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East Green Lake Swimming raft sans diving boards - graph shows water level downward trend

IT'S NOT YOUR IMAGINATION! GREEN LAKE WATER LEVEL IS REALLY LOW AND GETTING LOWER. WHERE HAS ALL THE WATER GONE?

Photo and story courtesy of Seattle Greenlaker

By Sarah Lemmon

Have you noticed the level of Green Lake seems to be lower? It’s not your imagination. The Lake is so low in fact that in late July Seattle Parks Department had to remove the 3-meter diving boards from both East and West Green Lake. Why? The Parks Department confirmed that the drought has caused the level of the lake to lower dramatically.

Green Lake isn’t a deep lake. The deepest tends to be about 30 feet, but most if it is much shallower. We reached out to Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) to find out if they had depth information. According to FOGL who took data from the east side of the lake, not only is the lake level low but it is lower than the past few summers, that are also trending lower. See the Friends of Green Lake graph above.

Richard Fleming, President of Friends of Green Lake said “since the majority of water entering Green Lake comes from rainfall onto its surface, the effect of major rainfall is often seen as a rise in surface elevation… I must emphasize that while this summer the lake and the region are experiencing a substantive drought; in the prior two years the lake also experienced water levels well below what was casually observed in prior years.

"Thus, while the conditions this summer are more severe; 2013, 2014 and 2015 each show unusually low lake levels.” Fleming says that the change in the level can not be explained, despite discussing with both Seattle Public Utilities and the Seattle Parks Department. “In the up-coming elections, citizens may wish to ask candidates ‘Where has the water for Green Lake gone, and what is proposed to restore Green Lake water levels?’ Fleming said.

See this story and more on the Seattle Greenlaker blog.

HEADS UP! OPEN WATER SWIMMERS AND GREEN LAKE SPLASHERS - PARENTS OF KIDS AND DOGS WHO GET WET AT GREEN LAKE

Visitors can check status at new water quality signs installed at five sites around the lake.

Check them out before allowing children or pets near the water, and don't go near any water with algae scum.

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BLAST FROM THE PAST - ALGAE IN 2003

spacer August, 2003 before alum treatment
August, 2003 - Green Lake looked like pea soup but smelled like something else ...

Collecting petition signatures
A Friends of Green Lake member explains the alum treatment funding petition to a Park visitor. FOGL collected 1,500 signatures, enough to persuade the Mayor and City Council to include the 2004 alum treatment in the City Budget.

FUNDING FOR ONLY A GREEN LAKE STUDY IN 2015 CITY BUDGET

Councilmembers Jean Godden and Mike O'Brien sponsored a budget proposal to fund the studies and permitting necessary to treat Green Lake for toxic algae blooms. For three straight years, toxic algae blooms have kept swimmers and dogs out of the water in late summer and fall.

Many Green Lake users and supporters wrote letters to the City Council urging them to fund cleanup of the lake. In November, the City Council Budget Committee unanimously approved $300,000 to fund the studies of treatment options and permitting requirements.

This jewel of a lake will get studied in 2015, but funding for the actual treatment was not included in the 2015 budget.

Green Lake will actually be treated in spring 2016.

 

GL EVENTS & MEETINGS


Friends of Green Lake
FOGL meets at 7:00 PM on the fourth Tues each month:
The Hearthstone
Board Room, main floor
6720 E. Green Lake Way N

NO FOGL MEETING JULY OR AUGUST. DON'T MISS THE FOGL PICNIC POTLUCK TUES, JULY 28

Green Lake Community Council - GLCC meets at 7:00 PM in The Hearthstone Chapel (address above) on the second Wednesday of odd numbered months. Visit website
Green Lake Community Council

DISCUSSED AT FOGL MEETING JUNE 23, 2015

Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM

Introductions

Kevin Stoops, Retired - Parks Dept.
- Creating Green Lake Park 1900 - 1940

Richard Fleming - Recent activities at Green Lake

Andrea Watts / Maureen Kwolek - June 6 Work Party and possible July work party

Ellen Hewitt
- Webmaster's Report

Gayle Garman
- Treasurer's Report

Adjourn

No July meeting - picnic July 28?

No August meeting

Next Meeting Sept 22 - form nominating committee

Oct. 27 - Elections for Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer

Friends of Green Lake (FOGL) is a non-profit group in Seattle, Washington, whose mission is to ensure a healthy Green Lake for wildlife and recreation, for today and tomorrow.


REPORT ALGAE SCUM!


Report algae scum to Friends of Green Lake. If you can, get a photo and identify the specific location. FOGL will collect a sample and take it to DNR for ID and testing. Or call Sally Abella of King County DNR directly at 206-296-8382.

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PO Box 30544, Seattle, WA 98113

Updated September 1, 2015

©2013 Ellen Hewitt

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