Milwaukee named “a water technology hub” by the U.N.

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Terrific news!

Quoting JSOnline:

“The United Nations on Tuesday will designate Milwaukee as a U.N. Global Compact City, making it one of 13 such cities worldwide, in a move that will help the region promote its image abroad as an international hub of water technology.

“The 5-year-old U.N. program obligates member cities to showcase progress on issues that involve human rights, environmentalism, health or labor standards…

Milwaukee becomes only the second such U.N. city in the United States alongside San Francisco, which champions a Business Council on Climate Change that encourages Bay area companies such as Google Inc. to adhere to low-carbon environmental practices. Milwaukee is also the second U.N. city anywhere with a focus that involves water. The other is Jamshedpur, India, where Tata Steel’s giant mills are working on industrial sewage treatment projects.”

(How often do we see Milwaukee and San Francisco alongside one another in a positive light, much less at all?)

It must be noted that Milwaukee is home to Sweet Water Organics, the first aquaculture farm started in a reclaimed industrial building. This appears not to have gone unnoticed; the article lists “studying aquaculture to breed edible fish on the assumption that seafood offers cheaper animal protein than livestock” as one of the proposed projects that got our city this honor from the U.N.

Let’s make it good, Milwaukee!

Radio story on aquaculture at a Milwaukee public school

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Our local public radio station WUWM 89.9 FM had a great story this Friday morning about the aquaculture-bearing greenhouse at Fernwood Montessori School here on Milwaukee’s south side. The full text of the story is on the web site, along with the audio and some pictures from the greenhouse. Thanks to Susan Bence and WUWM for putting together such a fine story!

If you’re wondering what aquaculture is, please look at Milwaukee’s own Growing Power. The system at Fernwood is based on Will Allen’s system at Growing Power. There’s also a larger Wikipedia entry on the topic.

I had the pleasure of touring the facility and meeting the greenhouse instructor Matt Ray a few weeks ago after one of our Anodyne Moments. It’s wonderful to have this in a Milwaukee public school, and I’m glad word is getting out. We do need to have more hands-on agri/aquaculture in Milwaukee schools. As Matt said, “Give the kids twenty minutes in the greenhouse each day, and you can throw the Ritalin away.” Be it the large fish or the good food crops that they grow, or the two giant slimy bullfrogs that live there, I know the kids must love it. Quite simply, we need much more of this kind of healing, truly life-affirming experience to be available in our schools.

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