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Healthy Lakes Yard Tour

What do fallen leaves have to do with lake health? When leaves on our streets and terraces steep in rainwater, they create a nutrient-rich tea that enters the lakes via storm drains and fuels excess plant and algae growth.

Each year, our urban communities contribute about 30% of the total phosphorus that enters lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa, and Wingra. That’s about 27,000 pounds of phosphorus from leaves, soil, and other urban runoff.

Fortunately, our community has an action plan and is working to prioritize and implement projects in the watershed. If you have a moment—and perhaps a rake—you can help. Here are three ways to start:

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Thompson Investment Management volunteers collect native plant seeds at the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve as part of Clean Lakes Alliance’s Renew the Blue Volunteer Days. This summer, companies including Spectrum Brands, Lands’ End, American Family Insurance, Filament Games, CUNA Mutual Group, and Thermo Fisher Scientific helped to protect our waterways by improving our lakeshores.

Thank you for your investment in clean lakes through your support of the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA). We appreciate the time you take as a donor to read Waves in the Watershed to stay up-to-date on our latest efforts to protect and improve water quality in the Yahara watershed.

Fall is a season for shifting gears. We are wrapping up summer initiatives and programs, and beginning to plan ahead for 2015. We invite you to attend our 2014 Ag Innovation Days (October 21st and 23rd), and our upcoming Renew the Blue volunteer day (November 1st). Read below for more information about these and other initiatives, as well as important updates on progress and projects in our watershed.

We appreciate your support of our organization and our mission.

In Partnership,

The CLA Team

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2014_clean-lakes-festival_3Thank you to everyone who came out to the Clean Lakes Festival, including the nearly 300 riders who looped Lake Monona by bike! The weather was perfect for recreation, relaxation, and exploration of all that our lakes have to offer. The photos speak for themselves: take a look at festival highlights here.

Consider joining us for a Yahara Lakes 101 presentation on “Blue-green algae in Lake Mendota: the mystery of the missing nitrogen” with Dr. McMahon on Thursday, August 14th, and a volunteer day at Olbrich Park on Thursday, August 21st. Also, we encourage you to support our lake education programs by becoming a lake buddy.

In the meantime, keep getting out on the lakes, and don’t forget to send us pictures. We’ll keep you up-to-date on our adventures.

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance team

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2014_clean-lakes-festival_3Thank you to everyone who came out to the Clean Lakes Festival, including the nearly 300 riders who looped Lake Monona by bike! The weather was perfect for recreation, relaxation, and exploration of all that our lakes have to offer. The photos speak for themselves: take a look at festival highlights here.

Consider joining us for a Yahara Lakes 101 presentation on “Blue-green algae in Lake Mendota: the mystery of the missing nitrogen” with Dr. McMahon on Thursday, August 14th, and a volunteer day at Olbrich Park on Thursday, August 21st. Also, we encourage you to support our lake education programs by becoming a lake buddy.

In the meantime, keep getting out on the lakes, and don’t forget to send us pictures. We’ll keep you up-to-date on our adventures.

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance team

Table of Contents
Lake Explorer Camp
Yahara Lakes 101 with Dr. McMahon
Olbrich Park volunteer day
Clean Lakes Festival recap
Loop the Lake recap
“We need to redefine our allies” – TEDxMadison
Community Events and Opportunities

Lake Explorer Camp – Celebratory Field Day

Lake Explorer Camp - Lake Buddy

On Wednesday, August 6th, 180 Boys & Girls Club of Dane County students will arrive at Wingra Park for a lake-centered field day. The students will paddle around Lake Wingra, explore lake history on a pontoon boat, learn to net and identify fish, and try their luck at fishing.

The field day will celebrate the completion of the first annual Lake Explorer Camp. This pilot program was designed to increase understanding and appreciation of our lakes, and teach valuable lake recreation and investigation skills. As part of the camp, Boys and Girls Club students learned about and played on Lake Wingra with trained staff, including a bilingual instructor. Students investigated fish biology, read topography maps, identified lake macroinvertebrates with a microscope, and gained paddling, boating, and fishing skills.

The camp is the result of a partnership between the Clean Lakes Alliance, Wingra Boats, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, and the generous support of Downtown Madison Rotary and the Wingra Boats Duck Dash.

To support the Clean Lakes Alliance’s lake education programs, donate to become a lake buddy. Through our lake education programs, we seek to take advantage of the strengths of our partners and make connections to help foster the next generation of lake advocates.

Boys and Girls Club of Dane County Clean Lakes Camp at Wingra Boats, 2014

Yahara Lakes 101 with Dr. McMahon

Trina McMahon Yahara Lakes 101Join us on Thursday, August 14th for Yahara Lakes 101 – this month, we will learn all about cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), with Dr. Katherine (Trina) McMahon. The presentation topic will be “Blue-green algae in Lake Mendota: the mystery of the missing nitrogen.”

