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Yahara Lakes Week Focuses Attention onValue, Uses and Future of Dane County Lakes

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Susan Jones 267-0118

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6/5/2001

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
The seventh annual Yahara Lakes Week kicks off on Saturday, June 16 and features more than two dozen events that showcase how the lakes affect our lives and how our lives affect the lakes.

In addition to the recreational and educational activities highlighted during the annual weeklong celebration, there is also an emphasis on what citizens can do to protect our lakes and streams.

"The health of our lakes and streams is incredibly important to citizens," said Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. "I have made our lakes a priority, and as our population continues to grow, we need everyone's help to protect this wonderful resource."

Yahara Lakes Week is one of the many initiatives sponsored by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission. A non-partisan body within Dane County Government consisting of 10 members representing towns, villages, urban and rural areas all across Dane County, the Commission is charged with protecting and improving water quality as well as the scenic, economic, recreational and economic value of Dane County's water resources.

"Yahara Lakes Week is full of wonderful, fun things to do on our lakes and we hope people take advantage of some of the many terrific events that are planned," noted Susan Jones, Watershed Management Coordinator. "And this year, the Commission is also focusing on the adoption of the county-wide stormwater management ordinance, which will help protect our lakes and streams from run-off that carries pollutants to our waters. We want to be sure our children – and their children – can enjoy these lakes and streams in the future, and that means protecting them today."

Based on sound scientific evidence, hundreds of hours of public input and technical review, the ordinance was crafted by the Commission and has received very broad support since being introduced to the County Board on May 3. Now being reviewed by County Board committees, the earliest the full board could vote on the ordinance is mid-July.

"The Commission is working hard to maintain and improve the quality of all of Dane County's lakes, rivers and streams," said Shary Bisgard, Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission chair. "We believe we are making progress, we are pleased with the broad, non-partisan support our work is receiving."

Yahara Lakes Week will get underway on Saturday, June 16 with the popular annual "Take a Stake in the Lakes" clean–up event. Lakes & Watershed Commissioners and staff will join volunteers, both old and young, to clear debris, weeds and litter from the shores around Lakes Wingra, Mendota and Kegonsa. Over the years, hundreds of tons of weeds and garbage have been removed from Dane County Lakes during "Take a Stake in the Lakes," a unique combination of public equipment and private elbow grease.

Lakes Monona and Waubesa will be the focus of the June 23 "Take a Stake in the Lakes" clean-up.
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