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Action Alert

Will you help us advocate for our lakes?

We need your help!

At our Yahara Lakes 101 presentation, on Wednesday, October 10th, we heard from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi about the proposed 2019 budget and how it will address flooding concerns and lake health. The Dane County Board is holding a budget hearing on Wednesday, October 17th. There are many initiatives in the budget that will help our lakes, and they need YOUR support! Please advocate for our lakes in the following two ways:

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EIPC Meeting

It takes ALL of us to make a difference

Help Clean Lakes Alliance advocate for change

In Greater Madison, the time has come to put lakes at the top of our community agenda. Recent flooding and historically large cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms are symptoms of a changing climate and a harder, less resilient landscape. The Center for Climatic Research has documented southern Wisconsin’s increasingly wet climate, with more frequent heavy rain events causing flooding throughout the region. This is impacting lake water quality by bringing increased sediment and nutrient pollution to our lakes and streams. We need a change in how we manage the landscape surrounding our homes, farm fields, and city streets to accommodate a wetter climate in our region.

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Wednesday rain causes visible runoff into Lake Mendota

Recent heavy rain storms flush algae-causing phosphorus through storm sewers into lakes

MADISON, Wis. — Heavy rain events over the past two weeks in the Madison area are setting up its lakes for toxic blue-green algae blooms in the coming months. With one pound of phosphorus having the capability to create 500 pounds of algae, the need to slow or divert runoff is imperative.

“The heavy rain storms we’ve had over the past several weeks have made harmful runoff issues visible to the naked eye,” says Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye. “From our Foley & Lardner donated offices in Verex Plaza next to James Madison Park, we’ve witnessed huge plumes of sediment wash into the lake multiple times over the past few weeks.

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Partnerships aims to bring Greater Madison community “Back to the Beach”

MADISON, Wis. — Clean Lakes Alliance is pleased to announce the top three prize winners of the Reimagining Warner Beach design contest. Made possible with the support of a Madison Community Foundation 75th Anniversary Year of Giving grant, the contest asked amateur and professional designers to come up with plans for Warner Beach that focused on improving water quality, sustainability, community access, and placemaking to promote community health, happiness and wellbeing.

“We’re thrilled to see exciting new visions for Warner Beach—and for all our beaches—come to life as part of Madison Community Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Year of Giving,” said president Bob Sorge. “Our lakes are among Madison’s most unique natural and cultural assets, and the winning designs reflect our community’s passion and determination to ensure these precious resources are healthy and thriving for generations to come.”

“Many of the 26 design entries brought the energy and vision the community needs for ourbeaches to improve,” said Clean Lakes Alliance executive director James Tye. “We’re excited to see how these designs could help influence the City of Madison Parks Division as beaches are renovated in our community.”

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Aquatic Plant Harvesting on Lake Waubesa

Over $160,000 in grants will foster lake education and improvement projects

MADISON, Wis. — Today Clean Lakes Alliance announced it will distribute $62,500 in grants to eight different projects aimed at benefiting our lakes. The grants will focus on improving farmland management, leaf management, construction erosion, lake access and in-lake management, and youth education.

“Clean Lakes Alliance has the ability to raise money and distribute grants at a fast rate for important projects for this summer,” commented Clean Lakes Alliance executive director James Tye. “We hope by funding these projects, we will continue to raise awareness, move innovative efforts forward, and make our lakes the center of the community.”

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February Rain Runoff in Lake Mendota

Urban and rural runoff add algae-creating phosphorus to our lakes

MADISON, Wis. — Warm February temperatures and a high volume of rain are melting snow now, but creating a hazardous problem down the road. Visible runoff can be seen along the shores of all five lakes in our watershed. This brown, discolored water has gathered soil and debris from the frozen land and washed it into our lakes. With more weekend rain in the forecast, this problem will continue to harm Madison’s lakes.

“When we have a deluge of rain in the winter, or a fast thaw, the frozen land can’t accept the water,” said Paul Dearlove, Clean Lakes Alliance senior director of watershed initiatives. “This means more phosphorus has been loaded into the lake, which has the potential to cause more algae blooms this summer.”

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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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2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report

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.”

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