Seattle Parks and Recreation applies for coverage permits from the Washington State Department of Ecology

Eurasian milfoil

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is seeking coverage through Washington Department of Ecology permits to use aquatic herbicides to systemically control certain aquatic weeds. The goal is to improve water quality by managing both the invasive water lilies and milfoil at City’s freshwater beaches, swim areas, moorages and high use recreation sites. This is part of SPR’s integrated weed management plan for Eurasian milfoil and other regulated aquatic weeds.

Permitted use of an aquatic herbicide is endorsed by Washington Department of Ecology as a systemic solution to control specific aquatic weeds that impact recreation and water quality. The permit will cover the City owned properties on Lake Washington, Bitter Lake and Ship Canals –Lake Union.

Fragrant white water lilies

Bellevue, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Medina and Renton have current permits from Ecology. The permit allows the discharge of a specific list of herbicides provided permit conditions are met, however, the herbicides currently anticipated for use are: Glyphosate, Imazamox, Imazapyr and Triclopyr TEA.

More information about the permit

Questions and comments during the permit process should be addressed to the Department of Ecology, Water Quality Program, Attention: Aquatic Pesticide Permit Manager, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600 or

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Matthews Beach Park closed to water access

Toxic algae scum spotted in Lake Washington 

As a precaution, Seattle Parks and Recreation has temporarily closed access to the water at Matthews Beach Park in northeast Seattle.

Toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum in Lake Washington along the shores of Matthews Beach, which is located at 49th Ave. NE and NE 93rd St. Toxic algae blooms are most common in the summer and fall, but can occur any time.

King County Department of Natural Resources collected water samples and submitted them to the State Toxic Algae Program. The information was reviewed by Public Health – Seattle & King County. Tests have revealed that the toxins are currently found in the scummy algae that accumulate in some places along the shore.

In general, people and pets should not wade or play in the lake, especially where the scum has accumulated, and dogs should not drink from the lake. If there is water contact, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

For more information on toxic algae and symptoms of toxic poisoning, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.