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Clean Lakes 101 – Yahara CLEAN Compact: State of the Science

April 14, 2021 @ 8:00 am 9:00 am


Clean Lakes 101

Join us for this ONLINE edition of Clean Lakes 101 to learn about the state of the science behind water quality in the Yahara lakes.

About this Talk

As part of the ongoing efforts of the Yahara CLEAN Compact, technical experts are evaluating and summarizing the fundamental concepts behind the water quality challenges facing the Yahara lakes. Through this expanded Yahara CLEAN Compact, we will account for accomplishments and progress to date, reevaluate phosphorus reduction targets, and set forth revised strategies, costs, and timelines to complete the needed work. Our overarching goal is to remove our five lakes and nine public beaches from the federally impaired waters list. At the same time, we will promote a culture of watershed sustainability that will benefit this and future generations.

The Yahara CLEAN Compact is currently updating our community’s strategy for cleaning up the Yahara lakes. An effective strategy requires an understanding of the state of the science about water quality, including goals for the lakes, progress toward those goals, and which actions have been most effective so far and promise to be most effective in the future. This presentation will summarize the work of the Yahara CLEAN lake science team seeking answers to these questions.

Yahara CLEAN Compact Background

The Yahara River Watershed and its five lakes define Dane County and Greater Madison’s sense of place. Lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa contribute significantly to the region’s economic vitality, recreational offerings, and local quality of life. Clean and healthy lakes are truly the benchmark of a healthy community. Large investments over the years have laid the foundation for future water quality improvements. However, our lakes remain federally impaired with intensifying climate impacts, such as heavy rain and runoff, and other headwinds threatening our progress. The Yahara CLEAN Compact seeks to improve the condition and usability of our lakes and beaches. It will do this by expanding and strengthening the community partnership to clean up our lakes, and unite around a common vision and action plan to which we can be accountable. Ultimately, it is a promise to cooperatively deliver bold solutions and actionable timelines that will improve water quality in our five Greater Madison lakes.

Yahara Watershed Map

About our Speakers

Matt Diebel is Watershed Management Coordinator for Dane County Land & Water Resources Department, where he develops watershed management tools, programs and policies, and evaluates water quality trends. He previously worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the water quality and research programs. Matt has a BA in biology from Colorado College and a MS in water resources management and a PhD in limnology from UW-Madison.

Dr. Richard Lathrop has been working on Yahara lake water quality issues since 1975, first on a two-year federally funded project, then for the next 33 years as a research limnologist for the Wisconsin DNR. Besides his Yahara lakes research that led to a mid-career PhD from UW-Madison, Dick has led other successful restoration projects including removing phosphorus by bottom water withdrawal from Devil’s Lake and removing carp from Lake Wingra. After retiring from the WDNR, Dick continues to work and volunteer on various water-related projects, including the UW’s North-Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research project through his Honorary Fellowship appointment at the UW Center for Limnology.

Event Details

This event will be held online via Zoom. The online talk is free and open to the public. A link to access the talk LIVE will be sent to all registered attendees ahead of the event.

Clean Lakes 101 Lecture Series

Clean Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences.

The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and UW-Extension Lakes, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, and supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company.


April 14, 2021
8:00 am – 9:00 am
Event Categories:


Clean Lakes Alliance
(608) 255-1000
View Organizer Website