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Algae Scum at Green Lake. Photos courtesy of Garet Munger and Karen Schurr

WARNING SIGNS UP AT GREEN LAKE! NO SWIMMING, WADING, WET WATER BOATING.

On Sep 12, 2014 Seattle Park Department posted signs around Green Lake advising visitors that the lake is closed to wading, swimming, and wet water boating activities. The lake remains open to fishing (though fish should be thoroughly cleaned) and boating in stable boats. And the lake remains open for Green Lake Crew to continue their training on the lake.

This closure, which remains in effect as of this date October 24, 2014, was in response to test results from samples collected on September 11, 2014, that showed a high level of microcystin, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria commonly known as blue-green algae growing in the lake. Earlier advisory signs had been posted on August 22, only advising visitors of the potential hazard from the green scum and to "Be Alert -- If in Doubt Stay Out."



Milfoil and Algae Scum at Green Lake. Photo courtesy of Karen Schurr

The King County Department of Natural Resources is continuing weekly sample collection and analyses for the lake. The most recent test results for samples collected on September 26 show microcystin levels to be well in excess of the guidance limits for recreational activities in the lake. Test results for Green Lake are posted at the nwtoxicalgae.org site.

This site lists historical test results as well as the most recent. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the most recent testing. The page is updated as testing of samples is completed. Sample collection from Green Lake is currently being conducted on a weekly schedule. Health Department guidelines require that closures remain in effect until testing shows that the microcystin level is below the guidance level of 6.0 ug/L for three consecutive weeks. Visitors to Green Lake are advised to heed the warning signs and keep yourself, children, and pets out of the water. Additionally it is wise to keep in mind that the cyanobacteria (blue green algae) may show up at other times during the year. It is wise to always heed the caution to: Be Alert and if in Doubt Stay out.


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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 GREEN LAKE INCLUDED IN 2015 CITY BUDGET

Councilmember Jean Godden and Councilmember 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 approved $300,000 in funding for Green Lake by a vote of 9-0.

This jewel of a lake will get studied in 2015, but funding for treatment was not included in the 2015 budget. Past experience has shown that the lake will most likely continue to suffer toxic algae blooms and recreational closures during late summer and fall 2015.

With the allocation of adequate funding in the 2016 budget, Green Lake could be treated in spring 2016. A successful alum treatment in 2003 brought eight years of clear water.

The Friends of Green Lake urges the City Council and Parks Department to continue to explore what options may exist for keeping Green Lake open in 2015 as well.

 

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

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 <br>

AGENDA FOR FOGL MEETING NOV. 25, 2014

Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM

Introductions

Richard Fleming
- New Officers
- Recording Secretary Unfilled
- Recent Activities at Green Lake
- Mission Statement, Comments on FOGL's role

Rob Zisette
- Review of Jean Jacoby's presentation at WALPA 2014 Conference: Factors Associated with Microcystin in 9 Lakes in the Puget Sound Lowland Region

Andrea Watts
- Shoreline Restoration and Maintenance: Recent Projects, Up-coming Projects

Richard Fleming
- On-going Monitoring - in Brief
- Monitoring Chair?

Richard Fleming
- 2014-16 Agenda - Managing Green Lake

As Time Allows
Ellen Hewitt - Webmaster's Report
Gayle Garman Treasurer's Report

Next Meeting January 27, 2015

Adjourn

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.

TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE OF THE LAKE

Author Joan Burton, whose latest family hiking book Best hikes with KIDS is in its sixth printing, has created a number of urban walks for families. Her Green Lake Urban Walk takes you around Green Lake with a description of the history, flora, and fauna along the way.
Click here
to print out a brochure guide.

REPORT ALGAE SCUM WHEN YOU SEE IT!!

Report algae scum to Friends of Green Lake (206-524-4326) or call Sally Abella, King County DNR (206-296-8382.)

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PO Box 30544, Seattle, WA 98113

Updated November 24, 2014

2013 Ellen Hewitt

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