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.
- We are elevating the lakes in the community agenda, heightening awareness and support with more media attention, editorial endorsements, and elected officials prioritizing our lakes.
- In 2016, partners kept 13,600 pounds of algae-fueling phosphorus out of our lakes, 29% of the way to our Yahara CLEAN goal. If fully realized, scientists forecast more days when our lakes are clear and our beaches are open.
- The Yahara WINs adaptive management project has transitioned to a full-scale collaboration. More than 20 communities are working together to reduce phosphorus, with Clean Lakes Alliance as a major financial contributor.
- Citizen scientists are working alongside city lifeguards and university researchers. They are sharing real-time lake conditions at 79 monitoring stations across all five lakes.
- Yahara Pride Farms was established and now operates as an independent nonprofit and statewide model for farmer- led conservation.
- Our education and fundraising events engage more people every year, raising nearly $170,000 for on-the-ground projects and programs in the last year alone.
Four-year strategy for the lakes
We’ve done a lot as a community to advance lake health, but we need to do a lot more. Building on this momentum, Clean Lakes Alliance has developed our four-year strategy, called “Plan 2020: A Clear Path Forward.” Guided by input from our partners, it uses Clean Lakes Alliance’s strengths to leverage action in eight focus areas. The focus areas range from farmland and manure management to citizen action. Each includes goals to achieve in the next four years. Learn more about this plan on page 24.
We know that big challenges lie ahead. Many challenges we can’t control, like global climate change and the threat of invasive species. But we CAN control what we do on the land. We know our lakes are healthiest when we control phosphorus.
James Tye, Executive Director and Lloyd Eagan, Executive Board Chair
This message from Clean Lakes Alliance was originally published in May of 2017 for the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report.