waskington state lake images
WATERLINE - March, 2024

WALPA news and notes from the President-elect

by Angela Strecker

Washington State Lake Protection AssociationMy name is Angela Strecker and I am the new President-elect of WALPA. In my professional work, I am the Director of the Institute for Watershed Studies and Professor at Western Washington University. My research interests are broadly around how humans impact freshwater communities and ecosystems. You can read more about me here. I look forward to meeting more of our members in the year to come!

One of my goals for the year is to increase student involvement in WALPA. If you know any students who are broadly interested in water resources, please encourage them to become members, apply for our scholarships, and attend our annual conference.

These are just some of the things we are looking forward to this year:

  • WALPA will host a joint conference with the Oregon Lakes Association in fall 2024; stay tuned for more information on dates and location. It’s sure to be a great meeting. WALPA is also hosting the Western Conference planned for May — see related article this issue.
  • WALPA initiated a Student/Early Career Mentor Program for members last year and it’s off to a great start!  So far we have five mentorship teams spanning government, academia, and consulting careers. If you’re interested in being a mentor or a mentee, please fill out this short survey.
  • Did you know that you can receive continuing education credits by attending WALPA events? As an affiliate of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), WALPA can help support your professional development. NALMS offers a Professional Certification Program with three tiers, and attending WALPA conferences or serving on the Board of Directors (among other activities) can be counted towards the certification.
    • Have a burning question about lakes?  Submit a question to Dr. Waterline! https://www.walpa.org/waterline/ask-dr-waterline/  Here’s a sample of previous questions…
    • I don’t understand why bacteria in my lake is bad. Isn’t bacteria natural? If it isn’t, how does it get in my lake? And how can I stop it?
    • I am always hearing about harmful algae blooms and how I should be aware of them and report them. But… how do I identify a harmful algae bloom?
    • What progress has been made to ban phosphorus-containing fertilizer in Washington?
    • I keep hearing people talk about pee in our lake. I have kept a close watch on the lake for years and have never seen anyone pee in the lake. How is so much pee getting in our lakes and what can we do to stop it?
    • As I was driving by the local swamp near Klahanie 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?