Dane County Board approves 2019 budgetOn Monday, November 12th, the Dane County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the 2019 Dane County budget. The adopted budget includes significant investments for water quality improvements and flood mitigation. The budget initiatives include water quality improvements supported by Clean Lakes Alliance and outlined in the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction. These measures will move us in the right direction to reduce runoff and increase infiltration.
Increasing lake access to Madison youthEarly experiences in nature can create lasting connections to the land and water that surrounds us. But many local residents don’t have opportunities to enjoy or learn about one of Greater Madison’s most prominent public resources; our lakes. Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Clean Lakes Alliance is working to shift that reality through the restructuring and expansion of our Lake Explorer Camp.
Trees are good, right?
Statewide phosphorus reduction credits for leaf collectionUrban trees provide many benefits to our communities. They help us save energy, reduce noise, and improve air quality. Trees are aesthetically pleasing, can increase property value, and provide natural homes for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Trees are also an important part of the earth’s water cycle. Transpiration from plants and trees is released into the atmosphere, and later becomes precipitation. The rain and snow return valuable moisture to our crops and forests, and the cycle continues. However, trees can cause problems for our lakes if the leaves that fall from them each autumn are not regularly removed from streets and parking lots. When leaves collect on streets, they create a phosphorus-rich “tea” whenever it rains. The rain water passes through the leaf litter, and allows phosphorus to drain from the leaves. The leaf tea washes into storm drains and flows directly into our lakes, causing water quality to deteriorate.
Leaves are a part of nature. Why are they a problem?Leaves are one of the largest sources of urban phosphorus pollution. Without streets, parking lots, and storm sewers, leaves would fall on soil and phosphorus would soak into the soil instead of going straight into our lakes and streams. When left in the street gutters, leaves release phosphorus into stormwater that easily washes down storm drains and directly into our lakes.
What can you do in your own yard to manage leaves and help our lakes?Take our leaf management quiz below!
Will you help us advocate for our lakes?
We need your help!At our Yahara Lakes 101 presentation, on Wednesday, October 10th, we heard from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi about the proposed 2019 budget and how it will address flooding concerns and lake health. The Dane County Board is holding a budget hearing on Wednesday, October 17th. There are many initiatives in the budget that will help our lakes, and they need YOUR support! Please advocate for our lakes in the following two ways:
$18 million budget announcement from Dane CountyClean Lakes Alliance supports Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s proposed $18 million budget to aid flood recovery. Many of the initiatives also support water quality improvements outlined in the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction. These measures will move us in the right direction to reduce runoff and increase infiltration.
Volunteers remain loyal to our lakes
It was a year of obstacles for our lakes, but volunteers are dedicated to improving our waters
From cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, to elevated bacteria (E. coli) levels, to flooding, our lakes have had a tough season. With our lakes facing so many obstacles, it makes Clean Lakes Alliance even more appreciative of its volunteers.
Volunteers use leaf vacuums to protect Lake Kegonsa
A partnership toward leaf management and lake health in the Yahara River WatershedClean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society (FOLKS) for one of our 2018 Clean Lakes Grants. FOLKS is a non-profit organization working to protect the environment and recreation of Lake Kegonsa and its surroundings. Leaf management in the Yahara River Watershed is an important step toward creating healthy lakes. By following effective leaf practices, we can reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching our waters. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element found in leaves, dirt, manure, and other organic matter and is the root cause of water quality problems in the region. When excessive amounts enter our lakes, phosphorus can fuel toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) growth which can harm people and animals.
Clean Lakes Alliance is working for our lakes
Over the past twelve months, the Clean Lakes Alliance Economic Impact and Policy Committee met monthly and consulted with partners and experts to craft and adopt advocacy priorities. These goals will advance Plan 2020: A Clear Path Forward, our four-year strategic plan.