TAMPA, Fla. — Last night, at its 34th annual international symposium, the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) awarded Clean Lakes Alliance of Dane County the 2014 Technical Merit Award for Public Education and Outreach.
NALMS awards are intended to recognize outstanding contributions to the science of lake and watershed management. The Public Education and Outreach award is given annually to an individual, group, or program that has creatively and effectively contributed to the development and dissemination of watershed management or related educational programs, materials, or assistance.
James Tye, Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of the organization during the closing banquet in front of hundreds of lake leaders, scientists, advocates, and government officials. During the ceremony, even the presenter of the award was taken aback by the amount of work Clean Lakes Alliance does on an annual basis to get more people involved.
“We do so much public education and outreach because we want the entire community to realize that the lakes are the center of our community,” said Tye. “Our work would not be possible without the support of the businesses, farmers, agencies, and residents that have rallied around the clean lakes cause.”
Clean Lakes Alliance’s work that earned it the award include its annual Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast and State of the Lakes annual report; Renew the Blue volunteer days and citizen lake monitoring program; Yahara Lakes 101 monthly science speaker series; Schooling for Cleaner Lakes public art project; lake user survey and economic impact study; and the soil and water conservation work the organization does through its agricultural affiliate, Yahara Pride Farms, including conferences, farm tours, a conservation cost-sharing program, a farm certification program, and its annual Ag Innovation Days.
NALMS is an international organization working to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs. NALMS was formed in 1980 and brings together attendees from around the world each year at its international symposium, including speakers from Canada, Germany, and even New Zealand.
Clean Lakes Alliance also presented at the symposium on its citizen monitoring program, its farmer-led conservation model, and its public-private partnerships model. Clean Lakes Alliance is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and protection of the lakes, streams, and wetlands in the Yahara River watershed, with a special focus on phosphorus reduction.