The efforts to keep Dane County’s lakes in pristine condition continues with the new partnership between the county and Monona.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was joined by city administrator Bryan Gadow Thursday at Schluter Beach to announce the expansion of the blue waters barge program. In addition to 22-miles of shoreline on lakes Monona and Mendota in Madison, the barges will now remove debris along the four miles of Monona shoreline and more than eight miles of shoreline around Lake Kegonsa.

The pick-up is part of an effort to reduce the amount of phosphorous materials in the lake. Last year, the county collected 217 loads of debris from the Madison shorelines.

“This is a barge program that’s in addition to our regular weed cutting and aquatic plant harvesting,” Parisi said. “This helps us in keeping our shorelines clean, keeping our beaches clean.”

Dane County Supervisor Tanya Buckingham, who represents Monona, said it’s exciting to have the program expand. She said several constituents who have contacted her and are looking forward to ensuring the lake weeds are collected.

“It matters for our beaches as well,” Buckingham said.

Gadow noted Monona is excited to be part of the partnership to coordinate the effort to remove debris from the shores.

“This really reinforces our joint responsibility as good stewards of these valuable resources we all enjoy,” the city administrator said.

Crews from Dane County Land & Water Resources Department will collect aquatic vegetation and other lakeshore related debris along the water from Monona residences’ piers on a twice-a-month schedule starting Monday and continuing July 15, July 29, Aug. 12 and Aug 29. Vegetation must be placed on a resident’s pier by 7 a.m. of the week of designated pickup. Crews will not pick up yard waste, brush, or household waste.

Gadow said lakeside residents who would like notification reminders of the pick-up schedule should click on the “Notify Me” link on the Monona website and sign up under the “Brush Collection & Lake Weed Pickup” list.

Monona is expected to pitch in $5,000 for the program. Gadow said the funds for the blue water barges was not in the 2019 budget, but will be paid for out of the storm water utility fund.

For more information about Dane County’s Aquatic Plant Management Harvesting Program, visit https://wred-lwrd.countyofdane.com/Aquatic-Plant-Management.

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