Thanks to the support of donors like you, Clean Lakes Alliance is able to contribute $100,000 per year to fund phosphorus reduction practices through watershed adaptive management. Learn more about how this cooperative approach is helping our community meet its water quality goals.
Luck from “Mother Nature”
MADISON, Wis. — Today at the sixth annual Save Our Lakes community breakfast, Clean Lakes Alliance released the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report. The report looks at phosphorus reduction efforts through the 2016 calendar year. It shows as a community, progress is being made. Phosphorus is the root cause of algae – just one pound of the nutrient is capable of producing 500 pounds of algae.
“2016 was a great year. The water was as clear as it’s been in a long time in our lakes, but we got lucky,” said Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye. “A slow spring melt and fewer intense rain events meant phosphorus-rich runoff to our lakes was down, but it shows us if we control runoff regularly, we can impact our lake clarity.”
Dear Friends of Clean Lakes,
Clean Lakes Alliance is very proud of the progress our community has made towards enacting the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Reducing Phosphorus. Dane County has been a leader in supporting clean water since the start. Just this past year, a $12-million, county-funded initiative to remove phosphorus-laced sediment from 33 miles of Yahara streams over five years helped further our common goal of healthy lakes.
MADISON, Wis. — It was hard to call, but on January 1, Lake Mendota officially froze for the 2016-2017 winter season. The largest and deepest of Madison’s lakes joins Lake Wingra, which officially frozen on December 9, and Lake Monona, which reported “ice-on” on December 16.
Clean Lakes Alliance volunteer monitors see improvements and mixed results
MADISON, Wis. — Clean Lakes Alliance has released results from the 2016 monitoring season on lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa. Over the past three years, the volunteer-based program has grown into an extensive 70-site effort to track water conditions near the shore, where most people interact with our lakes.
The future of water and people depends on the choices we make today – and the ideas we share with each other.
Engage your community or organization in a conversation about what you want for the future of water and people with the Yahara 2070 discussion guides.
Emily Jones, Pollution Prevention Specialist, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
Next time you’re at Camp Randall Stadium, take a look around and picture twenty 50-pound bags of water softener salt stacked on top of each of the 80,321 seats. That’s about how much salt makes its way down the drain and to Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District’s wastewater treatment plant every year.
But the salt doesn’t stop there. The treatment plant isn’t designed to remove salt, so salt passes through the plant into local streams, where it can threaten freshwater life. Removing salt at the treatment plant would be expensive and energy-intensive, so MMSD is working to protect water more efficiently by reducing the salt that goes down the drain.
Zebra mussels, a native of Europe and Asia, have recently established a reproducing population in lakes Mendota and Monona. These little filter-feeding organisms can negatively impact native lake ecosystems. Although they might increase water clarity by feeding on zooplankton, green algae and other debris, zebra mussels do not eat blue-green algae. This means they can deplete the water of important fish food and natural algae grazers. Zebra mussels may also damage boat hulls and engines and cut the feet of swimmers. Zebra mussels are difficult to eradicate once established in a water body.
Clean Lakes Alliance is working with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and UW-Madison Center For Limnology to track zebra mussel population establishment and expansion in the Yahara chain of lakes and could use your help!
Soil is a farmer’s best asset. It provides the nutrients for crops to grow and prosper. To enrich their soil, farmers use various conservation practices to ensure the vitality for generations to come. One such practice is utilizing cover crops, which are grown to improve the soil rather than for profit.
Jeff Endres, chair of Yahara Pride Farms, is doing his best to protect the soil on his farm. Endres planted a pea and barley mix in mid-August after he harvested his winter wheat this July. After he finishes harvesting his corn this fall, he will plant barley. He has found these cover crops to improve his soil and help with the future crop.