Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beach Report Card

We recently caught a great interview on KSER that explained the Beach Report Card, an interesting resource on the website of Heal the Bay.  Heal the Bay is an organization that has been working since 1985 to make the waters along the southern California coast safer and healthier.  Their Beach Report Card lets you search  for coastal beach reports (they include Puget Sound beaches) by county in Washington, Oregon and California.  Beaches are given two letter grades, one for "wet" (after rain) and one for "dry".  Heal the Bay compiles information from county health departments in order to come up with their grades, which are updated weekly.  

The Beach Report Card gives information about salt water beaches in our area.  But if you want information about the water quality at some swimming beaches on lakes in King County, the county has a map on its website - 

I'm sorry to see that there is no water quality testing data for the swimming beach at Logboom park at the north end of Lake Washington, and the only archived data available for that location is from 2005.  Unfortunately I did not find a similar resource for the current water quality of fresh water swimming beaches in Snohomish County.

The city of Kenmore has been taking water samples from Little Swamp Creek in our yard periodically to monitor its water quality, and maybe at some point we can get that information and share it.  "North Creek and Little Swamp Creek Sample Results 2010 Fecal Coliform Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Loads" is a water quality monitoring annual summary report by the City of Bothell that includes an explanation of how the fecal coliform levels in Little Swamp Creek in Bothell were improving after the owner of a shopping area with a duck pond began discouraging the feeding of the ducks.  I think most people around here know the shopping area that the report is referring to.  That duck pond is near/part of the headwaters of Little Swamp Creek, so we definitely appreciate those efforts!