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
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.
BLAST FROM THE PAST - ALGAE
August, 2003 - Green Lake looked like pea soup but smelled like something
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:
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
AGENDA FOR FOGL MEETING
NOV. 25, 2014
Room opens for socializing and conversation at 6:45 PM
- New Officers
- Recording Secretary Unfilled
- Recent Activities at Green Lake
- Mission Statement, Comments on FOGL's role
- Review of Jean Jacoby's presentation at WALPA 2014 Conference: Factors Associated with Microcystin in 9 Lakes in the Puget Sound Lowland Region
- Shoreline Restoration and Maintenance: Recent Projects, Up-coming Projects
- On-going Monitoring - in Brief
- Monitoring Chair?
- 2014-16 Agenda - Managing Green Lake
As Time Allows
Ellen Hewitt - Webmaster's Report
Gayle Garman Treasurer's Report
Next Meeting January 27, 2015
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.
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.)