Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds
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What You Can Do

Dane County lakes, streams and wetlands are prized resources that require good stewardship from everyone to protect and improve them for future generations. Many of our individual activities and land use practices can affect these waters, and so we must always be conscious of what we are doing in our watersheds so that conditions do not deteriorate further. Some good stewardship ideas for you:

  • Limit your use of pesticides and commercial fertilizers on gardens, lawns and fields. Fertilize according to soil analysis recommendations and carefully follow label instructions.
  • Minimize soil erosion by installing conservation practices such as grassed waterways, contour strip crops, terraces, and riprap on steep streambanks.
  • Keep empty cans, bottles, and trash out of gutters, storm sewers and lakes and streams.
  • Alert officials if you observe spills or conditions that look potentially dangerous, or severe erosion from construction sites.
  • Divert your roof downspouts to the lawn or a gravel drain; do not direct them to a street, driveway or paved surface leading to a storm sewer.
  • Wash your car in a location where the water will slowly infiltrate, such as the lawn or gravel area.
  • Take automobile oils to a recycling center. Don't drain oil onto the streets.
  • Obey fishing, boating and shoreline regulations.
  • Compost or mulch your leaves and grass clippings, or at least bag them for pickup. Keep leaves out of the street gutters.
  • Join a local water-related interest group. (find out which are near you, here)
  • Connect with a volunteer opportunity at www.takeastake.org
  • Keep in touch with your local officials about the importance of lake and stream water quality. The quality of our waters depends on adequate continuing action and funding for maintenance and protection.

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Yahara Waterways Trail Guide The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.