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  • WATERLINE - June, 2021

    News from the Board: Spring 2021

    by Rob Zisette, WALPA Board President

    The WALPA board meets on the first Tuesday of each month at noon. We try to summarize the current activities of six committees and several special projects in one hour. Please contact President Rob Zisette if you would like to attend a meeting. 

    Recent meeting highlights include:

    The Conference Committee is busy planning for our 34th annual conference from October 20-22, 2021 in Richland. The theme will be It Takes a Village to Understand, Protect, and Restore Lakes. We are actively soliciting abstracts for the technical program, developing workshops, and gathering donations for the auction and raffle. We are pleased to announce that our plenary speaker is Justin Bush, Executive Coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council for the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. Planning is underway for a workshop and technical sessions on invasive species, a lake management workshop, and a technical session on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Please email committee chair Jen Oden if you have questions or can help with any aspect of the conference.

    The Communications/Waterline/Website Committee is developing Waterline content, updating our website, and working to expand our social media presence. We are excited to introduce the “Ask Dr. Waterline” feature in this Waterline – see related story and send the doctor your questions. Please share your ideas for future Waterline articles with committee chair Sally Abella.

    The Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Committee developed a membership survey to learn more about the background and interests of our members and a demographic survey to document the composition of our current membership. The committee also developed a code of conduct to help ensure that all WALPA meetings and events are welcoming, respectful, inclusive, and collaborative. Please participate in the surveys and contact committee chair Angela Strecker with any questions.

    The Scholarship Committee sent scholarship announcements to universities in Washington and Idaho. Applications were due by May 15 and the scholarships will offer students the same levels of funding as in recent years. Please contact committee chair Mark Sytsma with any questions.

    The Membership/Nominations/Election Committee is gathering nominations for officer and director openings in October and updating our lake association database and Locator Map. Please contact committee chair Katie Ruthenberg with nominations or lake association information.

    The By-Laws/Public Policy/Legislative Committee drafted a letter of support for House Bill 1152 to bolster the funding of local health jurisdictions with the intent to increase toxic algae bloom support by those jurisdictions; we also supported Senate Bill 5141 regarding environmental justice. Both bills passed and went to the governor for his signature in April. WALPA also supported the successful renewal of the Washington Invasive Species Council. Please contact committee chair Sally Abella with any questions.

    WALPA actively worked on two special projects this spring. On April 8, Angela Strecker and Wafa Tafesh participated in the Careers in Freshwater Panel in association with the Oregon Lakes Association. Thirty students attended this virtual event (see related story this issue). Sally Abella is leading a group of board members on a Citizens Outreach Project, initially to develop (in winter 2022) the Western Regional Conference for lake-interested citizens, and ultimately to explore creating a grant program for lake associations.