A busy summer for our lakes
Summer 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.
11,246 miles for our lakes
At Loop the Lake and Shoreline Swim, our annual summer fundraisers, more than one thousand community members came to bike and swim a collective 11,246 miles for our lakes — that’s nearly halfway around the world!
1,734 (and counting) volunteer hours
Our Renew the Blue volunteer days took us all around the watershed where volunteers helped remove invasive species, plant native seeds, and clean up the lakeshore. Over 600 volunteers donated their time for our lakes, with more to come!
385 Yahara Lakes 101 attendees
Since May, our monthly lecture series has featured experts on beaches, cyanobacteria, and wetlands. Our Yahara Lakes 101 science cafes are a great opportunity to learn the science behind the issues that impact our lakes in anaccessible way.
198 E. coli samples
Volunteers for our E. coli testing pilot have taken water samples five days a week for the entire summer in an effort to see how we could potentially expand our monitoring program in the future.
79 lakeshore sites monitored
Volunteer water quality monitors gathered weekly data on water quality at locations on all five lakes for lakeforecast.org. By uploading information in real time, our monitors were often the first to alert the public about cyanobacteria blooms on the lakes.
As part of our Back to the Beach initiative, we’ve spent the summer auditing our public lakeshores to inspire renewed investment in public beaches. You can help make our beaches more accessible and enjoyable for everyone by taking this short (5 minute) survey.
14 lake reports
Adam was all around the watershed this summer to share his Weekend Lake Reports with more than 67,000 viewers on Facebook. This season, he was joined by local celebrities like Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Danika Laine of the River Alliance of Wisconsin.
13 Paddle for a Purpose Mondays
This summer, Madison Boats donated 20% of their rental fees on Monday evenings to Clean Lakes Alliance. We even got the chance to visit the Reebok Fit Barge to learn about lake ecology!
In an important step forward for our lakes, the Dane County Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes Task Force finalized recommendations to present to the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn what this could mean for our lakes.
On behalf of lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa, thank you for your commitment to cleaning up our lakes. It’s been a great summer, but our lakes have seen better days. As a community, we have the power to protect and improve our lakes. Join us.