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2022 Community Coffee and Annual Meeting

On May 18th, 2022, more than 300 leaders throughout the Greater Madison-Dane County region met at The Edgewater on the shores of Lake Mendota. The meeting celebrated what promises to be a new era of collaboration to benefit our local waters. With a collective call to “Renew the Blue,” a 19-member coalition of organizations introduced what some might describe as a stakeholder declaration to a sold-out audience.

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message from Paul Soglin

In the City of Madison, we believe that stormwater runoff and the effects associated with it directly impacts the lives of our residents and our entire community, and we work diligently to protect those resources. Often we think of stormwater as a “public works problem,” but this is not always the case.

The more we work on water quality problems, we find that drinking water, stormwater and sewer treatment are linked in real ways by our actions. While it is possible to use the traditional model, it can produce unintended consequences including increased cost.

As we talk about the lakes and water quality today, it is important that we recognize we each have a role in the creation of stormwater runoff, and each of us needs to take part in reducing the impact of our actions.

Recently, Madison Water Utility, City Engineering, and many other partners have begun to create a voluntary certification program working with road salt applicators to reduce the amount of salt applied to parking lots and roads. The goal is to apply an amount needed for safety, because chloride can impact surface waters, wells, and even the sewer treatment plant.

Solutions to this and other stormwater pollutant problems, such as the phosphorous associated with fall leaf collection, may call for some non-traditional public works solutions, including source reduction and engaging the public to help us toward those efforts. This follows a long understood idea that it is better to avoid putting something in the water than it is to try and get it out down the road.

Expect Madison to continue to lead in finding new ways to address common problems like leaf collection and salt reduction. We are all in this together.

 

This message was originally published in May of 2017 for the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report.

Mary B on Lake Mendota (1955). Photo courtesy of Jay Payton.

Restoration Efforts Underway for Historic Madison Ice Yacht

On a cold, bright day in February 2016, an iconic piece of Madison’s history came home in memorable style. As the wind freshened, the towering sails of the Mary B iceboat filled and the 39-foot craft took flight—skimming across the ice with the same grace and agility that drew crowds of cheering onlookers to Madison’s lakes more than 60 years ago. That short-but-triumphant cruise was the first of what an enthusiastic group of fans hope will be many such adventures for the venerable Mary B.

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Mayor Paul Soglin

A message from Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, for the 2015 State of the Lakes Annual Report:

The year of 1973 is notable for a couple of firsts. The same year that I was first elected Mayor, we adopted the City’s original salt reduction resolution. Another environmental milestone was achieved ten years later, in 1983, when the City passed one of the region’s first storm water ordinances. 

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Streambank and Stormwater Projects

Nakoma Channel Before. Photo by Phil Gaebler.

Nakoma Channel Before. Photo by Phil Gaebler.

The City of Madison completed two major channel restorations in 2015, including 2,000 feet of Wingra Creek and 500 feet in the Nakoma Channel, north of Lake Wingra. The city also completed stormwater pollution prevention plans for eight public work sites, and implemented control structures at two of these sites. These include a stormwater catch basin and screen structures and separators, which trap debris and sediment from high-volume runoff.

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