Leaves are a part of nature. Why are they a problem?Leaves are one of the largest sources of urban phosphorus pollution. Without streets, parking lots, and storm sewers, leaves would fall on soil and phosphorus would soak into the soil instead of going straight into our lakes and streams. When left in the street gutters, leaves release phosphorus into stormwater that easily washes down storm drains and directly into our lakes.
What can you do in your own yard to manage leaves and help our lakes?Take our leaf management quiz below!
Volunteers remain loyal to our lakes
It was a year of obstacles for our lakes, but volunteers are dedicated to improving our waters
From cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, to elevated bacteria (E. coli) levels, to flooding, our lakes have had a tough season. With our lakes facing so many obstacles, it makes Clean Lakes Alliance even more appreciative of its volunteers.
Volunteers use leaf vacuums to protect Lake Kegonsa
A partnership toward leaf management and lake health in the Yahara River WatershedClean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society (FOLKS) for one of our 2018 Clean Lakes Grants. FOLKS is a non-profit organization working to protect the environment and recreation of Lake Kegonsa and its surroundings. Leaf management in the Yahara River Watershed is an important step toward creating healthy lakes. By following effective leaf practices, we can reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching our waters. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element found in leaves, dirt, manure, and other organic matter and is the root cause of water quality problems in the region. When excessive amounts enter our lakes, phosphorus can fuel toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) growth which can harm people and animals.
Clean Lakes Alliance is working for our lakes
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.
Wetlands and the Yahara Watershed
From Cherokee Marsh north of Lake Mendota to the Waubesa Wetlands on the southwest shore of Lake Waubesa, wetlands can be found throughout the Yahara Watershed. In preparation for Dr. Cal DeWitt’s upcoming presentation, “Waubesa Wetlands: A New Look at an Old Gem,” we’ve prepared an overview of wetlands in the Yahara Watershed.