fbpx

News

2022-06_CL101_header-web

June 8 @ 8:00 am 9:00 am

Clean Lakes 101

Join us for this in-person or virtual hybrid edition of Clean Lakes 101 to learn about research to predict summertime algal abundance. Register as an in-person attendee or to receive a Zoom link through your confirmation email and watch virtually.

About this Talk

In recent decades, cultural eutrophication of coastal waters and inland lakes around the world has contributed to a rapid expansion of harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Potential outbreaks of toxin-producing cyanobacteria species have drawn concern from health officials and water managers given their negative ecological, aesthetic, and socioeconomic impacts.

Currently, little information regarding expected summertime cyanobacteria abundance is available prior to the season. With sufficient lead time, communicating the likelihood of elevated cyanobacteria abundance may be informative for proactively managing potential threats to lake and beach safety. We developed a model to issue predictions in early June of expected summertime cyanobacteria abundance for Lake Mendota. The prediction model demonstrates moderate to good skill and an ability to accurately predict summers with above-normal cyanobacteria abundance. Associated beach closure predictions also show promise but are highly sensitive to the short observational record – a limitation directly being addressed by Clean Lakes Alliance volunteer monitors and researchers at UW-Madison.

About our Speaker

Dr. Paul Block is an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His research focuses on hydroclimatology and water resources systems, with a goal to couple climate, hydrology, and management models and knowledge to reduce risks and promote sustainability of water resources for societal benefit. He is involved in many national and international projects that promote season-ahead forecasts as a means to inform decision-making, with applications to reservoir operations, agricultural planning, water quality assessment, and disaster management. He also has extensive experience as a licensed civil engineer working on groundwater protection and extraction, landfill management, and storm water control projects.

Event Details

This event will be held at The Edgewater hotel – grand ballroom level 5 (1001 Wisconsin Pl, Madison, WI 53703). Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The program runs from 8 – 9 a.m. A Q/A session will follow the presentation as time allows. Complimentary event parking will be available at The Edgewater parking ramp. Parking spots fill up quickly and may be limited depending on hotel capacity.

A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants via the Eventbrite confirmation email.

Clean Lakes 101 Lecture Series

Clean Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and UW-Extension Lakes, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company, and media sponsor WKOW.

Free
1001 Wisconsin Place
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States
+ Google Map

Water quality monitoring equipment

LakeForecast water quality monitoring in 2021

In 2021, our volunteers embarked on the 9th season of LakeForecast water quality monitoring. This work involved collecting nearshore condition reports at piers, beaches, parks, and access points around the five Yahara lakes. From May through September, volunteers took water quality measurements. They measured water clarity, recorded air and water temperature, identified the presence of green algae and cyanobacteria, and noted additional visual observations. Reports are entered into the LakeForecast app where all data are updated in real time.

Read More

2022-01_CL101_header-web
2022-01_CL101_header-web

Clean Lakes 101

Join us Wednesday, January 12th to hear from Igor Mrdjen as he discusses research to better monitor and study harmful algal blooms.

About this Talk

Over the past decade, several advancements in harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring approaches and technologies have expanded scientists’ and regulators’ ability to monitor and study algal blooms. BloomOptix is a start-up focused on innovating how we monitor and study HABs by leveraging emerging technologies and methods. The company began in 2019, using advanced sensors and drone technologies to study HABs and water quality phenomena around New York State. In 2021, BloomOptix launched a new product which uses artificial intelligence and digital microscopy to identify and quantify HAB-causing cyanobacteria in water samples. This presentation will detail past and present BloomOptix projects including use of drones for HAB studies, artificial intelligence and how these technologies can help empower decision makers, safety personnel, and citizen scientists.

This past summer, Clean Lakes Alliance volunteers participated in this long-distance collaboration. Equipped with portable digital microscopes generously shipped all the way from London company Iolight, volunteers collected microscopic images of algae and cyanobacteria cells. These images are being used to train an AI mobile app to quickly differentiate between harmless green algae and toxin producing cyanobacteria.

Meet our Speaker

As an innovator within Ramboll, Igor Mrdjen is currently leading BloomOptix, a team focused on using technology to change how we monitor algal blooms. Through innovation, BloomOptix is developing an AI-assisted cyanobacteria monitoring tool, methods for drone-based hyperspectral and multispectral remote sensing of harmful algal blooms, sediment plumes and various factors impacting water quality, and introduced new technologies such as submersible ROVs to increase water work safety at Ramboll.

Igor has a widely interdisciplinary research background in Environmental Health Sciences. He has led, designed, and conducted research on various water quality and health phenomena including: microcystin toxicity and carcinogenicity in mammalian models; ecological and health impacts of harmful algal blooms; role of microplastics in toxicology; microbial source tracking of fecal contaminants; and development of novel remote sensing methods for imaging of terrestrial and aquatic phenomena.

Event Details

This event will be held online via Zoom. The online talk is free and open to the public. A link to access the talk LIVE will be sent to all registered attendees ahead of the event.

Clean Lakes 101 Lecture Series

Clean Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and UW-Extension Lakes, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company, and media sponsor WKOW.

Free
Free

Filamentous Algae (Courtesy Joe Campshure and Terri Lefebvre)

Beautiful sunsets, majestic sailboats, and shoreline views of the Wisconsin State Capitol are some of the more familiar and picturesque sights around the Yahara lakes. But what else can we see across these thriving and complex ecosystems? On your next walk around the lakes, keep your eyes peeled and you may spot a fascinating lake phenomenon.

Read More

Cyanobacteria on Lake Mendota at the Memorial Union

Cyanobacteria

All five Yahara lakes saw cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms throughout the summer of 2019. One bloom in particular on Lake Mendota was quite large, covering at least an area from Picnic Point to the Memorial Union on August 1st. The bloom was well-documented by photos from community members as having a green pea soup-like consistency.

Cyanobacteria blooms are often bright green, but can also appear in shades of brown, blue, and white. Typically, blooms are spotted on warm days with calm winds. On August 1st, Madison reported a high of 81 degrees with an average wind speed of two miles per hour. 

Read More

2018 Flooding

Yahara Lakes 2018 Water Quality Monitoring Results

Overview

From May to September of 2018, water quality monitoring took place at piers and beaches around the five Yahara lakes. Volunteers measured near-shore water clarity, air and water temperature, and noted several visual observations. Visual observations included presence of algal blooms (green/blue-green), floating plant debris, swimmers, waterfowl, wave intensity, and general water appearance. Volunteers report conditions on our website, Lakeforecast.org. The website displays updated data in real time.

Highlights

  • 79 near-shore and 7 offshore monitoring stations on all five Yahara lakes (Figure 1)
  • Weekly off-shore measurement of Secchi depth on all five lakes
  • Measured temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles on all five lakes (seven sites total)
  • Weekly monitoring continued at all 25 public beaches
  • 44% increase in number of condition reports from 2017 (Table 1)
  • Collected continuous near-shore temperature measurements at 17 sites on lakes Mendota, Monona, and Waubesa, and Kegonsa
  • Implemented E. coli sampling and cyanobacteria toxin testing pilots
  • Averaged 2.3 condition reports per site each week across all sites
  • Continued weekly Weekend Lake Reports with over 77,000 views on social media
Read More

Water Quality Monitoring

2017 monitoring season

What started in 2013 as a handful of Clean Lakes Alliance board members testing the water has now grown into a network of over 70 volunteers doing weekly water quality monitoring on all five lakes.

Each week this summer, our team of monitors gathered data on water clarity and temperature. They also made visual observations on beach conditions and identified potentially harmful cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms. And what a summer it was!

Read More