A Little Splash: Water Words from FCW’s Executive Director

Happy Spring!

The Freshwater Collaborative (FCW) celebrated the Spring Equinox preparing for the Wisconsin Legislature Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Listening Sessions in April.

The JFC hosted the first session at UW-Whitewater and the FCW wholeheartedly participated! We had 6 representatives from across the state and across stakeholder groups– 2 professors, 1 student, 2 business leaders, and the FCW administration.

The next session was in Rhinelander and I could tell the legislators were getting accustomed to hearing from us as we were represented by two chancellors, a professor, and again the FCW administration. The third session at UW-Stout had another terrific turn out with 4 professors, a chancellor, and a FCW administrator. The virtual session was very similar.

I personally found these meetings to be extremely informative and a terrific place to network and understand the issues, concerns, and celebrations across the state.

The FCW is asking for an initial investment of $9 million that will be used to support student success through scholarships, fellowships and internships, grow the statewide network of educators and innovators, and engage with the broader community. We are currently accepting 6-year plans from each of the 13 UW Universities and creating collaborative curriculum across the state. From there, we will be writing MOUs between UW System, the FCW, and each of the 13 UW Universities. In this way, we are accountable to Wisconsin taxpayers for their growing water programming.

The FCW will put Wisconsin on the map as the international water education hub, so that anyone in the world thinking of studying water, training in water, or working in water, thinks Wisconsin! We will help create and fill new water jobs in Wisconsin driving economic growth and development. And we will offer hands-on training to students who will go on and solve grand water challenges.

Read our talking points and help spread the word and support the FCW. Go team!


Marissa Jablonski