Shorewood's Awesome Waters

beach view
river edge size

Shorewood is bordered by two amazing water resources - the great Lake Michigan and the mighty Milwaukee River.

Before European settlers came to this area, Native Americans used these waterways as "highways". The waters were an abundant food source for these peoples and a wonderful home for many fish species, waterfowl, and other wildlife. As immigrants came to this area 150 years ago, these waters became a powerful resource for the fishing, meatpacking, beer brewing, manufacturing, and shipping industries.

Learn more about the history (PDF) of Shorewood and its water resources.

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Did you know...

Lake Michigan

  • The largest lake completely within the U.S.
  • The 5th largest lake in the world
  • Provides drinking water for over 13 million people
  • Was formed during the last Ice Age when glaciers scoured this area and filled it with meltwater when the glaciers retreated north
  • Is a Native American term meaning “great water”
  • Challenges: invasive species (zebra and quagga mussels) and algae (Cladophera)
  • Maximum Depth: 923 feet
  • Maximum Length: 307 miles
  • Maximum Width: 118 miles

Milwaukee River Basin

  • Covers 900 square miles
  • Home to over 1.2 million people
  • Includes Cedar Creek and the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers
  • Located in 7 Wisconsin counties
  • Has 500 miles of perennial streams
  • Contains 68,000 acres of wetlands
  • Length: 106 miles
  • Headwaters: Fond du Lac County
  • Mouth: Lake Michigan