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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 2, 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.

Lake monitoring
FOGL members standing on a Green Lake dock use the Secchi disk to measure water clarity.

Alum barge
March 2004
Alum Treatment Barge
.
Heavy algae could be seen along the path before the alum treatment


The alum treatment done in March 2004 was designed to last 10 years. And it has lasted 10 years. Friends of Green Lake continues to support efforts to keep Green Lake beautiful and healthy. The time has come for action.

 

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

NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING IS TUESDAY OCT 28, 2014

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


AGENDA FOR FOGL MEETING OCT. 28, 2014

Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM

Introductions

Announcements

The puzzle of managing lakes when algae blooms are both toxic and patchy: Green Lake as a case study in difficult choices
- Presentation by Sally Abella, King County Department of Natural Resources

Algae bloom status

Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) trout planting status

Important Board Member Vote

Other activities and updates

Next meeting Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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 two-page brochure guide you can staple together back to back, fold up, and tuck in your pocket.

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 October 23, 2014

2013 Ellen Hewitt

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