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The Yahara Watershed is one of the best studied water systems in the world. Despite deep awareness and understanding, it is still designated as an “impaired” waterway; its water quality is poor. Toxic algae blooms, choking weeds, and unstoppable invasive species are commonplace. Climate change is pronouncing the urgency of these problems. This is the truth of the watershed. But that is just part of story. Watersheds are complex networks of interconnected stories that meander, pool, and flood to form a unified narrative. Also contained within the watershed is the beauty of the community relying on it for recreation, balance, and sustenance. Through their stories, the environmental legacy, complexity, and urgency become relevant, understandable, and approachable.





Finn Ryan


Additional Footage

Stephen Spurlock
Jack Whaley


Mike Palzkill



Jessica Becker


S. Carey



Art & Sons


The River Alliance of Wisconsin is the fiscal sponsor of the Yahara Project.
River Alliance is a 501(c)3 organization working to empower people to protect and restore water.


The Yahara Project would like to thank the following for their support:


Center for Limnology - University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dane County

City of Madison

Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club

University of Wisconsin Women’s Rowing


Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison

Madison Pond Hockey