Open letter to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers:
As a concerned member of the Geneva Lake community, I submit this letter urging the Wisconsin DNR to step in and protect Lake Geneva from an ecological disaster. Starry stonewort (SSW), an invasive and incredibly destructive species of algae, has been detected in Trinke Estates Lagoon, and we need quick action to ensure it does not spread into Geneva Lake. We are disappointed that the DNR has not enforced a plan to fight the spread of SSW. The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency (GLEA) announced its appeal late last year for grants and funding assistance for a multi-faceted abatement program, which includes hydraulic dredging, our only hope of possibly removing the infestation. The DNR started on the right track by presenting a responsible eradication plan. The problem is, they also offered a secondary plan of chemical treatments, which has unfortunately become the chosen method – and the hydraulic dredging has since been canceled. We are especially frustrated to learn that the DNR, whose core purpose is to protect our state’s natural resources, supports using potentially harmful chemicals in the lake as an interim measure.
The ecological damage that SSW will cause in Geneva Lake will devastate our local economy, as the lake is one of the state’s premier tourist destinations and a critical component of the state’s economic health. There is a short window of opportunity to stop the spread of this invasive organism before it can become well-established and spoil the health, beauty, and vitality of our cherished Geneva Lake. This is going to take a determined and collaborated effort by the Geneva Lake community and state agencies. I urge the DNR to partner with our community to quarantine Trinke Estates Lagoon and to support hydraulic dredging for the following key reasons:
• Starry stonewort has devastating impacts on the lakes it infiltrates, blocking sunlight and depriving native phytoplankton of the life-sustaining nutrients needed for aquatic plants;
• The algae spreads rapidly and can thrive on the surface of waters as deep as 20 feet, making it a severe threat to key portions of Geneva Lake.
• Recreational activities – boating, swimming, and fishing – become virtually impossible in lakes overtaken by this species.
• As an interim measure in lieu of dredging, officials propose using chemical treatments; these treatments are harmful and ineffective because SSW’s reproductive organs take root down under the sediment where chemicals can’t reach.
• Research has found SSW recolonizes itself in 3 to 5 days after treatment.
The logical interim measure is to quarantine the lagoons; The level of damage SSW will cause in Geneva Lake will devastate our local economy and destroy one of the state’s premier sources of tourism dollars.
Casey Schiche, president of Care for Lake Geneva
Burlington Chocolate City USA presents Chocolate Fest 2019! Friday, May 24th, through Sunday, May 27th, at the Burlington Festival Grounds.
The Chocolate Fest will open on Thursday, May 23rd from 5-10 pm for carnival rides only. You can look forward to all the fair fun you can handle including a chocolate experience tent filled with any and all things chocolate, rides, games, contests, live entertainment, fabulous fair food, and don’t forget the traditional Memorial Day Parade on Monday at 9 a.m. Only nine miles from Lake Geneva, This festival is a big deal and a great way to start the summer.