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Friends of Clean Lakes sign at Shoreline Swim

A busy summer for our lakes

Summer in Madison would not be the same without our lakes. This year, especially, we’ve seen our lakes at their best and their worst due to record rain events, cyanobacteria blooms, and beach closures. Here at Clean Lakes Alliance, the summer is a time to get out and enjoy our lakes while also doubling down on our efforts to protect them. From innovative grant projects, to county policy recommendations, to record-setting engagement, we’ve been hard at work for our lakes this summer, and so have you! Let’s take a look back at some highlights from this lake season.

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Raking

Can garbage trucks help protect our lakes?

A partnership toward leaf management

Clean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the City of Madison for this month’s Clean Lakes Grant.

Leaf management is a crucial step toward reducing the amount of phosphorus that reaches our lakes. Through a Clean Lakes Grant awarded for 2018, the City of Madison is working to promote leaf management and leaf-free streets. Clean Lakes Alliance has contributed $4500, which will leverage a $9300 total project budget.

The City of Madison paired with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor phosphorus in the City’s storm drainage system. The study shows a direct correlation between the mass of leaves in the street and the amount of phosphorus reaching our lakes.

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Carp Barrier

Can bubble barriers stop carp?

Carp harvesting efforts have been underway for years in the Yahara River watershed, but more could be done to manage the population of invasive fish. In this month’s Clean Lakes Grants spotlight, we’re sharing the efforts of our partners at Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, who are ready to tackle the challenge.

Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization devoted to protecting and restoring Pheasant Branch Conservancy on the northwest shore of Lake Mendota. Through a $8,750 grant awarded for 2018, the group will evaluate the feasibility of installing a new carp “bubble barrier” system on Pheasant Branch Creek to ultimately craft a recommendation and action plan for implementation.

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lake-mendota-ice

Dear Friends,

Another year has come and gone on our lakes. Thank you for being a Friend of Clean Lakes. Today, I have only ONE thing on my holiday wish list – healthy lakes.

DONATE today to support our work.

As 2017 closes, we’re already pulling together phosphorus-reduction and water quality numbers for our State of the Lakes annual report. In the meantime, I’m looking back on a few things that have made ME happy this year.

Seven things that make James & the lakes happy:

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Water Quality Monitoring

2017 monitoring season

What started in 2013 as a handful of Clean Lakes Alliance board members testing the water has now grown into a network of over 70 volunteers doing weekly water quality monitoring on all five lakes.

Each week this summer, our team of monitors gathered data on water clarity and temperature. They also made visual observations on beach conditions and identified potentially harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms. And what a summer it was!

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Foley and Lardner Volunteer Day

With 58 miles of lakeshore in our watershed, shoreline maintenance is a big job. We’re lucky to have dedicated staff and community groups working to keep our parks and beaches healthy – but sometimes, there just aren’t enough hands to get the job done. That’s where our summer volunteer groups come in!

A summer to remember

So far this season, there have been 15 Renew the Blue volunteer days, for a total of 457 volunteers and 1,481 hours maintaining our lakeshores over the season. These events serve double duty: our lakeshore parks get some much-needed TLC, and volunteers learn more about keeping our watershed healthy.

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yahara watershed academy 2017 education overview

Clean Lakes Alliance sees a future where everybody realizes that the lakes are the center of the community. Education is central to this goal! Read on for a snapshot of this summer’s educational programs.

Yahara Watershed Academy

Who it’s for:

Anyone who wants to incorporate watershed sustainability into their personal or professional life, especially those with the desire to lead.

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Partners divert 13,600 pounds of phosphorus from our lakes in 2016

Message from Clean Lakes Alliance for the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report

Seven years ago, our community came together and formed an alliance to improve the health of our lakes. Together, we are reigniting a movement to revitalize our lakes and beaches. Driving the movement is a vision in which the lakes are the center of our community.

Today, citizens, businesses, government agencies, scientists, policymakers, and farmers are working as one to advance new and common-sense solutions. Just look at what we’ve already accomplished together.

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