Focal Point: Lakes
Our lakes are at the center of Dane County and are essential to protect. As a community we use them for recreation and connecting to nature, but for many flooding and rising lake levels can be devastating.
Larry will use his knowledge of Dane County as Chair of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission to work with communities to improve our lakes.
Starkweather Creek runs through the North/Eastside of Madison and is a true gem. Keeping Starkweather Creek a vibrant urban waterway is essential to maintaining lake water quality.
Lakes and Watershed
The heavy rains of late 2018 are still on the minds of many who live near lakes, creeks and wetlands. A “100-year” rain event has repeated many time over the past several years and it’s necessary to take this as a warning to change our land development and management practices.
As the Chair of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, I directly know the connection between how we developed and flooding. CARPC has worked to strengthen stormwater and infiltration practices throughout Dane County. Locally, the Hartmeyer Wetlands on Commercial Avenue near Oscar Mayer is an example of a wetland that has re-emerged since the closure of the plant. Dane County should be part of a coalition to conserve the area for all to enjoy.
Dane County must continue to find ways to keep the lake levels to the seasonal minimum levels and continue to sustainably dredge, such as the charmingly named “Suck the Muck” program and invest in mechanical aquatic plant harvesting to maintain flow capacity.
CARPC has also partnered to develop a Chloride Management Plan for Starkweather Creek. Use of winter deicing salt and water softener salt has increased the levels of Chloride in both the East and West Branches of Starkweather Creek. The Wisconsin DNR has added Starkweather Creek to the impaired waters list. CARPC is also actively working with Wisconsin Salt Wis to reduce the use of salt in our environment.