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James Madison Park Lake and Fog

Lake Mendota is the largest of the lakes in the Yahara chain. The watershed surrounding the lake is primarily agricultural, including many fourth and fifth generation dairy farms to the north, but is experiencing rapid urban growth.

Phosphorus that enters Lake Mendota from its tributaries are carried down the chain of lakes via the Yahara River and represent the largest sources of excess nutrients in the lower lakes. To improve water quality in the chain of lakes, we need to make improvements in the land surrounding Lake Mendota.

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Foley Lardner LLP

A sponsor since the beginning

At Clean Lakes Alliance, our mission is to create a community that is dedicated to protecting and improving water quality in the Yahara River watershed. Partners like Foley & Lardner help us make this goal a reality. One of four sustaining founders of Clean Lakes Alliance, Foley & Lardner is an example of a local company that makes lake health a top priority.

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Frozen Assets - ice skating

New races, Kites over Mendota, and other family-friendly events announced

MADISON, Wis. — After unseasonable rain, the return of cold temperatures and a dose of winter white helped Lake Mendota stay solid for Frozen Assets! Back for a third year, the three-day, free family-friendly festival expects to draw near 10,000 people throughout the weekend. Frozen Assets is made possible thanks to title sponsors CG Schmidt, Hovde Properties, Lands’ End Outfitters, Spectrum Brands, and is hosted by platinum sponsor, The Edgewater. 

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Frozen Assets ice fishing

The Frozen Assets Festival is back for its 3rd year, with new events and a continued commitment to bringing people together to connect with the lake. Here is an excerpt from Journal Sentinel’s article featuring Adam Sodersten, the Director of Marketing and Development at Clean Lakes Alliance, on the lakes: 

“They are one of the big reasons people live here, and the quality of the water in those lakes is certainly worth protecting and promoting.This festival is all about enjoying the lakes in the winter and making more people aware of what’s being done to clean them up, while at the same time getting folks behind efforts to continue improving them.”

Read more at jsonline.com!

lake-monona sun and fall

Yahara Watershed Academy now accepting applications – Scholarships available!

MADISON, Wis. — A coalition of partners announced today that it is now accepting applications for the first-ever Yahara Watershed Academy. The hands-on crash course will train 25 promising individuals to be leaders for local water and jumpstart self-selected projects.

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Lake

At Clean Lakes Alliance, we know keeping our lakes healthy is a community job.

Our partners at Dane County, the City of Madison, the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network, and numerous local municipalities and agencies commit significant time and resources to our lakes. Clean Lakes Alliance works closely with the staff and leadership to support this work and to raise public support for healthy lakes. Clean Lakes Alliance’s work to improve water quality is fueled by the community at large. We rely on support from people like you, donations made by businesses, money raised through events and sponsorships, contributions of time, skills or, equipment, and, of course, by grants. We regularly receive grants from both local and national organizations—which allow our work to be applied beyond our immediate community.

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Mary B on Lake Mendota (1955). Photo courtesy of Jay Payton.

Restoration Efforts Underway for Historic Madison Ice Yacht

On a cold, bright day in February 2016, an iconic piece of Madison’s history came home in memorable style. As the wind freshened, the towering sails of the Mary B iceboat filled and the 39-foot craft took flight—skimming across the ice with the same grace and agility that drew crowds of cheering onlookers to Madison’s lakes more than 60 years ago. That short-but-triumphant cruise was the first of what an enthusiastic group of fans hope will be many such adventures for the venerable Mary B.

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Lake Mendota, Don Sanford

Until last fall, most folks knew Don Sanford as one of the pack of “water rats” who raced their sleek, wind-powered craft on the waves and ice of Madison’s lakes. But with the publication of a book 12 years in the making, Sanford took on an unlikely new role: keeper of the history and lore of Lake Mendota.

“I’ve always been a sailor, never a writer,” says Sanford, an agile-looking man with a grizzled beard and sea-grey eyes behind wire rim glasses. “When I started the project, the last thing I had written was in grad school back in 1974.” Yet he dove in, driven by knowledge that Lake Mendota was too often a mystery to the people who lived along its shores. “I’d pick up friends from the Memorial Union for a boat ride, and we would start cruising down the shoreline. Without fail, somebody who’d spent their whole life in Madison would say, ‘Where the hell are we? I don’t know what this place is.’ Whenever that happened,” Sanford recalls, “it always made me think that somebody— somebody else, that is—should produce a lake guide.”

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Lake Monona and Downtown Madison

In Madison, Wisconsin, you can’t “say it all” until you’ve said Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa. These five lakes are an integral part of our culture, and one of the major reasons Madison ranks as a “most livable” city year after year. Their waters entice us to visit, work or study here, and often to stay. When our lakes are healthy, our communities can flourish. That is the philosophy behind our work: Healthy Lakes. Healthy Communities.

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A message from Bob Miller, Mayor of Monona, for the 2015 State of the Lakes Annual Report: 

Bob Miller, Mayor of Monona

Bob Miller, Mayor of Monona

“Although Monona is confined to less than 3.5 square miles of total land size, we are blessed with more than four miles of waterfront on Lake Monona and the Yahara River. This waterfront represents one of the crown jewels of our community. We work closely with Clean Lakes Alliance on water-related projects from the annual Loop the Lake bike ride to promoting our brand new, state-of-the-art Lottes Park boat ramp. Clean Lakes Alliance has been very responsive in supporting our aggressive stormwater treatment programs, where we replace a number of old and decaying stormwater outlets with baffle systems to remove sediment and pollutants. 

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