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Dane County to buy 160 acres of land to expand Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton will expand by 160 acres as Dane County moves to buy adjacent farmland and restore it to natural prairie, which will have the added benefit of absorbing more rainwater that would otherwise run off into Lake Mendota.

By replanting prairie on the land, the county expects to reduce about 550 pounds of phosphorus and other nutrient runoff each year that would have made it into the lakes if the land were still farmed. Phosphorus runoff is one of the leading causes of algae blooms in the lakes.

With the other funds, the county is continuing efforts to utilize aquatic weed harvester to remove vegetation from the Yahara River, which clogs the flow of water through the lake system. The county also plans to begin dredging sediment from the Yahara River bed, which has built up from urban stormwater runoff into the lakes and also clogged the water flow.


 
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What Role Can Oysters Play to Help Improve Water Quality? - With the experimental introduction of oysters, which can filter 50 gallons of water daily, residents hope they will improve water clarity and reduce the intensity and prevalence of harmful algal blooms on Georgica Pond.


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