Online survey to gather public comment available through August
The Dane County Land and Water Resources Department manages an Aquatic Plant Harvesting Program to cut and harvest Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasives from county waters.
From now through the end of August 2017, Dane County invites area residents to participate in an online survey to complement the county's comprehensive assessment of aquatic plant communities and the harvesting program.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said, “Every five years Dane County assesses the health of our aquatic plant communities. We also review our management strategies for providing reasonable use of the lakes for boating, fishing and swimming, while preserving the health and balance of the lake ecosystem; and for maintaining flow in the Yahara River to prevent high water issues including flooding.
I invite county citizens to take a five-minute online survey to tell us what you think about aquatic plant management needs for area lakes and rivers.”
Public comments and the plant survey field work to be conducted during summer 2017 will provide valuable information for updating aquatic plant management plans for waters across the county where county staff operate mechanical harvesters.
Aquatic plant management plans provide an inventory of existing plants in a lake or stream, and describe how native plants will be protected for their role as the foundation of healthy ecosystems, while nuisance non-native species will be controlled and recreational access will be provided. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requires these plans in order for them to permit aquatic plant harvesting programs under NR 109 Wis. Admin. Code.
For more information about aquatic plant management, visit the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds website.
Madisonians love our lakes! From sitting at the Union Terrace to cheering on Ironman contestants, Madison’s lakes connect us with one another and with the outdoors. The green leaves that provide us much needed shade in the summer also contribute to the “greening” of our lakes and rivers when they collect in the streets each fall. Decaying leaves are a great natural fertilizer for gardens and lawns, but they also release unwanted nutrients into our local waters. When it rains, the rainwater flows through leaf piles that collect in the streets and along curbs creating a “leaf tea” that is rich in dissolved phosphorus. The phosphorus from the decaying leaves is carried through our storm sewers to the Yahara chain of lakes. Too much phosphorus in our lakes leads to algae blooms, low oxygen levels and murky waters, none of which are good for animals living in the water or those of us who use it for recreation. Although the City of Madison is actively involved in many efforts to improve the quality of stormwater runoff including curbside leaf collection, rain garden installations, and street sweeping, we need your help!
A few simple activities can help us clean up our lakes! Collecting leaves from the street and within 5 feet of the curb in front of your property before it rains, and piling them up onto the terraces between the street and the sidewalk will help keep phosphorus out of our lakes. Check Madison Streets website for leaf pick up dates and other requirements so that your leaves are on the terrace for as short a time as possible.
For more information on ways to “Love Your Lakes and Rivers, Don’t Leaf Them” visit: http://myfairlakes.com/fall_campaign.aspx
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