Winter-2011 Issue of FOLW Newsletter just released
The Friends of Lake Wingra is a volunteer organization with an important educational and outreach mission to “promote a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community. As usual, the FOLW Newsletter published some interesting articles and updates on their work to improve the ecological integrity of the Lake Wingra watershed. This issue features stories on:
Update on Lake Wingra water clarity and aquatic plants
Effects of climate change on lakes
Five myths about road salt
The fascinating reproductive habits of water celery
The winter 2011 FOLW Newsletter also has an article: “New Pond Protects Arboretum and Lake Wingra” about the Secret Pond (a topic that we have covered extensively in this blog). The short news note describes the aspirational goals of the storm water management project and not project reality and results. This is so because it’s simply too soon to know if the planted wetland area referred to can, or will be, restored. That outcome–if it happens–will be way off in the future. (See my blog post about the uncertainty and difficulty of wetland restoration,)
The storm water pond in question is referred to by this blog as the City of Madison/Nakoma Road storm water pond, and so named for several reasons: 1) because the majority of the storm water flowing into the pond originates in the City of Madison; 2) the City of Madison Engineering Department was a key proponent of the project; 3) The City of Madison was a significant funder (approximately $500,000) of the project; and 4) because the site is located on Nakoma Road, in Madison.
As for the claim, or hope, that the pond will capture 60% of urban storm water sediment entering the site, this blogger would just say:
Ask to see the real-life, before and after monitoring results from this site. Don’t settle for modeling results that purport to speak for this particular site. Just ask to see the data from this site.
You could ask for monitoring results on effectiveness of the pond, and progress toward meeting the stated goals, from the City of Madison Engineering Department, UW-Madison Facilities Planning and Management (also a project proponent) or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, storm water management section.