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WATERLINE - March, 2011

Department of Ecology offers funds to manage aquatic weeds and control algae

For fiscal year 2012 (which begins July 1, 2011), Ecology’s Aquatic Weeds Management Fund has offered more than $500,000 to fund a number of weed control projects around Washington. Recipients include the Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Board for monitoring and removing the Brazilian elodea from the Chehalis River, the Cascade Water Alliance for eradicating Eurasian watermilfoil from Lake Tapps, and the Moses Lake Irrigation and Rehabilitation District for treating Moses Lake with aquatic herbicide to eliminate watermilfoil and manage noxious pondweed. Funds are also offered to the City of Lake Stevens to eradicate milfoil from Lake Stevens with Triclopyr and monitor its effectiveness, and to the City of Ilwaco to help pay for the herbicide, dredging, hand pulling and bottom barriers that will be used to eradicate Brazilian elodea at Black Lake.

The Freshwater Algae Control Program will fund about $326,000 worth of projects in the coming fiscal year. The nine projects include Thurston County Public Health’s monitoring of and communication to residents about blue-green algae blooms in their lakes and the City of Kent’s whole-lake alum treatment of Lake Fenwick to reduce elevated phosphorus levels. Funds will also help Grant County Health District sample phosphate and algae in Moses Lake and Potholes tributaries to track cyanobacteria problems and possible sources, and bolster Jefferson County Public Health’s sampling of lakes for algal toxins and its related outreach.

Revenue for the Freshwater Aquatic Weeds Account, established in 1991, comes from a $3 increase in annual license fees for boat trailers. The account helps fund technical assistance, public education and grants to control aquatic weeds. Grant applications are accepted from October 1 through November 1 each year; funds are offered to selected applicants in the winter. Generally, about $300,000 is available each year. In 2005, the Washington State Legislature established a program to provide funding for algae control projects in Washington’s lakes and rivers. Ecology provided grants to local governments for projects to be completed in FY 2008, 2009, and now 2012.

To find out more about the Aquatic Weeds Management Fund, contact Melanie Tyler at (360) 407-7489 or mety461@ecy.wa.gov or visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/grants/focusgrant.html. For more information about the Freshwater Algae Control Program, contact Melanie as above or Kathy Hamel at (360) 407-6562 or kham461@ecy.wa.gov. Or visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/algae/grants/index.html.



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