The element nitrogen seems to affect how blue-green algae forms and produces toxins in unexpected ways. Dr. McMahon will give us insight into the research on cyanobacteria that is currently underway at UW-Madison and through the North Temperate Lakes Long Term Ecological Research program. Dr. McMahon will also explain the role of water quality buoys in monitoring blooms, and give a preview of some exciting new genomics-enabled insight into Mendota’s blue-green algae.

Please register online (required).

Dr. McMahon is a Professor at UW-Madison with joint appointments in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Bacteriology. She has been studying the Madison-area lakes since she arrived here in 2003. Her research focuses on the role of microorganisms in determining water quality, in both lakes and wastewater treatment plants. She is also currently a citizen member of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission.

Come volunteer with us at Olbrich Park! (Thurs., Aug. 21)

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Here’s your chance to meet some CLA staff members and other lake lovers while volunteering on the lakeshore of the beautiful Olbrich Park. Tools and supplies will be provided… all we need is your presence and enthusiasm! Sign-up to join us on August 21st from 6 – 8 p.m. for beach maintenance and lakeshore cleanup at Olbrich Park.

What a day! Clean Lakes Festival 2014 recap

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We are proud to announce that the 2014 Clean Lakes Festival raised $X for our lakes. We were happy to see people of all ages having fun in and out of the water, enjoying great food, good company, stellar views, and plenty of lake education and recreation.

The CLA lake exploration booth was a special hit with young scientists. Thanks to our great staff and equipment on loan from the UW-Madison Center for Limnology and Zoology Department, festival attendees of all ages got to observe first-hand what lives in our lakes.

And of course, thank you to the sponsors that helped make the day free and low-cost for all: Alliant Energy Foundation, Betty Lou Cruises, The Burish Group – UBS Financial Services, Ho-Chunk Gaming – Madison, InterCon Construction and Energy Services, Lands’ End, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Spectrum Brands, and Wickcraft Company, Inc.

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Loop the Lake – recap

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Thank you to the near-300 riders who looped Lake Monona with us on Saturday – it was the biggest ride yet, and raised $X for our lakes!

Energy was high throughout the ride and we are proud to say that even the littlest of us made it back to the finish line at the Clean Lakes Festival. Good thing the Madison Water Utility water wagon was on hand for refreshment and rehydration, and the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Madison was ready with a freshly grilled lunch.

Thanks to the sponsors that helped make the day run smoothly: American Transmission Company (ATC), Dentistry for Madison, Hooper Foundation, Lands’ End, Plastic Ingenuity, Schwinn Bicycle Company, Spectrum Brands, and Woodman’s Markets.

“We need to redefine our allies” – TEDxMadison

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Back in June, CLA’s Director of Policy & Communications Elizabeth Katt-Reinders presented her “idea worth sharing” at TEDx Madison, an independently-organized TED event. Elizabeth was one of nine speakers from the community, and their videos are now online for viewing and sharing. Elizabeth spoke about “redefining our allies”, and she shared stories that illustrate how CLA strives to find opportunities for connection and collaboration rather than see competing interests. Check out her TEDx talk here.

Community Events and Opportunities

Yahara in situ – Water Sustainability and Climate blog:

We’re in love with the new “Yahara in situ” blog, courtesy of the UW-Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project. The posts are chock-full of insight into local water quality research, full of photos, and very reader-friendly. Check out two of our favorite recent posts:

“New program, old tricks for eliminating phosphorus”

“Geoengineering: Parallels between the Global Climate and the Madison Lakes”

About the blog:

Yahara in situ is a new blog about the Yahara Watershed and, more specifically, about how social and environmental change might affect the region’s water and the many benefits its residents get from nature. Run by the UW-Madison’s Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) project, the blog is a collection of research updates, reflections, and images from the project’s diverse team of scientists. Since their research is place-based, they are doing things “in situ.” Learn more about the WSC project at https://wsc.limnology.wisc.edu/.

MSCR Pontoon Boat Program (until lake September)

Have you ever looked at the beautiful lakes in Madison and wanted to get out on the water? The MSCR Pontoon Boat Program was created just for you! MSCR offers drop-in boat rides, boat rentals and specialty trips and events. For pricing and to reserve a ride, please visit the MSCR website and fill out the Pontoon Rental Request Form. The program begins in May and continues on until late September, and trips begin at Tenney Boat Pier at 1615 Sherman Avenue. 

Brittingham Boats SUP Cup (summer Thursdays)

Get out on the lakes with the SUP Cup! On Thursday nights this summer at Brittingham Boats, check out the Stand Up Paddleboard race series for the recreational and competitive paddlers among you! We’re happy to see CLA Community Board member and owner of Brittingham and Wingra Boats, Tyler Leeper, getting more people out on the lakes.

IRONMAN Wisconsin (Sunday, September 7)

Personal Watercraft volunteers needed for IRONMAN Wisconsin.

Personal Watercraft volunteers needed for IRONMAN Wisconsin.

