Fresh Coast Protection Partnership

In 2020, the Fresh Coast Protection Partnership (FCPP) was launched between Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and CIS to expand the use of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) solutions to address flooding challenges across the Greater Milwaukee Region.

Project Scope

Total Development Costs

$29.2 million



Green Infrastructure Projects

11.9 million gallons

In 2020, the Fresh Coast Protection Partnership (FCPP) was launched between Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and CIS to scale up green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) implementation to meet the district’s 2035 goal of capturing the first half inch of rain, or 740 million gallons of water each time it rains.  Through this capture of rainfall, green infrastructure will help reduce flooding, eliminate pollutants that are discharged into the rivers and streams in the Milwaukee watershed and help MMSD with an integrated watershed management approach. 

Leading a team of experienced local delivery partners, CIS is providing a cost-effective, large-scale community-based partnership (CBP) that is delivering GSI and investing in low-to-moderate income areas. The partnership aggregates and streamlines the financial, procurement and project delivery efforts within MMSD’s service area.

The program is building GSI throughout the greater Milwaukee region to capture nearly 12 million gallons of stormwater across 19 municipalities. This is reducing overflow volume and regional flooding on private land, the combined sewer service area, municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), and the deep tunnel system in communities within the Greater Milwaukee region.

Construction view of the River Hills wetland
Construction view of the River Hills wetland


The initial phase is a $29 million investment that provides environmental, social, and economic benefits. The proven FCPP structure transfers all delivery and implementation risk away from MMSD. To achieve risk transfer, CIS provides working capital to source, design, permit, and construct GSI projects. Once a GSI project is fully implemented and certified, MMSD pays a fixed, agreed-upon price set at contract execution. CIS is responsible for any cost overruns and MMSD has no obligation for projects that are designed but never built.


The GSI projects use multiple device types, and 90% of the projects are implemented on private property. CIS and the local team have developed a successful private property program that educates residents and property owners on the importance and benefits of green stormwater infrastructure. The program has resulted in more projects available to MMSD while beautifying properties across the 19 communities within the partnership.

CIS and MMSD have a shared vision of building environmental equity through green infrastructure. As such, more than 50% of the projects are located in low to moderate-income areas to ensure historically under-invested communities are prioritized.

Leveraging the local community to plan, design, and construct the projects is another way for the program to build environmental equity and support the CIS model, which does not self-perform the technical components of the program. To help ensure the community has enough local resources, the CBP has created a contractor development program that provides training, resources, and the opportunity to bid on green infrastructure projects. The program pairs new and small contractors with more experienced contractors to ensure these firms have the support to successfully learn and implement projects. The contractor development program has been successful in actively developing Small, Women, Minority, and Veteran-Owned Enterprise (SWMBE) capacity and has already reached 46% participation.

Construction view of the River Hills wetland


Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District


2020 – 2028

Private Property Requirement


SMWBE Utilization Requirement


Total development costs

gallons of green stormwater infrastructure projects completed/in-progress

Percentage of projects located on private property

Percentage of projects located in low-to-moderate income areas

Contracts awarded to small, women, minority, and veteran-owned enterprise (SWMBE) businesses

Percentage of gallons captured in combined sewer service area

Percentage of gallons captured outside of the City of Milwaukee