Category Archive: Narrow

Posts that are formatted for the narrow 228 pixel columns.

Blast From the Past – Algae in 2003

August, 2003 – Green Lake looked like pea soup but smelled like something else.

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 Study 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 the actual treatment was not included in the 2015 budget.

With the allocation of adequate funding in the 2015 budget, Green Lake could be treated in spring 2015 instead of 2016.

Friends of Green Lake would like to see action taken on the alum treatment in 2015, to prevent closures in the summer and fall of 2015.

We urge the City Council and Parks Department to continue to explore what options may exist for keeping Green Lake open in 2015.

Report Toxic Blue-Green Algae Blooms

The Washington Dept of Ecology has started a program to test blue-green algae blooms for toxicity. Any blooms in Green Lake should be reported so they can be recorded and tested. The bloom usually looks pea-green, and can be scum or filaments or small spheres.

blue-green algae looking green

Toxic blue-green algae looks pea-green in this Feb. 2008 Green Lake photo.

As the cells die, they can release pigment that is a striking blue, as seen in the photo below. Digital photos help document the bloom and can determine whether to sample. Contact Gayle Garman/Richard Fleming (206-525-1974), Sally Abella (206-296-8382, or Tricia Shoblom (425-649-7288) to report a bloom.

bright blue algae scum

Dec. 2007 close-up photo of the toxic blue-green algae in Green Lake.

The 2007 bloom was sampled by the County Dept. of Natural Resources and was predominantly Anabaena flos-aquiae, which can produce a neurotoxin. Shoreline accumulations also were seen Jan. and Feb. 2008. The blue-greens float to the surface, are pushed around the lake by the wind, then accumulate at the shoreline. The toxin may persist in the water a week or more after the bloom. The best way to minimize possible animal poisonings by the blooms is to keep animals away from the affected waters.