Protecting Wisconsin’s air, land, water, and public health requires vigilance. We engage members, partners, and voters on important conservation issues through transformational community organizing to protect and defend Wisconsin today and for generations to come.
Water defines Wisconsin. From the mighty Mississippi to the Great Lakes, from small streams and ponds, to rushing rivers and grand lakeshores, from wells and kitchen faucets in rural and urban communities to the drinking glasses of children across the state, Wisconsin’s water is invaluable. We must fight to protect our water from polluters, achieve safe drinking water for all, and ensure our lakes and rivers are safe for fishing and swimming.
In Wisconsin, every aspect of our lives is connected to water. Groundwater provides drinking water for 70 percent of Wisconsin citizens, supplies water for industries and businesses in 97 percent of Wisconsin communities, sources nearly all crop irrigation, and sustains springs, lakes, and rivers. Anglers, paddlers, and families recreate on and enjoy our lakes and rivers (1).
Lead and manure contaminate our drinking water, toxic algae blooms in our lakes, and streams and lakes are drying up. The reintroduction of sulfide mining and the rollback of wetlands protections are threats to the waters where we swim, fish, paddle, and live (2).
Wisconsin Conservation Voices is dedicated to protecting our water. By making the connection between people fighting for the water in their communities and the State Capitol, together we can make our voices heard on important legislation and policy that threaten our most precious natural resource.
Every Wisconsinite deserves to breathe clean air. However, nearly 2.2 million Wisconsinites live in areas with air quality considered unhealthy, and more than 100,000 Wisconsin kids are suffering from pediatric asthma.(1) Meanwhile, important air quality protections have been rolled back, and the state doubled down on fossil fuels. We must reduce air pollution for the health and safety of all Wisconsinites.
Wisconsin continues to get 75 percent of its energy from coal, natural gas, and petroleum, which generate the soot and smog pollution that threatens Wisconsinites and contributes to climate change.(2) Recent rollbacks of air protections to make room for Tawainese-based mega-corporation Foxconn will potentially make a major new source for smog in a county already ranked among the worse for air quality in the state. (3)
We must reduce air pollution for the health and safety of all Wisconsinites.
When our environment suffers, so does our health. Higher rates of asthma, chemicals in our drinking water that are linked to cancer, children’s IQs diminished by lead poisoning – you have a right to clean air, safe drinking water, and access to open spaces. For Wisconsin to thrive, all communities must be protected from environmental harm.
Scientific evidence continues to link chemical exposure to increasing rates of health problems, including asthma, certain types of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, and neurological diseases.
Lead in our drinking water, agricultural chemicals and manure in our well water, nitrates and phosphorous in our lakes and streams, chemicals and air pollution all contribute to the problem in Wisconsin.
A disproportionate amount of the exposure to chemicals and pollution affect the most vulnerable in our state including children, pregnant women, and low income and communities of color. Wisconsin Conservation Voices works to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, which are prevalent in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products we use.
No matter your ZIP code, you have a right to clean air, safe drinking water, and access to open spaces.
Wisconsin’s land is extraordinary. We can hunt, hike, fish, paddle, explore rugged terrain, and witness jaw-dropping vistas. Local parks, bike paths, beaches, and open space create more livable communities. The land is bountiful, with its rich soil and abundant wildlife. Our public lands are an economic engine, contributing to a $18 billion outdoor recreation industry. We must keep these places public, enhance and expand access to our open spaces, and properly manage our forests, wetlands, and soil.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources sells more than 1,000,000 resident and 500,000 nonresident recreational fishing licenses annually, collecting over $1.1 billion in fees. The DNR estimates those anglers spend another $2.1 billion in Wisconsin communities each year. (1)
Wisconsin Conservation Voices is dedicated to reauthorizing and funding the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and ensuring our state parks are funded properly and accessible for all.
Human-driven climate change is fact. Warming temperatures have already reduced corn harvests, contributed to unprecedented flooding, disrupted wildlife migration, spurred toxic algae blooms, and dirtied our Great Lakes.(1) We must swiftly transition to a clean energy economy that works for all communities, reduces pollution created by fossil fuels, and invests in strategies that help us prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin relies almost entirely on fossil fuels, particularly coal, for its electricity. Since it has no reserves of fossil fuels, Wisconsin imports millions of dollars of coal and other fossil fuels from places like Wyoming and Illinois each year.(2)
Meanwhile, many of our Midwestern neighbors – including Illinois – have invested in clean energy. Wisconsin ranks behind states like Kansas, Nebraska, and South and North Dakota in the creation of renewable energy jobs.(3)
With the election of President Donald Trump, and the subsequent takeover of the EPA by fossil fuel industry insiders, along with the Walker Administration’s paid allegiance to fossil fuel barons the Koch Brothers, it’s our local leaders who are making strides toward a renewable clean energy future for all.
In Eau Claire, the city council has pledged to work toward 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The City of Green Bay recently approved a Sustainability Commission that will work to find local clean energy solutions. Dane County has invested heavily in clean energy programs like methane capture from its landfill to run its snowplow fleet and solar panels to save millions in electricity costs each year.
While these local initiatives hold great promise, urging elected leaders at all levels – local, state, and federal – to commit to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 is crucial.
Conservation voters across the state are leading the way toward a clean energy future for all. Sign the clean energy pledge now. And be sure to sign up for updates and calls to action.