General interest

Changing climate impacts our lakes

by Dea Larsen Converse, larsenconver@wisc.edu 

A recently released report on climate impacts to water resources in Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) shows that warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are impacting Wisconsin’s wealth of water resources. The last two decades have been the warmest on record in Wisconsin and the past decade has been the wettest.

“The warming climate is having an impact on water resources in Wisconsin. We need to increase the magnitude and urgency of actions to protect and restore habitat and enhance water quality to make Wisconsin’s waters more resilient to climate change.”

– Katie Hein, WICCI Water Resources Working Group Co-Chair

Yet, there is hope. The WICCI report suggests solutions to prepare for and minimize climate impacts to water resources, like increasing water storage across the landscape, installing green infrastructure, protecting wetlands, building outside of flood zones, and installing flood warning systems. Visit the Water Resources Working Group webpage to learn more. There is hope for the future, but it is up to us.

Read more here.

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Dea Larsen Converse is Communications Director for Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, a nationally recognized collaboration of scientists and stakeholders working together to help foster solutions to climate change in Wisconsin. 

Photo credit: Deer Lake Morning by Kevin Sink

Invasives

Aquatic Invasive Species 2022 Snapshot Day is August 20

Join the statewide search for aquatic invasive species!

This statewide, one-day event connects volunteers, water lovers, and local groups in a search for aquatic invasive species (AIS). You can help protect Wisconsin’s rivers and lakes from these invasive plants and animals that negatively impact habitat, wildlife, recreation and health. This event is coordinated in partnership with UW-Madison Division of Extension, River Alliance of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, local partners, and YOU!

Assisting in the search for aquatic invasive species in the area is a fantastic way for individuals to help out your local community and ecosystem, with no experience required! Volunteers can register for the location of their choosing; the NLDC will be participating in the “Manitowish Waters – Vilas County” location. For those who would like to learn more about the aquatic invasive species in the area, Emily Heald will be hosting an optional volunteer AIS training on August 12, 2022 from noon-1pm over Zoom (Click here to register).

For more information about the 2022 Snapshot Day, visit their website.

Best practices

Managing your lake shoreline buffers for healthy waters

06/28/2022 12:30 PM – 04:30 PM CT at the North Lakeland Discovery Center

Our Northwoods lakes have a protective shield – healthy shoreline buffers! Join Mariquita Sheehan, Conservation Specialist for the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Dept. as she surveys the Statehouse Lake shoreline to quantify the health of the buffer, identify areas that might need some modification, and make a plan to fix any problems we find. Take home skills and materials to use on your own shoreline buffers! This is a free workshop.  Registration appreciated by 6/26.

Aquatics

Attitudes toward aquatic invasive species

Photo credit: Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently produced a report about lakeshore property owners’ attitudes toward aquatic invasive species management strategies. The report, which summarizes the results of a survey taken by over 700 individuals identified as owning property on a lake in Wisconsin, includes numerous insights that can help lakeshore property owners and lake association leaders make management decisions consistent with their goals.

Read more “Attitudes toward aquatic invasive species”
News

Special COVID-19 Alert

Vilas County issues advisory to seasonal homeowners.

On March 20, 2020, the Vilas County Public Health Official declared that a Public Health Emergency exists in Vilas County. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national spread of the COVID-19 virus, Vilas County Government issued the following inter-county Travel Advisory. It urged seasonal or second home owners to stay away from the area due to high community transmission in outside areas. It also noted the very limited healthcare infrastructure in Vilas County and the high population of older adults that are most vulnerable as other factors for issuing the advisory.

Read more “Special COVID-19 Alert”

Events

2020 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Online Learning Event

Focusing on Resilient Lakes and Rivers is the theme for this year’s annual Lakes & River Convention. The lakes focus of this annual event has been broadened to include rivers and streams, in recognition of the importance of a full watershed approach to caring for our natural waters.

The event will be held on April 1-3, as originally planned; however, the format has been shifted from a in-person convention to an Online Learning Event due to the coronavirus.

Read more “2020 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Online Learning Event”