‘Working together:’ 3rd season of Milwaukee Riverkeeper ‘Adopt-A-River Program’ kicks off

Justin Rantanen

MILWAUKEE -- With temperatures in the high 30s Thursday, April 11, a day after a spring snowstorm, it didn't feel much like spring, but the weather didn't stop one group from doing some spring cleaning.

The third season of the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Adopt-A-River Program kicked off Thursday at Lincoln Creek -- with community organizations cleaning up trash.

Justin Rantanen said he never knows what he might pull out of Lincoln Creek.

"Last year, we found almost an entire front of a car," said Rantanen.

Rantanen and his co-workers were cleaning the creek for the third year. They adopted it through the Milwaukee Riverkeeper's Adopt-A-River Program.

"It doesn't matter if it's raining, snowing, it could be a tornado -- we'll be out here to make sure it's clean for everybody here," said Rantanen.

Through the Adopt-A-River Program, volunteers committed to cleaning five percent of the 875 river miles for the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers.

In 2018 alone, more than 1,300 volunteers picked up more than 16,000 pounds of trash along our waterways.

"We find oil. We find propane tanks. We find lots of different things in the river that can actually harm water quality," said Cheryl Nenn with Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Adopters reported plastic food wrappers and cigarette butts as among the most frequently found items.

Community groups are needed to adopt and clean portions of the rivers that remain on the adoption list. To view adoption areas and more information about the program, CLICK HERE

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