waskington state lake images
March, 2016

Can public outreach really work to protect our lakes?

By Marisa Burghdoff

THE QUESTION: “WHAT CAN I DO FOR MY LAKE?”

We frequently hear this question from lake residents. More often than not the answer we give has something to do with reducing pollution on their property – maintaining septic systems, picking up pet waste, etc. These and similar best management practices (BMP’s) are often the focus of public outreach and education programs and a component of watershed management plans.

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Regional Lakes Conference a big success in Spokane

Northern ID-Eastern WA Regional Lakes ConferenceBy Jeremy Jenkins, Lake Protection Manager, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District

The 15th annual Eastern Washington/North Idaho Regional Lakes Conference was held on February 6th, 2016 at the Spokane Community College Student Union.

This year’s theme was Regional engagement for solutions to regional problems. Opening the event was David Stasney, Environmental Sciences Chair and Water Resource Program Instructor at Spokane Community College. He shared a video showcasing the College’s Water Resource Technology program and new tools and services they want to offer the community. By having students work on field data collection, or even projects involving permits, they will be prepared to jump right into the region’s water issues (pun intended!).

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Help us create and fund a statewide volunteer lake monitoring program!

With the start of a new year, the WALPA Board is renewing its efforts to seek funding for a statewide volunteer lake water quality monitoring program. At the 28th annual WALPA conference in Walla Walla last October, attendees discussed and generated ideas for volunteer lake monitoring, and considered how a program coordinated and administered through WALPA might look. This “visioning session” provided valuable feedback to the Board about the needs and benefits of volunteer lake monitoring, logistical aspects of volunteer coordination, technical components of water quality monitoring, and funding ideas.

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How do wildfires affect water quality?

By Amy Martin

With high temperatures and drought contributing to two dangerous fire seasons in Washington in the last two years, wildfires are becoming more familiar to land managers east and west of the Cascades. During 2014 and 2015, wildfires in Washington burned nearly 1.5 million acres. The impacts of these fires on surface water resources will vary, but a detailed summary of the science by Anthony Ranalli of USGS (see references) provides some insight into what trends may be observed over the next few years if these conditions persist.

 

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Statewide Volunteer Lake Water Quality Monitoring

The Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA) is scoping the present need and opportunity for developing a statewide volunteer lake water quality monitoring program. The purpose of this program is to provide consistent long-term data and information on Washington lakes that can be used to meet the needs of various management, scientific, and educational institutions.

 

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Let your voice be heard on issues important to you!

How and why to submit public comments

By Melissa Malott, Citizens for a Healthy Bay

On February 10, 2016, there was a public hearing in Tacoma on a proposed methanol refinery. The hearing was an early step in the decision-making process for this project, and the subject at hand was how broad the scope of environmental review should be. Late in the evening, a woman named Jori got up to speak. She said she was not sure exactly how to explain the issue she wanted reviewed, but that she wanted the city to consider how the larger public perception of Tacoma would change with the refinery. Jori’s comment took the conversation beyond the jobs vs. environment arguments that always seem to define these discussions. Her comment moved the crowd because it brought in concepts like community identity and cultural connections in a way that finally articulated the collective “ugh” expressed when people in Tacoma speak of this project.

 

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IN THIS ISSUE

March 2016 HOME

Can public outreach really work to protect our lakes?

Regional Lakes Conference a big success in Spokane

Help us create and fund a statewide volunteer lake monitoring program!

How do wildfires affect water quality?

Let your voice be heard on issues important to you!

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