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Water Management Associations
Statewide Initiative to Curb Runoff Pollution
The Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Extension Lakes Program, and a statewide nonprofit called Wisconsin Lakes are together spearheading an initiative that aims to help protect Wisconsin's lakes from runoff pollution.

The Healthy Lakes Initiative, launched by the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership in November, will focus on curbing the "nonpoint source pollution" that comes from streets, parking lots and farms across the state. The pollution has been responsible for causing algae blooms and a general decline in water quality in Wisconsin lakes.

According to the DNR's Pamela Toshner, the initiative promotes five simple and inexpensive techniques that lakeshore property owners can employ on their land to protect and improve water quality and habitat:

• "Fish Sticks." Grouped-together whole trees are anchored to the shore, either fully or partially submerged.
• "Native Plantings." Native shrubs, trees, and flowers are planted along the shore, promoting habitats for birds and butterflies.
• "Diversion." A trench is used to intercept runoff from paths and roads, diverting it to areas where water can filter into the ground.
• "Rock Infiltration." A pit or trench filled with rocks reduces runoff and stores it underground to be soaked up slowly.
• "Rain Garden." A garden with loose soil collects roof and driveway runoff.

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