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Milwaukee Riverkeeper launches "Adopt a River" program

Milwaukee -

Cheryl Nenn of Milwaukee Riverkeeper was a live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4 to give an update on the clean up of a fuel spill near the airport that raised concerns 

It was a week earlier that an unused gate experience a valve problem with a pipeline.

"I think the response was pretty quick which is good to know," Nenn told CBS 58 News. "I think we can improve on that. I think with infrastructure we need to probably do better to make sure we're maintaining what we have."

Milwaukee Riverkeeper said more than 4,000 people turned out to help with a recent waterway clean up project to mark Earth Day.

The non-profit is now organizing an "Adopt a River" program to keep people engaged in protecting our watershed all year long.

"We're trying to get churches, businesses, scout groups regularly keeping their eye out to make sure water quality is good," explained Nenn.

Group would adopt a certain section of river and help with removing trash, invasive species, and reporting abnormalities.

Nenn says that there is much that has been accomplished in the past five years to improve water quality.

Before there were only 4 species in the Milwaukee River downtown. Now it's up to 40 species.

"In some ways we've come a long a way,"acknowledge Nenn. "But  We do have a legacy of historic contamination that we're still dealing with."

Milwaukee Riverkeeper was able to secure federal funding from the Great Lake Restoration Project and $15 million was spent to remove contamination in the Lincoln Park area..

But recently,  PCB's were found in the river south of Estabrook Park.

Runoff from road salt and fertilizer remains a pressing issue.

"There are a lot of places where we need to do better, but where on our way."

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