Susan Bence

Environmental Reporter

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.

Susan is now WUWM's environmental reporter, the station's first. Her work has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Susan worked with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for 20 years, studied foreign languages at UWM, and loves to travel.

Susan Bence

Imagine you’re rushing to catch a flight at Milwaukee County's General Mitchell International Airport — maybe for business or a long-anticipated vacation. What's on your mind? If you’re Dan Schley, you’re wondering: What’s the story behind the floor mosaics?

"It caught my attention and I thought, 'I’m just going to ask this,' " the Bubbler Talk question asker says.

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

Susan Bence

The Kirtland’s warbler is slated to come off the endangered species list any day now. This success story comes as the Trump administration has proposed stripping protections built into that law.

Leah Qusba

Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order Friday declaring a goal of attaining 100% clean energy throughout Wisconsin by 2050. Evers also announced the formation of an Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy. The office would promote the development and use of clean energy across Wisconsin.

Lloyd DeGrane / for the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The potential impact of Asian carp on the Great Lakes has many people on edge. A new study draws attention to the threat Asian carp could pose to the Great Lakes.

While concern persists that the invasive fish could move from the Mississippi River Basin into Lake Michigan, questions remain whether the fish would find enough food to survive.

Susan Bence

Preston Cole is one step away from officially heading the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

While he awaits a State Senate vote on his assignment, the secretary-designee says there’s no time to waste when it comes to addressing Wisconsin’s drinking water concerns. Cole is optimistic solutions will be found. 

Momentum began when Gov. Tony Evers declared 2019 the year of clean drinking water.

Alesandra Tejeda

Plastic is difficult to escape. Many products are wrapped, sealed and mailed in some sort of plastic material.

And it can be difficult to know what to do with plastic bags, especially since curbside programs in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin don't accept plastic bags. However, they can be put in collection bins at some grocery stores and other businesses.

Leonid / stock.adobe.com

A pizza box, an old T-shirt, a burned-out lightbulb. This all goes into the trash bin, right?

Well, not quite.

Susan Bence

Updated on Aug. 19, at 12:55 p.m CT
UW-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences reports that We Energies has installed carbon filters on air handlers that serve the south wing of the school, which is where most people work. Filters weren’t installed in the north building, but the school will be monitoring whether odors are detected there.

ReFlo

The story of Starms Early Childhood isn't unique in Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Public Schools' building at 36th and Burleigh Streets is more than 100 years old and until recently, its playground was dominated by asphalt. 

But that’s about to change thanks to a green infrastructure project.

Lisa Misky can't wait. She's taught at Starms for 21 years. Over the years, she and her colleagues gradually added some green to the children's world. They put in a perennial garden bed in the front with the help of small grants.

Pages