Blog

2019 Yahara Watershed Academy Class 2 at UW-Arboretum

Educating a new generation of lake leaders

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The second class of the Yahara Watershed Academy began on March 12th with some sunshine and the promise of warmer temperatures. The forecast held a marked improvement over February’s class, which took place during the biggest snowstorm of the season. Our cohort of 25 Academy students met bright and early at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum as birds chirped welcoming words for our arrival.

Read More

Flooded pier on Lake Mendota

Clean Lakes Alliance Statement to Dane County Lake Level Task Force

This statement was presented by Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye to the Dane County Lake Level Task Force on March 5, 2019.

Clean Lakes Alliance applauds the leadership of the Dane County Board and the Dane County Executive in putting $12 million toward flood recovery and lake improvement projects in the 2019 budget, and in creating the Technical Work Group and task force to address recent flooding around the Yahara Chain of Lakes. We believe these initiatives help move us toward becoming a more resilient community. But we need to work together as a community to address the increasing volume of water and runoff BEFORE it enters our lakes and waterways.

Read More

Cows on Farm Tour 2017

Dane County Board adopts lake-friendly ordinance

Flooding and historically large cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms last summer are symptoms of a changing climate and a harder, less resilient landscape. To address these challenges, Clean Lakes Alliance has expanded our advocacy efforts at both the municipal and county levels to address flooding and slow down runoff.

Read More

Yahara Watershed Academy - Feb 2019

Growing a new group of lake leaders

Karin Swanson

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a meteorologist. I will bring you along on my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The 2019 Yahara Watershed Academy (YWA) began on a very snowy February 12th. Snow started the evening of February 11th, with ten inches accumulating by the time the storm ended on the 13th. But the snow didn’t stop our group of students from learning about the Yahara River Watershed.

The YWA is made up of five day-long courses once a month, with students graduating in June. The Academy involves a partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Edgewood College. Graduates will have received the knowledge and skills to become a network of informed leaders for our watershed.

Read More

2019 Frozen Assets Kites
Cover Photo Courtesy Jeff Halverson Photography

Frozen Assets raises more than $1,000,000 net since 2012!

With more than 6,000 visitors joining us at The Edgewater and on Lake Mendota, Frozen Assets raised more than $127,000 net for our lakes this year. THANK YOU to all of our sponsors, guests, volunteers, and event partners who made the festival and fundraiser a huge success! Thank you to our presenting sponsor Lands’ End and to our platinum sponsor The Edgewater. Lands’ End provides critical funding and apparel to keep our staff and volunteers warm. The Edgewater and its staff were incredible hosts of the festival and fundraiser for the FIFTH year in a row! Funds raised will be used to purchase easements for three miles of buffer strips, which help capture nutrient-rich runoff from farm fields before it enters our lakes. See some of the other projects we’ve been up to since our founding in 2010. Keep reading for a recap of the event and respond to our survey below to give us feedback about how we can make next year even better!
Read More

Frozen Assets on Land

Clean Lakes Alliance’s Frozen Assets Festival is ON!

Lake Mendota ice activities moved on land February 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Madison’s favorite winter festival is moving forward with a full slate of activities scheduled for the first weekend of February at The Edgewater. Warm temperatures and a virtually snowless winter have left Lake Mendota’s ice cover in question for the February Frozen Assets Festival, presented by Lands’ End. But even if the ice is off, the FESTIVAL IS ON!

“Our number one goal every year is safety,” said Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye. “We of course always want to be able to use Lake Mendota – our largest ‘frozen asset’ – for our festival, but we have a great partnership with The Edgewater allowing us to hold events even if a changing climate takes away our ice.”

Read More

2018 Flooding

Yahara Lakes Water Quality Monitoring – 2018 Results

Overview

From May to September, volunteers at piers and beaches around the five Yahara lakes measured near-shore water clarity, air and water temperature, and noted several visual observations. Visual observations included presence of algal blooms (green/blue-green), floating plant debris, swimmers, waterfowl, wave intensity, and general water appearance. Volunteers were asked to log condition reports at a twice weekly minimum on our website, Lakeforecast.org, where all data are updated in real time.

Highlights

  • 79 near-shore and 7 offshore monitoring stations on all five Yahara lakes (Figure 1)
  • Weekly off-shore measurement of Secchi depth on all five lakes
  • Measured temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles on all five lakes (seven sites total)
  • Weekly monitoring continued at all 25 public beaches
  • 44% increase in number of condition reports from 2017 (Table 1)
  • Collected continuous near-shore temperature measurements at 17 sites on lakes Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa, and Kegonsa
  • Implemented E. coli sampling and cyanobacteria toxin testing pilots
  • Averaged 2.3 condition reports per site each week across all sites
  • Continued weekly Weekend Lake Reports with over 77,000 views on social media
 
Read More

Lake Mendota Ice

This is the start of something big

A message from Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director, James Tye

Dear Friends, As we close the books on a difficult year for our lakes, I want to take a moment to reflect on what went well, and what we can do to start 2019 off in the right direction.
Read More