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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 James Tye, Co-founder/Vice President Clean Lakes Alliance 150 East Gilman St Suite 2600 Madison, WI 53703 P 608-255-1000, M 608-628-6655 james@cleanlakesalliance.com

Dr. John Magnuson to address climate change impacts on Yahara lakes in Jan. 9 talk

MADISON, Wis. — The Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) announces a guest presentation by John J. Magnuson, Emeritus Professor of Zoology and former Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will be presenting “Climate Change and the Yahara Lakes” at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, as part of the CLA’s Yahara Lakes 101 (YL101) science café series at Bluephies Café in the Verex Plaza. Dr. Magnuson will paint a clear picture of the variability that Madison lakes face by discussing climate change and lake ice seasonality. He will highlight how climate change affects the Yahara watershed’s fish species, lake water quality and how well our lakes can adapt to the changes. This talk will interest those who have heard about decreases in average lake ice duration, and are wondering what other impacts warming has on the quality of the Madison lakes.
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Speaker Bio: Mr. Selbig is a research hydrologist for the USGS – Wisconsin Water Science Center. He has 20 years of experience in measuring the quantity and quality of nonpoint source runoff in urban environments. The majority of Bill’s research is focused on characterizing the hydrologic and chemical response of stormwater to structural and non-structural practices designed to mitigate stormwater pollution. Much of his research is used to stimulate or amend stormwater policy within the state of Wisconsin. In the last 10 years his work has helped environmental managers quantify the water-quality benefits of street cleaners, establish criteria for successful use of rain gardens with varying soils and vegetative species, better understand the synergistic effect of green infrastructure compared to conventional curb-and-gutter construction techniques, and identify through source tracking potential “hot spots” of environmental toxicants in the urban environment.

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What do leaves in the streets have to do with algae in the lakes? Rainfall and stormwater that run through streets and gutters leach phosphorus from fallen leaves and carry the nutrient-rich “tea” down the storm drains and straight to the lakes. Phosphorus is the nutrient that drives algae growth; so let’s do our part to stop leaf litter leaching!

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The seasons are changing, and so is the focus of the Clean Lakes Alliance! For our first two and half years as an organization, we have focused on building an alliance of community partners and strategically planning and prioritizing the work of lake improvement and protection. Three years in, we are now transitioning from the planning phase to implementation and community engagement.

While we continue to expand our educational and fundraising events, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, collaborating with our partners at the County, the University, the farming community, and many others across the watershed to lay the foundation for practices and projects that will reduce phosphorus loading to the lakes. We will continue to move these projects forward and share the good news as progress unfolds.

Please visit our website to view our 2012 Annual Report, which features details on the progress we’ve made and what lies ahead in the year to come. Read on below for this month’s updates.

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Speaker Bio: Since January 2004 Jon Standridge has worked as a private consultant providing public/environmental health, and water microbiology expertise. Prior to 2004 he spent 31 years as the principal water microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin, State Laboratory of Hygiene. His research areas have included; developing a sensitive test for waters for detecting E. coli O157, detection of algal toxins, improving Cryptosporidium detection methods, identifying sources of pathogens in watersheds, studying the movement of microbes through soil beneath wastewater treatment facilities, developing methods for detecting endocrine disruptors in water and improving our understanding of microbial indicators of water pollution.

Abstract:Standridge photo In May 2013, Clean Lakes Alliance launched a pilot project for its new Citizen Water Quality Monitoring program under the leadership of Friends of Clean Lakes board member Jon Standridge, a retired water research scientist from the University of Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Our belief is that citizen monitoring can be a powerful tool to raise awareness and increase citizen engagement with the lakes. Standridge will take us through the pilot program and what we’ve learned so far, as well as discussing the public health issues associated with E.coli and blue green occurrences in the Yahara chain.

