Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is it All a Dream?

After conducting six interviews with policy actors and spending weeks talking to local residents about Lake Menomin, I’m feeling more and more torn. Many people that I’ve spoken to have told me that the lake is unusually clear this season because of the increased rainfall and I know that I did not truly believe that the lake could become so green until I saw a growing patch of algae myself. I look at the lake on beautiful days like the one in this picture and I can’t help but feel a sense of wonder that something so beautiful can become so mucky.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Caution! Water Quality Advisory

As Kyle and I have traveled around the Red Cedar River watershed in the last four weeks one thing keeps resurfacing anytime you get near a lake, river, or even small streams such as Tiffany Creek in Boyceville: "CAUTION! WATER QUALITY ADVISORY". In all caps of course.

It seemed that no matter where we went we couldn't escape the wrath of the blue-green algae and streams with high sediment loads. Until today that is. We spent our day collecting water samples and discharge measurements in just the Wilson Creek watershed that empties directly into Lake Menomin. Following Wilson Creek and its many tributaries as close to their headwaters as we could collecting samples that will be analyzed for concentration of both soluble reactive phosphorus and total phosphorus along the way to determine primary sources in the watershed. And along the way we found some beautiful streams with perfectly clean water and other small streams chalked with sediment.

Time to run the samples and do the route again in a week or two and look for patterns throughout the Wilson Creek Watershed.

Blake Lea

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Food for Thought

Food makes me incredibly happy. There's a switch that turns off most of the functioning in my brain when I'm hungry, and then there's another switch that turns on the second I see a colorful meal of fruits and vegetables in front of me.