New mitigation measures can prevent nearly 500,000 gallons of stormwater runoff

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University in partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is constructing two new stormwater runoff mitigation projects under the Fresh Coast Protection Partnership program, incorporating green infrastructure. The two green infrastructure projects are Parking Lot T by the School of Dentistry and the other on the south lawn of Lalumiere Hall.

FCPP is a community-based partnership between the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and infrastructure solutions firm Corvias aimed at improving water quality, reducing stormwater runoff and localized flooding through the capture and management of millions of gallons of water during rain events.

Combined, the Marquette projects have the potential to prevent up to nearly 500,000 gallons of stormwater runoff during a single rain event to reduce sewer overflow volume and reduce the risk of flooding and help protect rivers and lakes from pollution. Aligned with the “Sustainability of Valuable Resources” theme in the university’s strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, the FCPP and Marquette are sharing the costs to design and construct the green infrastructure.

“Marquette is grateful for its ongoing relationship with MMSD and to the Fresh Coast Protection Partnership for the opportunity to serve as responsible stewards of campus lands to help preserve and protect the environment,” says Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities services. “As an urban campus, we have thought creatively over the years on how to best manage stormwater runoff, a critical issue for the nearby rivers and Lake Michigan. Recent campus additions like green roofs and the retention basin near the Athletic and Human Performance Research Center have been a great step forward. The FCPP has provided us — and others in the area facing the same challenges — with new opportunities to better manage our delicate, finite natural resources.”

About Marquette’s new green infrastructure projects

  1. Parking Lot T resurfacing project

Located between North 19th and 20th Streets near the School of Dentistry building, this two-acre surface parking lot will be repaved with a pervious surface over a two-foot deep gravel water detention substrate. The porous resurfacing, along with new landscape elements, can prevent more than 300,000 gallons of stormwater runoff.

  1. Lalumiere Hall bioretention project

A bioretention area will be installed just north of West Clybourn Street on Lalumiere’s south lawn, providing a new, strategically located 5,700-square-foot grassy land depression that can detain an estimated 175,000 gallons of stormwater runoff during a single rain event. The area will be seeded with native grasses and other flora.

Both projects are underway—the Lot T project is expected to be complete near the start of the fall 2022 semester, and the Lalumiere project will wrap up in early fall.

About the Fresh Coast Protection Partnership

The FCPP is a three-year public-private partnership. The FCPP is intended to help MMSD ramp up green infrastructure implementation to meet the group’s 2035 Vision goal of capturing the first half-inch of rainfall across impervious surfaces within MMSD’s service area. Over the next several years, MMSD and its partner Corvias will plan, design, bid and build nearly 8.5 million gallons of stormwater capture capacity with green infrastructure.

MMSD has a long history of providing funding for green infrastructure to public and private partners. Increasing numbers of intense rain events and the incorporation of green infrastructure into MMSD’s permit have pushed MMSD to do more to be resilient in the face of climate change. The FCPP will push beyond the scope of previous green infrastructure programs to better direct where green infrastructure is placed (to maximize benefits), how it is designed, and how it is constructed.

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