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Dane County Partners with City of Monona, Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society to Expand Lakes Clean Up Program

June 20, 2019
Ariana Vruwink (608) 267-8823
County Executive

“Blue Waters Barge” Crew to Remove Trash, Debris Along Three Lake Shorelines Through the Summer

Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined City of Monona Administrator Bryan Gadow to announce the expansion of the “blue waters barge” program to include the entire shorelines of lakes Monona and Kegonsa. Now targeting the shorelines of Madison, Monona, and Lake Kegonsa, the barge crew will work to remove aquatic plants and debris on piers, stormwater outlets, and beaches from now until the end of August.

“Lake health is a top priority in Dane County, and we are always excited to find partners who want to further these efforts,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Partnering with the City of Monona and the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society to extend this program’s reach means more clean and healthy shorelines for visitors and residents to enjoy this summer.”

In partnership with the City of Madison, 217 barge loads were removed from lakes Mendota and Monona in 2018. Approximately 22 miles of Madison shoreline are covered by the program, with 4 miles of shoreline now covered around the City of Monona and 8.5 miles of shoreline around Lake Kegonsa.

The “blue waters barge” program began in 2008, when Dane County partnered with the City of Madison to clean up lakes Mendota and Monona. Going on its 11th year, the partnership enables Dane County to provide the “blue waters barge” and a means for disposal and the City of Madison to cover barge crew costs and fuel. A similar cost sharing partnership is now in place with the City of Monona and the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society.

The county’s 2019 budget adds one new barge and one new barge mounted crane to assist with removing aquatic trash and debris from the lakes. The equipment will be received this fall. The City of Madison is expected to provide approximately $30,000 for the program this year, followed by the City of Monona with about $5,500 and the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society with about $5,000.

Pickup on Lake Mendota (City of Madison shoreline) and Lake Monona (entire shoreline) will occur every two weeks. Pickup on Lake Kegonsa (entire shoreline) will occur approximately every four weeks. The aquatic plants collected from the barge will be composted. Material collected through the program that cannot be composted will be disposed of at the landfill.

To ensure timely barge pickup at lakefront properties, aquatic vegetation should be placed on residents’ piers by Monday at 7:00 a.m. on the designated pickup week.  The barge crew does not collect yard waste, brush, or household waste. The pier pickup schedule for all three lakes can be found at:

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