It takes ALL of us to make a difference
Help Clean Lakes Alliance advocate for change
In Greater Madison, the time has come to put lakes at the top of our community agenda. Recent flooding and historically large cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms are symptoms of a changing climate and a harder, less resilient landscape. The Center for Climatic Research has documented southern Wisconsin’s increasingly wet climate, with more frequent heavy rain events causing flooding throughout the region. This is impacting lake water quality by bringing increased sediment and nutrient pollution to our lakes and streams. We need a change in how we manage the landscape surrounding our homes, farm fields, and city streets to accommodate a wetter climate in our region.
Flooding impacts the Yahara Watershed
Record rainfall reportedRecord rainfall hit Greater Madison this month, and its impacts are far-reaching. Ten to fifteen inches of rain fell across western Dane County in less than 24 hours. The high volume of water is now making its way downstream through the Yahara Watershed, with our lakes reaching historic high levels. See real-time lake levels here.
A busy summer for our lakesSummer in Madison would not be the same without our lakes. This year, especially, we’ve seen our lakes at their best and their worst due to record rain events, cyanobacteria blooms, and beach closures. Here at Clean Lakes Alliance, the summer is a time to get out and enjoy our lakes while also doubling down on our efforts to protect them. From innovative grant projects, to county policy recommendations, to record-setting engagement, we’ve been hard at work for our lakes this summer, and so have you! Let’s take a look back at some highlights from this lake season.
Can garbage trucks help protect our lakes?
A partnership toward leaf managementClean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the City of Madison for this month’s Clean Lakes Grant. Leaf management is a crucial step toward reducing the amount of phosphorus that reaches our lakes. Through a Clean Lakes Grant awarded for 2018, the City of Madison is working to promote leaf management and leaf-free streets. Clean Lakes Alliance has contributed $4500, which will leverage a $9300 total project budget. The City of Madison paired with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor phosphorus in the City’s storm drainage system. The study shows a direct correlation between the mass of leaves in the street and the amount of phosphorus reaching our lakes.
Wetlands and the Yahara Watershed
From Cherokee Marsh north of Lake Mendota to the Waubesa Wetlands on the southwest shore of Lake Waubesa, wetlands can be found throughout the Yahara Watershed. In preparation for Dr. Cal DeWitt’s upcoming presentation, “Waubesa Wetlands: A New Look at an Old Gem,” we’ve prepared an overview of wetlands in the Yahara Watershed.