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A Special WUWM News SeriesThe Milwaukee River allowed commerce and industry to thrive during the city's formative years and provided recreation. However, disregard for the river's health led to decades of decay.WUWM News explores recent developments to rejuvenate the Milwaukee River and their success at drawing people back to the city's historic arterial.

Volunteers Show Up In Record Numbers for Annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Cleanup

S Bence
Volunteers cleaning up & exploring the KK River at 6th & Cleveland

The 20th annual cleanup attracted up to 4,000 volunteers, according to Milwaukee Riverkeeper. In the Kinnickinnic River, bagging debris and tire removal was combined with learning the science of the river. 

Credit S Bence

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center staff was on hand along with scientists from UW-Madison's Center for Limnology to talk about hydrology and even dip residents toes - covered with waders - into the river. They found fish, a few fish eggs and experienced what algae feels like.

Throughout the morning, cleanups took place at fifty sites throughout the Milwaukee River Basin - from Kewaskum in the northwest to Lyons Park south of the Kinnickinnic River.

Credit S Bence
Just the slightest fraction of debris extracted from rivers and parks during Saturday's annual spring river cleanup.

Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.
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