How much do you know about the frozen lakes that make Madison winters so special? Test your knowledge with this quiz!
Connecting children with our Yahara Watershed
Grant Feature #7: Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN)
American author, scientist, and conservationist Aldo Leopold once said, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Clean Lakes Alliance knows connections to the land and to our waters begin to develop in childhood. Through a Clean Lakes Grant awarded for 2018, Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN) is connecting families and children to nature and our Yahara Lakes. Clean Lakes Alliance contributed $1,250 to the effort, helping to expand outdoor learning opportunities that can lead to future generations of caring and knowledgeable lake stewards.
Trees are good, right?
Statewide phosphorus reduction credits for leaf collection
Urban trees provide many benefits to our communities. They help us save energy, reduce noise, and improve air quality. Trees are aesthetically pleasing, can increase property value, and provide natural homes for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Trees are also an important part of the earth’s water cycle. Transpiration from plants and trees is released into the atmosphere, and later becomes precipitation. The rain and snow return valuable moisture to our crops and forests, and the cycle continues.
However, trees can cause problems for our lakes if the leaves that fall from them each autumn are not regularly removed from streets and parking lots. When leaves collect on streets, they create a phosphorus-rich “tea” whenever it rains. The rain water passes through the leaf litter, and allows phosphorus to drain from the leaves. The leaf tea washes into storm drains and flows directly into our lakes, causing water quality to deteriorate.
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:
$18 million budget announcement from Dane County
Clean Lakes Alliance supports Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s proposed $18 million budget to aid flood recovery. Many of the initiatives also support water quality improvements outlined in the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction. These measures will move us in the right direction to reduce runoff and increase infiltration.
Volunteers remain loyal to our lakes
It was a year of obstacles for our lakes, but volunteers are dedicated to improving our waters
From cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, to elevated bacteria (E. coli) levels, to flooding, our lakes have had a tough season. With our lakes facing so many obstacles, it makes Clean Lakes Alliance even more appreciative of its volunteers.
Volunteers use leaf vacuums to protect Lake Kegonsa
A partnership toward leaf management and lake health in the Yahara River Watershed
Clean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society (FOLKS) for one of our 2018 Clean Lakes Grants. FOLKS is a non-profit organization working to protect the environment and recreation of Lake Kegonsa and its surroundings.
Leaf management in the Yahara River Watershed is an important step toward creating healthy lakes. By following effective leaf practices, we can reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching our waters. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element found in leaves, dirt, manure, and other organic matter and is the root cause of water quality problems in the region. When excessive amounts enter our lakes, phosphorus can fuel toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) growth which can harm people and animals.
Clean Lakes Alliance is working for our lakes
Over the past twelve months, the Clean Lakes Alliance Economic Impact and Policy Committee met monthly and consulted with partners and experts to craft and adopt advocacy priorities. These goals will advance Plan 2020: A Clear Path Forward, our four-year strategic plan.
It takes ALL of us to make a difference
Help Clean Lakes Alliance advocate for change
In Greater Madison, the time has come to put lakes at the top of our community agenda. Recent flooding and historically large cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms are symptoms of a changing climate and a harder, less resilient landscape. The Center for Climatic Research has documented southern Wisconsin’s increasingly wet climate, with more frequent heavy rain events causing flooding throughout the region. This is impacting lake water quality by bringing increased sediment and nutrient pollution to our lakes and streams. We need a change in how we manage the landscape surrounding our homes, farm fields, and city streets to accommodate a wetter climate in our region.
Flooding impacts the Yahara Watershed
Record rainfall reported
Record rainfall hit Greater Madison this month, and its impacts are far-reaching. Ten to fifteen inches of rain fell across western Dane County in less than 24 hours. The high volume of water is now making its way downstream through the Yahara Watershed, with our lakes reaching historic high levels. See real-time lake levels here.