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Cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae)

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources study of sources of phosphorus pollution to the Wisconsin River has provided more information about human impact on this much-loved waterway.

Clean Lakes Alliance’s Director of Marketing & Development Adam Sodersten comments, “Most importantly it will take a transformational and cultural shift in how we approach lake health, like the societal shift to recycling and composting that took place decades ago.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a series of planned public meetings next month to discuss its draft study of the river between Lake Wisconsin and Vilas County.

To learn more about this study, read the State Journal’s article.

Leaf Management

Help spread the world about leaf clean up and phosphorus reduction this fall. Removing leaves from the street can greatly reduce the amount of nutrient loading this season.

Listen to NBC15 and Clean Lakes Alliance Marketing Director Adam Sodersten to find out what you can do to help.

Click here to listen.

Joe Parisi press conference

MADISON, Wis. — On Monday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced an aggressive 2018 budget, with numerous projects aimed at diverting and removing algae-causing phosphorus from lakes in the Yahara Watershed. The multi-million dollar proposed budget calls for continuing to remove legacy sediment from streams feeding into Madison’s lakes, as well as new projects like prairie restorations and a pilot “algae pump” to remove scum from surface water.

“Our mission looks to build a community of people, businesses, organizations, and government agencies dedicated to improving and protecting water quality in the Yahara River watershed,” said Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye. “The county executive’s lake projects are a strong step in the right direction towards cleaner and healthier lakes.”

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2014 Ag Innovation Days

Did you know groundwater levels are actually rising in the northern end of the Yahara Watershed? This video by UW-Madison’s Water Sustainability and Climate Project taps into the benefits of groundwater in agriculture. How does groundwater affect yields? Can we achieve “more crops per drop”? In what ways is crop production affected by changes in weather, land use and farming practices?

Turns out the benefits of higher groundwater can outweigh the costs – and groundwater could even be dynamically managed to benefit crops. Watch the video above to learn more.

Cover Crops in the Snow

In Wisconsin the harvest is wrapping up, but a farmer’s job doesn’t stop when the crops come off. Milking, feeding and caring for animals is a constant, regardless of the season. This also means manure to manage and store.

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Farm Tour

When many of us think composting, we think about throwing a banana peel or two on the heap. But composting has a place in agriculture too – three farms in the Yahara River watershed are implementing manure composting practices and seeing major benefits.

“The initiative Yahara Pride Farms has taken shows that farmers can do the composting process,” said Andy Skwor, agriculture team leader at MSA Professional Services Inc., a Midwest-based consulting firm.

We spoke with Andy last week about this exciting project to test both the costs and environmental benefits of windrow manure composting.

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Mallards and loons and paddlers, oh my! As the weather warms up and the skies clear, there are plenty of opportunities for lake-lovers (like us!) to get outside.

Please read below for a brief digest of our upcoming programs & events, including a recap of the 3rd annual Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast and a link to the 2013 State of the Lakes report.

P.S. Be sure to watch the three new videos premiered at the Breakfast: The State of the Lakes; Schooling for Cleaner Lakes; Projects & Progress in the Watershed

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Welcome to the first Lake-o-Gram of 2014!

Snowmelt season is upon us, and spring is right around the corner! As we wrap up a [very long] season of enjoying our frozen lakes with cross country skiing, ice skating and ice fishing, we’re excited to look ahead to the thaw. Here at Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA), we’re gearing up for spring programming and projects, and we hope you get involved. Read on for more on these opportunities.

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance Team

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Welcome to Waves in the Watershed, an in-depth newsletter for donors of the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA). Waves in the Watershed will come out every two months and will detail the progress that the CLA is making toward our goal of reducing phosphorus in the Yahara watershed by 50% by 2025 and in engaging the community in our efforts.

Please note – the Lake-o-Gram will continue to be delivered to the inboxes of over 7000 individuals who have expressed a general interest in the CLA’s initiatives and events. The Lake-o-Gram is a brief digest that promotes upcoming events and volunteer opportunities and includes highlights and snapshots of what we’re working on. 

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Team
Don Heilman, James Tye and Elizabeth Katt-Reinders

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