Healthy Lakes. Healthy Community.
Volume IV, Issue 4
Here at the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) office, we are counting down the days (and maybe even the minutes) until summer. Technically, there are still 19 days to go, but you don’t have to wait until 5:52 a.m. on June 21st to enjoy the lakes… just look at all the lake lovers on the Terrace!
Read on for updates on our water quality monitoring program, our lake user survey, information about summer lake events, and highlights of CLA and the lakes in the news!
WHAT IS THE LAKE-O-GRAM? The Lake-O-Gram is a monthly digest distributed through our website and e-mailed out to the surrounding communities to keep citizens up-to-date on the latest events and efforts taking place to protect and preserve the water quality of the Yahara watershed.
Table of Contents
Lake User Survey
We’re excited to announce the launch of a CLA survey targeted at lake users this summer. This watershed-wide study will take place at public beaches, boat landings, and lakeside parks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and the information will be used to evaluate public perceptions and the economic value of our lakes to the community. We’ll also be sharing our results with UW-Madison researchers in the Long Term Ecological Research Program and the Water Sustainability and Climate Project to contribute to their body of work and future research on the value of our lakes.
As you swim, boat and fish this summer, please keep your eye out for CLA interns and volunteers, and take 5 minutes to complete a survey. Interested in volunteering to administer the surveys? Please contact Paul at 255-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lake-access locations, days and time blocks can be tailored to each volunteer’s interest level and availability.
2014 is the second-year of CLA’s water quality monitoring pilot program. Due to the success and popularity of last year, we have expanded the number of sampling locations from 9 to around 40 across lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa, and Wingra. The goals of the program are to provide more accurate and timely beach condition information, as well as to help UW-Madison researchers model the movement of algal blooms.
With all the data that will be collected, the CLA needed a better way to make the information readily available to the public. A new partnership with 100state, the City of Madison, and Dane County will give volunteers the ability to input data into a mobile app so that the information will be instantly available to researchers, government agencies, and the public. There will also be a crowd-sourcing function, so that any lake visitor can make an update about the status of a beach, for example.
Spotlight on Lake Mendota
What a beautiful weekend we enjoyed! The lakes were bustling with sailboats, fishing boats, wake boarders and water skiers, and the beaches were hopping with people of all ages out for a swim. The lakes were crystal clear with perfect temperatures, and on Lake Mendota, those conditions were the answer to the question many had been asking — when will the lake hit its clear-water phase?
Click over to read an interesting and informative blog post from the UW-Madison Center for Limnology that explores the question of why Lake Mendota’s clear water phase was delayed.
UW Center for Limnology Blog Post: Clear-Water Phase: Are We Missing Lake Mendota’s Window?
Summer Lake Events Calendar – Highlights
What role do wetlands play in the condition of our lakes? Find out at the next Yahara Lakes 101. The Yahara chain of lakes follows the course of a deep, ancient valley: what does that mean for our lakes? Please join us for Dr. Calvin DeWitt’s Yahara Lakes 101 presentation on “Sustaining Yahara Lakes and Waterscapes: Functions of Their Wetland Systems Above a Buried Bedrock Valley”.
When: Thursday, June 12 from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Where: Bluephies Café at Verex Plaza (150 E Gilman Street), level B
Please join us for Loop the Lake, our 2nd annual scenic bike ride around Lake Monona to highlight our community’s lakeshore bike paths and to support CLA’s lake improvement and protection efforts. The ride occurs the morning of the Clean Lakes Festival and will finish at the festival grounds. Loop the Lake is a relaxed fun-ride, not a race! Perfect for all ages and abilities.
When: Saturday, July 26, starting at 10 a.m.
Where: Lake Loop Scenic Bike Route on Lake Monona; ride begins on the bike path next to Machinery Row Bicycles and ends at Law Park for the Clean Lakes Festival.
Clean Lakes Festival
Join us at the annual Clean Lakes Festival for boat rides, ski shows, music, and more! The festival is where the Clean Lakes Alliance got its start, and it raises public awareness about opportunities for recreation on the lakes while supporting CLA’s lake improvement and protection efforts. The festival offers something fun for everyone, so please join us for a day of great times on the lake.
If you would like to exhibit at the Discovery Center at the festival, please contact Heidi Debruin at email@example.com.
