A message from Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, for the 2015 State of the Lakes Annual Report:
The year of 1973 is notable for a couple of firsts. The same year that I was first elected Mayor, we adopted the City’s original salt reduction resolution. Another environmental milestone was achieved ten years later, in 1983, when the City passed one of the region’s first storm water ordinances.
Our city’s commitment to stormwater quality and the belief of its significant importance to our residents has held steady for the last 43 years. Over the years, we have adopted a variety of state-of-the-art programs for water quality–retention ponds, rain gardens, and porous pavement.
On average, the city annually spends approximately $3.3 million on water quality projects. This does not include our commitment to work with the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and other partners on the adaptive management process, Yahara WINs.
Capital projects that hold exciting promise for significant improvement in urban water quality discharging to the lakes include construction of a sediment capture system on Willow Creek and construction of a chemical stormwater treatment system for the East Branch of Starkweather Creek. Meanwhile we receive and share information with the public in new and exciting ways such as the lakeforecast.org website where we partner with Clean Lakes Alliance, citizen monitors, UW-Madison Center for Limnology, the Space Science Engineering Center, Public Health Madison Dane County, and MIOsoft to provide real time data on the condition of our beaches.
Just as the systems have evolved over the years, so have our partners. None of these projects would be possible without cooperative relationships with both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Dane County. These and similar projects, combined with the work on Yahara WINS, offer the possibility of realizing improvements in the quality of our lakes. However, it will take time and continued efforts. We all look forward to the challenge.