WGF Co-Sponsors Public Rights in Milwaukee’s Fresh Coast Webinar

WI Green Fire, December 17, 2021

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Wisconsin’s Green Fire co-sponsored a webinar on January 19th with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Water Policy and the State Bar of Wisconsin, featuring six expert panelists who offered diverse perspectives on the public trust doctrine and how it influences Milwaukee’s Fresh Coast. Often overlooked, much of the city’s coastline and riverfronts are not original — they’re built on lakebed or riverbed that has been filled to create new land, meaning they are governed under the public trust doctrine.

The six panelists addressed questions about the implications of the public trust doctrine on public rights, land development, funding, policy, and governance affecting Milwaukee’s iconic waterfront.

Panelists included Michael Cain, WGF Board Member and Public Trust and Wetland Work Group Co-Chair, along with:

  • John Gurda, Writer and Historian, author of “Milwaukee: A City Built on Water”
  • Brenda Coley, Co-Executive Director, Milwaukee Water Commons
  • Michael Kowalkowski, Attorney, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Toni Herkert, Government Affairs Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • Sarah Martinez, Water Policy Specialist, Center for Water Policy

View the webinar recording here, Michael’s presentation slides here, and here to view supplemental materials for his presentation. Check back here for the webinar recording!