The IRONMAN Wisconsin is looking for boat and personal water craft volunteers. Please mention that you are volunteering on behalf of the Clean Lakes Alliance when you sign up. Register to volunteer online!

Call for Badger Bioneer Nominations

Each year, Sustain Dane honors three Badger Bioneers, local champions working to move the Madison Region toward a more sustainable future, at their annual Badger Bioneers Conference, to be held on November 18, 2014. Click here to nominate someone for this distinguished title.

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Lake-O-Gram

Volume IV, Issue 6

August, 2014

Waves in the Watershed
Volume I, Issue 3
July 22, 2014

Photo of the isthmus across Monona Bay from Brittingham Park - by Michael Matheson

Photo of the isthmus across Monona Bay from Brittingham Park – by Michael Matheson

We just wrapped up our Community Board meeting last week. We’d like to take a moment to update you on progress towards our goal of reducing phosphorus runoff in the Yahara watershed by 50% by 2025.

The Clean Lakes Festival is only days away; we hope you can join us on Saturday, July 26th at Law Park in one of the many activities that connect us to the lakes.

And, of course, since we are in the middle of peak lake season, we have a lot to share! Project implementation, development, engagement… thank you for taking the time as a donor to read and learn about our many initiatives.

We appreciate your support of our organization and our mission.

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance Team

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Healthy Lakes, Healthy Community.

Volume IV, Issue 5

Incredible, stormy sunset over Lake Mendota at the Terrace yesterday. Photo by Anna Sunderland.

Incredible, stormy sunset over Lake Mendota at the Terrace yesterday. Photo by Anna Sunderland.

What better time than summer to relax and play with family and friends! See below for opportunities to bike, paddle, swim, ski or chill by and on our lakes. Also, Also, show your love for the lakes by volunteering with the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA). (Psst – most of our volunteer needs are great excuses to be outdoors and around other lake lovers!)

Amidst all the fun on the lakes, remember that the CLA is still hard at work to protect them. Donate today and start receiving Waves in the Watershed, our bimonthly report on phosphorus-reducing projects and progress.

What is the Lake-O-Gram? The Lake-O-Gram is a monthly digest distributed through our website and e-mailed out to the surrounding communities to keep citizens up-to-date on the latest events and efforts taking place to protect and preserve the water quality of the Yahara watershed. Subscribe to get the Lake-O-Gram in your inbox!

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Have you seen the special promotional section included in Madison Magazine‘s June Issue? Please read below and find out why Clean Lakes Alliance is Crazy 4 Lakes — watch for short biographies of some of our stellar board members, Leslie Even, Michael Kosolcharoen, Bob Uphoff, and Jim Welsh. Also, look for a message from the Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison and Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi. The section includes a feature story titled “Partnership Makes it Possible” by Judy Dahl, and the 2013 State of the Lakes report, by Dea Larsen Converse.

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CLA launches the second year of our citizen water quality monitoring program, with over 40 near-shore sites and first in the nation mobile app integration in partnership with 100state, the City of Madison, and Dane County.

CLA launches the second year of our citizen water quality monitoring program, with over 40 near-shore sites and first in the nation mobile app integration in partnership with 100state, the City of Madison, and Dane County.

Welcome to Waves in the Watershed, an in-depth newsletter for donors of the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA). Waves in the Watershed is published every two months and details the progress that CLA is making toward our goal of reducing phosphorus in the Yahara watershed by 50% by 2025 and in engaging the community in our efforts.

Please note – the Lake-O-Gram will continue to be delivered each month to the inboxes of over 8,000 individuals who have expressed an interest in CLA’s initiatives and events. The Lake-O-Gram is a brief digest that promotes upcoming events and volunteer opportunities and includes highlights and snapshots of lake efforts in the watershed.

In Partnership,

The Clean Lakes Alliance Team

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Healthy Lakes. Healthy Community.

Volume IV, Issue 4

memorial-union-terrace_stripHere at the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) office, we are counting down the days (and maybe even the minutes) until summer. Technically, there are still 19 days to go, but you don’t have to wait until 5:52 a.m. on June 21st to enjoy the lakes… just look at all the lake lovers on the Terrace!

Read on for updates on our water quality monitoring program, our lake user survey, information about summer lake events, and highlights of CLA and the lakes in the news!

WHAT IS THE LAKE-O-GRAM? The Lake-O-Gram is a monthly digest distributed through our website and e-mailed out to the surrounding communities to keep citizens up-to-date on the latest events and efforts taking place to protect and preserve the water quality of the Yahara watershed.

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Mallards and loons and paddlers, oh my! As the weather warms up and the skies clear, there are plenty of opportunities for lake-lovers (like us!) to get outside.

Please read below for a brief digest of our upcoming programs & events, including a recap of the 3rd annual Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast and a link to the 2013 State of the Lakes report.

P.S. Be sure to watch the three new videos premiered at the Breakfast: The State of the Lakes; Schooling for Cleaner Lakes; Projects & Progress in the Watershed

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