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Action Alert

Will you help us advocate for our lakes?

We need your help!

At our Yahara Lakes 101 presentation, on Wednesday, October 10th, we heard from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi about the proposed 2019 budget and how it will address flooding concerns and lake health. The Dane County Board is holding a budget hearing on Wednesday, October 17th. There are many initiatives in the budget that will help our lakes, and they need YOUR support! Please advocate for our lakes in the following two ways:

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Ag retailer network

Can working with ag retailers help our lakes?

Building an agricultural partnership to reduce phosphorus

We’re excited to partner with the Partnership for Ag Resource Management, known as PARM, for one of this year’s Clean Lakes Grants.

PARM is a project of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Institute of North America, a non-profit devoted to improving health and the environment. Through a Clean Lakes Grant awarded for 2018, PARM is working with local agriculture retailers to increase sales of products and services to reduce phosphorus in the Yahara Watershed. Clean Lakes Alliance has contributed $8,000, which will leverage a $53,000 total project budget.

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2017 Farm Tour

Community Board signs Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes resolution

Dear Friends,

Our Clean Lakes Alliance Community Board met this morning and voted to support the eight draft recommendations proposed by Dane County’s Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes Task Force. That 14-member group was charged with developing policy proposals to reduce the impact of phosphorus runoff from agricultural activities to our five lakes. I serve on the task force along with other Clean Lakes Alliance partners.

On a parallel path, Clean Lakes Alliance’s Economic Impact and Policy Committee has also been meeting over the course of this past year, consulting with experts, scientists, and community leaders to develop advocacy goals that align with and help us achieve our Plan 2020: A Clear Path Forward.

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Beach inventory

Funding for environmental conservation, restoration, and education projects has been awarded this year by the Dane County Environmental Council totaling more than $17,000. These grants go to communities and non-profits that do work within Dane County.

Clean Lakes Alliance will receive around $3,500 to fund projects such as our farm tours and water quality monitoring. This award will help to purchase necessary equipment for our volunteers and provide transportation to offsite projects.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said, “We can always accomplish more when we work together. By partnering with these communities and non-profits, we have the ability to educate and inspire others, and continue our work to improve and conserve the county’s outdoor spaces,” and we couldn’t agree more!

To see which other projects were funded, read Sun Prairie Star’s article HERE.

February Rain Runoff in Lake Mendota

Urban and rural runoff add algae-creating phosphorus to our lakes

MADISON, Wis. — Warm February temperatures and a high volume of rain are melting snow now, but creating a hazardous problem down the road. Visible runoff can be seen along the shores of all five lakes in our watershed. This brown, discolored water has gathered soil and debris from the frozen land and washed it into our lakes. With more weekend rain in the forecast, this problem will continue to harm Madison’s lakes.

“When we have a deluge of rain in the winter, or a fast thaw, the frozen land can’t accept the water,” said Paul Dearlove, Clean Lakes Alliance senior director of watershed initiatives. “This means more phosphorus has been loaded into the lake, which has the potential to cause more algae blooms this summer.”

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Farm field and tractor

Here in Wisconsin, manure is on the mind as we work to improve local water quality. A recent Isthmus interview with retiring University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology director Steve Carpenter reminded all of us of the scale of the phosphorus problem facing our lakes. We often are asked what Clean Lakes Alliance is doing to tackle these issues locally.

Dane County is made up of a large urban population and thriving agricultural community. We greatly value the need to partner with farmers on solutions that will really work.

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Clean Lakes Alliance, in partnership with Yahara Pride Farms and Endres Berryridge Farms, hosted our fourth annual Farm Tour on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017. The event was held at the Endres Berryridge Farms manure compost site in Waunakee, Wisconsin.

The event brought together more than 120 attendees (farmers and suburbanites alike) to learn about manure composting as a manure management technique. Roughly 50 guests were members of the North American Manure Expo traveling from as far as Ontario, Canada to participate.

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Thanks to the support of donors like you, Clean Lakes Alliance is able to contribute $100,000 per year to fund phosphorus reduction practices through watershed adaptive management. Learn more about how this cooperative approach is helping our community meet its water quality goals.

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2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report

Luck from “Mother Nature”

MADISON, Wis. — Today at the sixth annual Save Our Lakes community breakfast, Clean Lakes Alliance released the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report. The report looks at phosphorus reduction efforts through the 2016 calendar year. It shows as a community, progress is being made. Phosphorus is the root cause of algae – just one pound of the nutrient is capable of producing 500 pounds of algae.

“2016 was a great year. The water was as clear as it’s been in a long time in our lakes, but we got lucky,” said Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye. “A slow spring melt and fewer intense rain events meant phosphorus-rich runoff to our lakes was down, but it shows us if we control runoff regularly, we can impact our lake clarity.”

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