Monthly Sponsor- Spectrum Brands

Speaker Bio: Alison Mikulyuk is a scientist in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Research Section of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. After becoming fascinated with aquatic macrophytes during her first lake-wide plant survey in 2005, she began to design her research so that we might better understand these understudied and dynamic underwater communities. She helped develop and implement macrophyte monitoring programs that have been implemented at the state and national-wide scale. Alison helped develop the recent regulatory rule that limits the movement of aquatic invasive plants in the State of Wisconsin. While not at work with the DNR, Alison pursues her Ph. D in Limnology and Marine Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her colleagues in Dr. Jake Vander Zanden’s research lab work together to understand inland aquatic environment.

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Abstract: Aquatic plant communities in lakes are very important to ecosystem health. Come hear scientist Alison Mikulyuk talk about these dynamic underwater forests. She will teach us about some of the different functional groups that can be found in Wisconsin, and introduce a few of the species that can be found in the Yahara Chain. She will have a collection of local live specimens, so if you have any identification questions, bring them!

612699 is the grand prize winner of the raffle for Loop the Lake participants.  See below for details.

Even though it was one of the coldest summer days on record, we had a huge crowd at the Clean Lakes Festival this past Saturday! We want to extend a big thank you to all who attended the Festival and our Loop the Lake ride. 

We had a great turnout for our inaugural community bike ride, Loop the Lake, around Lake Monona with over 150 riders crossing the finish line. Along the ride, participants learned about local lake ecology and tried their hands at citizen water quality monitoring while staying hydrated.

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Monthly Sponsor – CUNA Mutual Foundation

Speaker Bio: Ted Bier is a senior research scientist at the University of Wisconsin Madison Center for Limnology. For more than a decade, Bier has led the field operations for the Long Term Ecological Research on all of the Yahara lakes – Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa and Wingra. His research includes an annual survey of the relative abundance of all fish species in the Yahara lakes, and he conducts bi-weekly sampling of zooplankton and of the nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen, as well as monitoring water clarity and lake productivity, which serves as an indicator of nutrient load. The data Bier has collected contribute to a long-term database that provides a broad understanding of how the lakes change over time. When Bier isn’t squeezing fish for research, you may find him free-diving and spearfishing in waters ranging from Wisconsin to the Tropics.

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Abstract: We all know our gamefish – bass, walleye, bluegill. But what about the fish that don’t grace the dinner plate? Discover those species and why they are important. Learn the tools to identify them and how their abundance in the Yahara lakes has changed over time.

Did you see these two paddle boarders on Lake Mendota this week? Summer’s off to a big start.  We’ve had a lot of rain recently.  If you want more information on lake levels, click here. Our pilot programs in beach and citizen water quality monitoring continue to be successful.  We are testing James Madison Beach Monday through Friday and we have citizen volunteers testing on the four major lakes.  If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact us. For you app-lovers out there, we suggest you get the free Lake Mendota Buoy app.  It provides live data on wind speed and direction, water temperature, and other factors to consider when going out on the lakes.  Available for iPhone and Android. The Yahara Pride Farms certification program also continues to move forward.  We are out on the farms working to prevent runoff to our lakes. This Lake-O-Gram focuses on ways for you to get out on the lakes this summer.
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Monthly sponsor – Beyler Chiropractic

Speaker Bio: Jake Vander Zanden is a professor at the Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin – Madison whose research interests include limnology, food webs, invasive species, benthic ecology, and conservation biology. While his research has been on inland lakes of North America, and Wisconsin in particular, he has also worked in interesting places such as Mongolia, Iceland, and Mexico. Vander Zanden received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In addition to his research, he teaches popular courses in ‘Limnology’ and ‘Ecology of Fishes’ at University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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Abstract: Species from the far corner of the world such as zebra mussel and spiny water flea are finding their way into Wisconsin’s lakes. What are the implications for our lakes, and water quality in particular? Vander Zanden will discuss how the ‘food web’, and invasive species in particular, can have huge effects on water quality in the Madison lakes.