Minutes for October 23, 2012 Meeting

Meeting Summary
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 7:00-9:00 PM
The Hearthstone, 6720 East Green Lake Way N
Board Room

Recorder: Davis Patterson

Sue SilbernagelGaret MungerRob ZisetteBernie SilbernagelKevin StoopsDebra BouchardLinda NobleDiane McDadeSusan LevyMarcia NormanKristi ParkBrian De LucaKaren SchurrMichael CornellEllen HewittBryan TothDavis Patterson


Presentation on Cyanobacteria in Green Lake: Debra Bouchard, Water Quality Planner, King County DNRP/WLRD/STS/WQQ Freshwater Assessment Group

  • Alum treatment applied in 2004, reducing dissolved phosphorus content. Since that treatment, lake has been generally clean.
  • Parks Dept. closed lake to activities involving water contact on October 2 because of algae bloom.
  • Debra distributed a packet of information about blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) and brought brochures.
  • Algae increasing globally, expected with climate change. Increased stratification and more algae blooms in this region.
  • Debra reviewed identification of toxic bloom, reporting suspected blooms (algae does not always create toxins, only identifiable through testing [free through DNR]); risks to humans and dogs, and symptoms; testing process; and Green Lake results.
  • If October 22 results are below guidance level, this meets the 2-week requirement of successive acceptable readings (Oct. 16 test was below guidance level), and restrictions will be removed.
  • Tested vacuuming and filtering process to see if it would be possible to clean a small area if the scum is not widespread. The filtering process appeared successful. A question remains about what to do with the water collected; possible to spread on the ground; not in a drain.
  • Phosphorus levels have not changed over time since 2005, so this does not seem to indicate that the alum treatment is failing.
  • Green Lake appears moderately clear over time according to Secchi disk measurements.
  • Nitrogen has been rising over time; unclear whether a cause or effect.
  • Higher temperature, higher nutrients, still waters tend to trigger blue-green algae growth, but toxin production trigger is not understood.

Questions and Discussion

  • Brian De Luca: FOGL was a grassroots group arising to address a continuing problem in Green Lake. FOGL’s purpose is to prevent it from getting so bad again. This requires public awareness as well, given that for years since the alum treatment, the water quality has been good.
  • Garet: Are there additional tests that should be done, or that we should be advocating for?
  • Rob: It is time to plan for the next treatment. It would be useful for FOGL to promote the development of a lake management plan: blue-green algae, milfoil, shoreline habitat.
  • Kevin: If FOGL continues to press the city, some of these things could be accomplished.
  • Debra: Has the group considered a lake management district as a form of funding? A taxing district to fund these management issues.
  • Rob: It would be challenging to figure out how to tax, given that it’s surrounded by a public park.
  • Kevin: We know (Parks Dept.) that we will need to do another alum treatment soon.
  • Garet: Are there things we could do to detect changes in algae to provide evidence to the city?
  • Rob: It’s been 10 years since we’ve had a beach closure. This is very significant and something we need to bring to attention of powers that be.
  • Susan: What does FOGL need to do to keep the lake quality higher on the city’s list of priorities?
  • Kevin: A well-crafted letter in the next few months to let the city know that it needs to plan: permit process, work with the public to educate, allocate budget for a capital expense. If we start now, there is possibility of a treatment in 2 or 3 years.
  • Susan: The lake closure is a good trigger to do this.
  • Brian: When we started, we were able to characterize the cleaning of Green Lake as a social issue: Green Lake is a meeting place, healthy social interaction, recreation, a legitimate social cause for people to have meaningful recreation. But this is only true if the lake is healthy. The use of the park is sensitive to lake cleanliness. This position helped us to win over other causes, as a social cause, not just a health issue. We need to carry this message proactively back to the city, if it wants to claim it’s a gem the city can be proud of. Businesses around the lake can suffer. Health of the lake is essential to the health of the community.
  • Kristi: There may be more techniques for management in addition to alum, such as the lake management plan that was mentioned.

Treasurer’s Report: Karen Schurr

  • No activity since last month except interest on checking and savings accounts. See separate detail. Balance $6,115.03.
  • Fundraising has been conducted in the past by selling t-shirts, ball caps, and through donations.
  • Expenses: postal box, web site, no charge for meeting room.

Elections: Karen Schurr

  • Every year we elect 2 or 3 officers. This year: president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary
  • Nominating committee: Ellen, Brian, Karen
  • Nominations:
    • President: Brian and Garet
    • Recording secretary: Davis
    • Corresponding secretary: Ellen
  • Brian talked about his background/experience with the organization, and qualifications, and reservations. Brian supports Garet’s candidacy: good ideas, new blood, motivated, skilled. He would like FOGL to keep sight of its original commission. We’re not an alternative to Parks Dept. or GLCC. We’ve been successful because of our focus. When the park is successful, the community is successful.
  • Garet: The lake/park has to be the focus, but I would see it slightly broader. Things happening outside the lake have an impact on what happens to the lake. We may want to at least get started on lake management plan: water quality, habitat area, public education. Get people excited and worried that the lake won’t stay as clean as it is without more effort by more people and money.
  • A vote by show of hands elected Garet president, Davis recording secretary, Ellen corresponding secretary.
  • The president appoints a vice president until there’s an election. Treasurer position will also be open in November; Gayle is interested in the position.


  • Garet: The Green Lake Gobble fun run is a fundraiser for Union Gospel Mission, November 18. Gayle suggests FOGL set up a booth. Garget thinks updating of information should be done ahead of time. An opportunity for public education.Susan: It would be good to have a plan about what FOGL wants to portray for its public outreach, spend time planning this.

    Garet proposes giving ourselves more time to prepare for a target event. Brochure needs updating, etc.

    Susan: Volunteered to help with printing/t-shirts if done through union shops, made in USA. If someone gives her design (t-shirts, caps, orange vests with logo for work parties), she will research prices/options. Karen will send information/logo to Susan.

  • Kristi: Advocated for using Facebook and Twitter for public education. Davis has interest in working on this.