Clean Wisconsin

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Clean Wisconsin is an organization that strives to improve the water, climate, and energy use for the future of Wisconsin. This foundation all began in 1970 when local rivers were catching fire. The animals and plants in the rivers were dying off and many people were getting worried. In response to environmental disasters like this, Earth day was created and the National Environmental Policy Act was passed. This put in motion the citizens of Wisconsin to do something in their own state and this is how Clean Wisconsin all began.

Clean Wisconsin Vision and the people behind it

The vision behind Clean Wisconsin.

Clean Wisconsin believes in doing what they say they will do. They are also very committed to helping Wisconsin for the long run. After the start of Earth day and the National Environmental Policy Act being passed, many citizens of Wisconsin decided that they needed to do something to help. Ever since the 1970’s the people of Wisconsin that are a part of this foundation have been committed to preserving Wisconsin’s clean air, water, and our natural heritage.

The original founders of Clean Wisconsin were Peter Anderson and Doug LaFollete. They started this program to make it easier for states to implement environmental laws. Other people closely involved in the creation of Clean Wisconsin were Kathleen Franklin, who later served for Dane county, and Spencer Black, who became the one of Wisconsin's state representatives. With the help of these four individuals, Clean Wisconsin could become what it is today.

Their Projects

High capacity wells: Groundwater plays a big role in many people's lives in Wisconsin. However, many lakes are drying up. Some families are even finding their wells dry and empty. The DNR has also not been doing their job to protect the water supply. The DNR continues to allow permits to high-capacity wells that draw out more that 100,000 gallons of water in just one day! Clean Wisconsin decided to do something about this and filed 9 lawsuits against the DNR in 2016 alone. In the Wisconsin State Journal, Carl Sinderbrand, who is the lawyer for Clean Wisconsin, said the lawsuits are “to force the DNR to do its job." "By giving these well applicants permits they are effectively giving away the public’s waters to private industry without compensation. We own the water, not any of these big ag companies.”

Climate Change: The first thing that Clean Wisconsin wants everyone to know is “Climate change is real.” Not only is climate change increasing temperatures, but causing extreme pattern changes to the weather and changes in water levels as well. The main reasons for climate change is the constant burning of fossil fuels. This is drastically impacting the life in Wisconsin as well as increasing the severity in air pollution and water borne diseases.

Clean, Safe, and Plentiful water: Clean Wisconsin is trying their hardest to protect the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are suffering from pollution, sewage overflows, algae blooms, and invasive species that is making the Great Lakes at a severe risk. Today, Clean Wisconsin is helping by playing its role in the Great Lakes Compact. They want to stay on top of this to make sure the lakes stay vibrant and clean.


In 2014, Clean Wisconsin has said that they have examined over 1,000 wells and 45% of them had dangerous molybdenum in them. They get a lot of support for these projects and they were able to raise over 2,000,000 to help improve the enviornment in Wisconsin.

Ways to Support the Cause

To support the cause you are able to do more than just volunteer. Not only can you make donations, but you're able to make donations in the honor of a loved one. Another way to contribute to this cause is when you're making purchases using Amazon, use Amazon smile and select Clean Wisconsin. It's little steps like these that can impact our state in the long run.


Clean Wisconsin, “Protecting and preserving Wisconsin’s clean water, clean air, and natural heritage,” 2017,

Wisconsin State Journal, "Environmental group wants reversal of DNR permits for 9 high-capacity wells," 2016,

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