GLA Annual Meeting
ANNUAL MEETING: JUNE 19, 2021
Thank you to those who attended our Annual Meeting in person or virtually!
Since our Annual Meeting on June 19, we are thrilled to have more than 800 households tune in to the video to learn about the current state of Green Lake, and more than 50 in-person attendees received updates from Stephanie Prellwitz, Executive Director, and Kent DeLucenay, President of the Board of Directors.
This level of community involvement means that we are able to convey the urgency of Green Lake's needs and the GLA's response to more individuals who share our passion in preserving this amazing natural resource that's at the heart of our community.
With so much great information at this year’s meeting, here are seven key takeaways about the state of the lake and how Green Lake can be helped.
7 KEY TAKEWAYS: 2021 ANNUAL MEETING
The state of Big Green Lake is at risk. Green Lake’s water quality is worsening from the clean state it was just generations ago. Human pressures have degraded the lake’s water quality, and more intense, more frequent rain events are an added strain to water quality. While some issues are visible—like shoreline weed growth, algae, and zebra mussels—others issues are unseen—like the increase in phosphorus that robs the lake of oxygen, which is essential for sustaining aquatic life.
In order to reach baseline water quality goals, Green Lake’s phosphorus loading must be cut by 50%. The GLA and Lake Management Planning (LMP) partners are implementing conservation practices to protect Green Lake’s water quality, but efforts need to be scaled up—and the pace at which they are implemented must be increased.
Green lake’s incredible volume has shielded us from some of the more serious water quality challenges currently facing neighboring lakes. Madison lakes have already had several public beach closures this year because of harmful algal blooms. Green Lake is not to this level of degradation yet, but the lake is showing concerning signs of declining water quality.
The impacts of Green Lake’s water quality extend beyond the water’s edge. The state of Green Lake’s water quality affects the state of our economy, including local revenue, tax base, and property values. These factors affect our government’s ability to plow our roads, fund our schools, and support our community.
The time to act is now. We must act now, before the lake hits a tipping point one day that would be nearly impossible to recover from and change the lake as we know it—both today and for future generations. Before we chart a course toward a lake that is degraded to a point that it can’t be restored, we have to take actions to protect water quality now.
Efforts must be substantially scaled up to improve Green Lake’s water quality. Due to Green Lake’s large volume and the quickening pace to the problems it faces, there is lag time between how we act today and the health of the lake in the future. While the GLA and its LMP partners have invested in the right approaches, the scale has been insufficient to make a measurable improvement of lake phosphorus levels and Green Lake’s overall water quality. Collectively, we have to do more lake-protecting projects to make progress. These conservation practices are needed across the entire 107 square mile drainage area and across all land uses—from our cities, to our shorelines, to our farm fields. Cutting-edge interception or extraction of phosphorus may also play a role.
It’s up to us—our community, our generation—to take action. For 70 years, the GLA has been working to protect Green Lake, but we can’t do it alone. It’s up to all of us to ensure that our treasured lake is protected and preserved. While the state of our beloved lake is at risk, our proud community and our strong commitment and dedication to caring for Big Green are the keys to our success.
In the meantime, we encourage our members to:
1) Share the video with your neighbors, friends, and family to amplify our work on behalf of Green Lake.
2) Read through 10 ways you can take immediate action for Big Green in your own yard.
Again, we thank you for your support and engagement!
In case you didn't have a chance to watch, you still can!