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Madison Rhythm And Booms Takes Hit As Receiving Charity Pulls Out

March 24, 2014

There are many reasons to find concern with Rhythm & Booms that is scheduled to be presented from barges on Lake Monona this June.  Among the reasons that alarm many deal with the environmental consequences of this event.  Many are all giddy about the explosions from the fireworks over and onto Lake Monona–a body of water that so many claim to really love and respect.

Today a major receiving charity made news by pulling out of the Rhythm & Booms event.

The Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA), a private nonprofit working to improve water quality in the Yahara watershed, has pulled out of the Rhythm & Booms fireworks show.

The environmental awareness group — which was initially named as a receiving charity for the event run by Madison Festivals Inc. — quietly announced the move on its website in January.

In a short statement, the CLA thanked organizers for the offer to receive money but said it determined “that the nature of the fireworks event is not an appropriate match for the mission of our organization.”

Madison Festivals did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Clean Lakes Alliance pulling out. A spokesman for Mayor Paul Soglin also did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Clean Lakes Alliance move. 

I know that everyone talks a great deal about how the lakes that surround this city are natural treasures, and how we need to work overtime to make sure they are protected from environmental harm.  I could not agree more!  So it baffles me how dumping fireworks debris into the lake is a move that the city should be making plans for, and encouraging!

There is no doubt that tens of thousands will show up for the show that will allow for the closing of John Nolen.  The fireworks will be staged from barges on Lake Monona, and there will be wild cheers and applause.  It will be an impressive sight.

What will not be pondered that night as everyone looks up into the night sky is how perchlorate, the main chemical found in firework rockets, will break down into the lake.    There will be little thought given to the debris that will wash up  the shorelines, and how that all will be collected.  What impact will be made to the waters that Monona drains into?

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