Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Executive Announces Membership of Clear Lakes Task Force

April 24, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Task Force to Oversee Work to Reduce Phosphorus in Yahara Chain of Lakes


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the membership of the Clear Lakes Task Force today, a diverse group charged with coordinating phosphorus reduction and lake clean up efforts in the Yahara Chain of Lakes. 

“The Clear Lakes Task Force will ensure that public and private sector efforts to clean up our lakes are well-coordinated,” said Parisi.  “This diverse group includes representatives from the agriculture community, environmental advocates, and the cities and towns of Dane County – and will help us work efficiently as we begin to implement phosphorus reduction solutions, such as adaptive management, to improve the health and look of our waterways.”

The Task Force is charged with developing a phosphorus reduction work plan, identifying the top priority urban and rural areas where runoff reduction work is needed, and coordinating the efforts of Dane County, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), and private-sector efforts through groups like the Clean Lakes Alliance.

The numerous phosphorus entry points to area waterways make Dane County the logical coordinator of reduction efforts. Parisi’s administration has already started numerous projects to help clean up area lakes and waterways including a second cow-power manure digester, partnering with MMSD and the public and private entities of Yahara WINs to implement adaptive management, working with farmers to plant cover crops to reduce runoff, and partnering with local municipalities to retrofit sewer drains that were piped into Dunn’s Marsh and Nine Springs Creek.

The group, originally introduced by Parisi in his 2013 county budget, was recently approved by the Dane County Board.  The task force will begin holding regular meetings soon.

"Effectively addressing phosphorus problems is going to require a sustained, focused effort like never before,” said task force member and Lakes and Watershed Commission Chair Melissa Malott.  “This task force is exactly what's needed, and I'm glad to see County Executive Parisi's leadership in making this a serious priority."

The task force will also track progress of the phosphorus work that's underway and ensure public and private dollars allocated for lake cleanup are utilized in the most effective way possible.

The citizen members of the Clear Lakes Task Force are Melissa Malott, Chair of the Lakes and Watershed Commission; Michael Mucha, Executive Director of Madison Metropolitan Sewer District; Michael Gerner, representing the Clean Lakes Alliance; Mark Redsten, Executive Director of Clean Wisconsin; and Chuck Ripp, representing Yahara Pride Farms Conservation Board.

Members of the task force from governmental bodies are Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Dane County Board Chair John Hendrick, Dane County Supervisors Patrick Downing and Kyle Richmond, Town of Bristol Chairperson Jerry Derr, Madison City Council Member Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and Monona Mayor Bob Miller.

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