Blog

Cyanobacteria on Lake Mendota at the Memorial Union

Cyanobacteria

All five Yahara lakes saw cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms throughout the summer of 2019. One bloom in particular on Lake Mendota was quite large, covering at least an area from Picnic Point to the Memorial Union on August 1st. The bloom was well-documented by photos from community members as having a green pea soup-like consistency.

Cyanobacteria blooms are often bright green, but can also appear in shades of brown, blue, and white. Typically, blooms are spotted on warm days with calm winds. On August 1st, Madison reported a high of 81 degrees with an average wind speed of two miles per hour. 

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Farm field and tractor

A message from Yahara Pride Farms on land and conservation efforts

By Jeff Endres, Yahara Pride Farms

Despite a challenging start to the season, the hot, dry weather in July helped crops in Dane County catch up to where they needed to be. We have our fingers crossed for a pleasant fall so that we may have a bountiful harvest and weather conducive for appropriate nutrient application.

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Middleton Stormwater Retention Pond

Clean Lakes Grants support phosphorus reduction and education

With the completion of the 2018-2019 Clean Lakes Grants cycle, Clean Lakes Alliance has given out more than $1,000,000 in project support since 2011. This landmark achievement fulfills our mission of building capacity among our partner organizations and supporting on-the-ground practices for clean, healthy lakes. The Yahara River Watershed is a large and complex system and will require a community-wide effort to improve water quality.

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YWA-June2019-Graduation

Graduation day – the final class of 2019

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

Yahara Watershed Academy – June 2019 graduation day

It’s finally graduation day! It’s hard to believe it has been five months since our first Yahara Watershed Academy class. The Academy gathered once a month at various locations throughout the Yahara Watershed. The Academy involved a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Clean Lakes Alliance, and Edgewood College. Each class included presentations and guidance from professors and other leaders.

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Panorama of the Waubesa Wetlands

Behold The Things We Cannot See

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The forgotten and sometimes unknown pieces of our watershed

“Behold the things we cannot see.” Take a moment to think about that sentence. What does it mean? We are so plugged in these days, but there is an abundance of information we can absorb that isn’t on Google or in a text book. There are actions occurring all around us. We may not know those things are happening, but we must trust and behold those occurrences – even if we cannot see the processes happening.

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Lake Monona sunrise

Plan your summer bucket list

Make the most of the Yahara lakes this summer

Sometimes it feels like summer is the shortest season of the year, so why not plan your summer bucket list now?! We are lucky to live in the Greater Madison area, with countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. This summer, why not make the lakes a part of your plans? Clean Lakes Alliance has put together a summer bucket list to keep you cool until the seasons change.

1. Hop on a log (log-rolling)

Not for the meek, log rolling is a fun activity for anyone looking to burst their fitness bubble and try something new. This wet and wild activity is the result of friendly competition between loggers back in the 1800s. Madison Log Rolling decided to rekindle that spirit and teach lessons on Lake Wingra. Summon your inner lumberjack and see if you have what it takes to stand on the log.

Log rolling on Lake Wingra - Courtesy Madison Log Rolling
Log rolling on Lake Wingra (Courtesy Madison Log Rolling)
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Press conference announcing Dane County's 160 acre land purchase

Pheasant Branch Conservancy set to grow by 160 acres

On Thursday, May 16th, Dane County announced plans to purchase 160 acres of property for conservation. The property acquisition will be the largest conservation preservation investment in the county’s history, costing nearly 10 million dollars.

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Stormwater Pond at Edgewood Campus

Emerging leaders for our lakes

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The third class of the Yahara Watershed Academy took place on April 10th at Edgewood College in Madison. There are five day-long classes included in the Academy before the June graduation. Students have been learning about the science and history of the Yahara River Watershed, while being mentored by local leaders.

A cohort of 25 students makes up the 2019 Yahara Watershed Academy. The Academy involves a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Edgewood College. By graduation, students will have received the knowledge and skills to become a network of informed leaders for our watershed.

The third day of instruction began with a leadership panel made up of five area leaders, including:

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Earth Day 2019

Happy Earth Day!

Did you know 100 BILLION gallons of water pass through the Yahara lakes system annually? That’s more than 151,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

In Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have plenty of freshwater with more than 15,000 lakes! In Dane County, our five Yahara lakes make our community special, providing opportunities for recreation, research, and beauty.

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