When: Saturday, July 26
Where: Law Park
Join Wingra Boats and CLA on Saturday, June 14th for the first annual Duck Dash paddle and run—a family friendly “fun run” style event, with proceeds supporting the CLA’s youth outdoor education programs. Start out paddling a canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard (SUP) from Vilas Park to Wingra Park, then either walk 2k or trail run 8k through the UW Arboretum, ending back at Vilas Park. Register ahead to reserve your spot.
Wisdom Prairie Project
Support our lakes by supporting our prairies! Holy Wisdom Monastery is excited to feature members of Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society at the annual Prairie Rhapsody benefit concert. Ticket sales benefit the Wisdom Prairie Project at Holy Wisdom Monastery– an effort to acquire and restore an additional 53 acres to native prairie in order to conserve open space and protect our lakes. Please join us for an evening of tasty food and beverages, a silent auction, chocolate tasting and ‘chamber music with a bang!’
When: Thursday, June 19 at 5:30 p.m. Register by June 13.
Where: Holy Wisdom Monastery
Pontoon Boat Program – Madison School & Community Recreation
Have you ever looked at the beautiful lakes in Madison and wanted to get out on the water? The MSCR Pontoon Boat Program was created just for you! MSCR offers drop-in boat rides, boat rentals and specialty trips and events. For pricing and to reserve a ride, please visit the MSCR website and fill out the Pontoon Rental Request Form. The program begins in May and continues on until late September, and trips begin at Tenney Boat Pier at 1615 Sherman Avenue.
Brittingham Boats SUP-Cup
Get out on the lakes with the SUP-Cup! On Thursday nights this summer at Brittingham Boats, check out the Stand Up Paddleboard race series for the recreational and competitive paddlers among you! We’re happy to see CLA Community Board member and owner of Brittingham and Wingra Boats, Tyler Leeper, getting more people out on the lakes.
The IRONMAN Wisconsin is looking for boat and personal water craft volunteers. Please mention that you are volunteering on behalf of the Clean Lakes Alliance when you sign up. Register to volunteer online!
When: Sunday, September 7 from 5:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Where: Lake Monona (Law Park)
In the News
Wisconsin State Journal Editorial
“Nothing says summer in Madison like a sunny day by the lakes.” The Wisconsin State Journal ran an editorial on Sunday, May 25 that highlighted the importance of our local lakes and the value of protection efforts by CLA and our community partners. Click below to read.
Lakes on the Evening News
Heavy rains this past Tuesday, May 27, put a spotlight on our lakes. Local news outlets WISC-TV/Channel 3000 and NBC15 Madison featured the CLA and the impact of runoff on our lakes in their Wednesday evening broadcasts.
NBC15 news anchor Max Hess waded on in – literally – to investigate water clarity with the CLA. Watch below to see how debris from the streets can end up in our lakes, and to learn about the importance of reducing runoff.
This WISC-TV/Channel 3000 segment puts the focus on the value of the lakes to our community, as well as the importance of addressing urban runoff that is aggravated by storm events.
“Murky Water” Series
You might have seen the recent series of articles in the Capital Times, entitled “Murky Waters”, that focused on lake issues. The four-part series was produced collaboratively by The Capital Times and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Learn more about the challenges and opportunities that face our lakes, and watch for mentions of CLA’s role in the watershed.
Promotional Section in Madison Magazine
Be sure to check out the June issue of the Madison Magazine for the special promotional section on the Clean Lakes Alliance.
New CLA Community Board Members
The Community Board is composed of key stakeholders, business leaders and experts with the common goal of reducing phosphorus pollution within the Yahara watershed. The Board serves in an advisory role, offering guidance and reviewing the overall path and progress of the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction, including project prioritization, funding and execution.
We are pleased to have welcomed several new members to the Community Board over the last few months. Please join us in welcoming Lauren Azar, Fred Klancnik, Paul Robbins, Eric Schmidt, and Robert Weber. Please visit the community board page to read their biographies.
Additionally, those holding positions with our local government sit on the board. New South Water District Water Leader at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Stephen Ales, new Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Corrigan, and new Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission Chair Rebecca Power have all recently joined the CLA Community Board. Welcome to our new members — we’re looking forward to partnering with you for the lakes.
Become a Friend
The CLA works to protect and improve the water quality of the Yahara watershed. We accomplish this with the support of lake advocates like you! If you want to get involved, please consider becoming a Friend of Clean Lakes today.