As Executive Director for Clean Lakes Alliance, talking about our lakes is my life.
Every day, I work with people in the community who are leaders and experts, ordinary residents and life-long advocates for our lakes.
Looking back on the year, I’m feeling very optimistic! Thanks to YOUR support in 2016, we are headed in the right direction. We are making progress. Healthy lakes are within our grasp.
I’d like to share my reasons, in hopes that they’ll leave you feeling optimistic, too.
James’ 7 reasons to feel OPTIMISTIC about our lakes:
1. A clear year. This year, our monitors saw an 11-centimeter gain in water clarity on Lake Mendota. We got a glimpse into what we want the future of the Yahara lakes to look like, which means we’ll fight for it even harder.
2. A major milestone. Partners have hit 20% of our way towards the Yahara CLEAN goal of cutting phosphorus loads to our lakes in half by 2025. That’s a major milestone – we’ve got to keep it up!
3. Going full-scale. The first-in-the-nation Watershed Adaptive Management approach, where partners in the watershed are working together to tackle phosphorus at the source, has the official approval to go ahead: a $104 MILLION dollar investment in clear waters over the next 20 years.
4. A fresh start for streams. A $12-million initiative led by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will remove a century of phosphorus-laced sediment from 33 miles of Yahara streams— clearing the way for healthy waters!
5. Full steam ahead. We just purchased 10-year easements for 2.3 miles of buffers in stream corridors north of Lake Mendota! Thanks to your support, we can boost initiatives like these with more than $100,000 in dedicated project funding each year.
6. Next steps for clean lakes. We have focused in on eight priority areas where Clean Lakes Alliance can have maximum impact—from innovative solutions and manure management to volunteerism. We’re focused and ready for 2017.
7. All in for our lakes. So far this year, more than 1,400 businesses and households and 900 volunteers have pitched in to support clean lakes. Our community is engaged like never before—that’s a cause for celebration!
We continue to face challenges in our cities and on our farms, but there are so many reasons to hope. I believe that with your support we can achieve healthy lakes. Please consider making a gift to support clean lakes today.
Here’s to a bright (and clear!) future ahead for our lakes.