Sen. Baldwin surveys algae blooms on Lake Menomin, vows to help clean the water

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Menomonie (WQOW) – Blue green algae has long been an issue on Lake Menomin. On Thursday, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) got a look at the problem first hand.

Algae blooms are a problem throughout Wisconsin.

A bloom was spotted earlier this month at Lake Eau Claire. Luckily, that issue has since been resolved.

On Lake Menomin, the problem persists.

Liz Usborne, the president of Tainter Menomin Lake Improvement Association said the algae affects the summer recreation season because it isn’t safe for people or pets to swim in.

Usborne said the algae also produces an offensive smell which drives people away from the lake.

Residents are hoping federal support can help rid them of the problem.

Usborne said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

“It’s more like a pound of phosphorus can feed 500 pounds of algae. So, if we can keep that pound of phosphorus up on the landscape where it feeds our lawns and our crops instead of the algae in the lake that is what we would prefer,” Usborne said.

Thursday, Usborne and city leaders informed Baldwin on the algae’s impact on tourism and the real estate market and expressed their hope Baldwin can help return the lake into a place where kids can swim again.

“There are some folks that are determined to be part of the solution and to bring others in and to create partnerships whether it’s right here in Menomonie or with county, state and federal programs because we’re only going to solve this if we work together,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said she plans to take the information she collected back to Washington D.C. to see if there is a way for the federal government to help.

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee

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