Launch of new podcast about equity and the Great Lakes

Wisconsin Sea Grant is announcing the launch of a new podcast series, The Water We Swim In. The trailer can be found here and it features stories about the Great Lakes and people working toward equity.

colorful illustration with the title, The Water We Swim In

Sea Grant’s Yael Gen designed the cover art for the new podcast.

In the series, Sea Grant’s Digital Storyteller Bonnie Willison and Hali Jama, podcast intern, share inspiring interviews from community organizers, researchers and leaders navigating Wisconsin’s waters.

Sea Grant has long been invested in audio storytelling, starting in 1972 with the environmental news program Earthwatch Radio. In recent years, the program has produced a number of podcast series — Wisconsin Water News, Undercurrents: The Hidden Knowledge of Groundwater, The Fish Dish, and Introduced— several of which are award-winning.

On this upcoming season of the new podcast, Willison and Jama will:

  • Explore how redlining created the Great Lakes communities of today
  • Trace the alarming trend of swimming pool closures across the country and learn about the fight to save a Milwaukee pool
  • Talk with leaders who are working to make Wisconsin’s outdoors more accessible for people with disabilities
  • Travel to Lake Winnebago to hear about a culturally guided inter-tribal project focused on lake health and wild rice restoration
  • Cook fish and tofu soup and speak with a research group focused on the importance of fish to Asian women in Milwaukee
  • Go fishing with the Midwest Crappie Hunters, who are teaching Milwaukee’s central-city youth, elderly and veterans about fishing, the outdoors and aquatic resources
smiling woman in winter coat fishing

Jama attends a fishing clinic with Midwest Crappie Hunters in Milwaukee. Jama is a UW-Madison student studying marketing and international business with a certificate in environmental studies. (Photo: Bonnie Willison)

The series’ title, The Water We Swim In, was inspired by an interview with Brenda Coley, co-executive director of Milwaukee Water Commons. “Brenda had this great quote where she said that ‘racism is the water we swim in,’” said Willison. “People might not realize that systemic racism impacts everything in our society, just like a fish might not realize that it is swimming in water.”

The series trailer is available on the Wisconsin Sea Grant website and all podcast platforms. New episodes will be released twice a month. To stay up to date on new episodes, subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever a listener accesses podcasts.