still needs the green light from Wisconsin environmental regulators.

READ: Waukesha Celebrates Great Lakes Compact Council Decision

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