waskington state lake images
December, 2021

It took a village to create another great WALPA conference!

by Rob Zisette, Immediate Past President

Once again this fall, WALPA held its annual conference online, this time with the theme “It Takes a Village” on October 20-22, 2021. In response to the rise in COVID-19 cases, we pivoted in early September from holding the conference in-person in Richland to having it live online via Zoom. We reduced the professional registration fee from $165 to $100 and gave those already registered the option of donating the difference to student scholarships. We had good attendance at 101 participants.


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News from the WALPA Board

by Jen Oden, Board President

I would like to give a huge thank you to the entire WALPA board for getting through another pandemic year with all of its unknowns and limitations. I want to thank our outgoing board members, Sally Abella (Past President), Joan Hardy (Secretary), Avery Shinneman, and Mark Sytsma for their contributions and dedication to WALPA. I would like to give a warm welcome our new WALPA board directors Curtis DeGasperi, Drew Stang, Katie Sweeney, and Jeremy Walls. I am also excited about our new President-elect Matt Colston, and incoming Secretary Katie Ruthenberg.


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Stop Starry Stonewort campaign enlists public to halt spread of aggressive invasive


starry stonewort 1Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) is a non-native algal species in North America and an aggressive aquatic invasive species (AIS). Scientists first discovered starry stonewort in the U.S. in 1978 in New York. Now found in nine states and more than 1,700 waterbodies in North America, it is among the most concerning AIS species.


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Dear Dr. Waterline: Why is this pond pink?

Dear Dr Waterline,

As I was driving by the local swamp near Klahanee a few winters ago, I saw that the water surface was colored bright pink! I was worried someone had dumped paint into the water and thought about calling Washington Department of Ecology to report a spill. However, the next time I drove by there, it was gone, so I never did. Should I have called to report? Here are some pictures I took at the time.


Concerned Citizen

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Research shows potential for bioretention while protecting water quality


by Dylan Ahearn and Joy Michaud, Herrera Environmental Consultants

As many Waterline readers know, Herrera Environmental Consultants has been advancing lake science and management and advocating for Washington lakes since the company’s inception over 30 years ago. Waterline readers may not know that Herrera has also been leading much of the regional research on stormwater treatment technology and design. Our recent groundbreaking research into improving nutrient removal of bioretention cells (i.e., roadside swales) combines our stormwater expertise with lake management needs.

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Announcements from the Board


Curious about an aquatic plant you’re seeing in your favorite lake? Wondering why your lake was closed this summer? Or do you just want to know more about what happens to a lake as the seasons change? To submit your burning questions, follow this link and fill out the form.

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