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LFP StreamKeepers Update, April 2005

posted Oct 9, 2012, 10:46 PM by Lfp StreamKeepers   [ updated Oct 9, 2012, 10:49 PM ]
Mark Phillips, April 1, 2005: Here's an update on current events of interest to LFP StreamKeepers, in large part reflecting the team meeting some of us attended back on March 21.

Sensitive Areas Ordinance Hearing - we discussed the public hearing that took place on March 24, and Bill Leon agreed to speak in favor of the proposed ordinance, on behalf of those present at the meeting. The large majority of other speakers at the hearing also endorsed the proposal, which includes expanded buffers to protect streams and wetlands in LFP. The proposed ordinance is now under deliberation by the City Council.

Fecal Coliform Testing - We are planning to collect water samples from McAleer and Lyon Creeks for fecal coliform testing by the City of Everett's environmental lab, on Thursday, April 14. So far, Bill, Derek, Rick, and I are tentatively signed up to do this in the morning, so the samples can be delived that afternoon to the lab. Yes, it's inconvenient, but apparently must be done that way to ensure the quality of the samples. The collection process is simple, basically just filling a container that the lab has provided, at each site. We're going to aim for 5-6 sites on each stream. We could use another volunteer or two, if anyone is interested. A lot of fecal coliform testing was done (by the county, we think) during the '90's, and the high levels found resulted in our streams being listed on the State's list of endangered waters list. So it seems like a good idea to see what the levels are now. Also, we thought the testing might provide data that would be useful in the current discussion in the City about phasing out septic systems.

BIBI Testing - last fall we initiated the Benthic Inventory of Biological Integrity (BIBI) testing, which is simply taking an inventory of the small creatures that live in our stream beds. The analysis, which looks at both the number and types of creatures, indicated that both our streams are in "Poor" condition by this measure. We want to expand the test locations next fall, and involve a few more people in the collection process - probably do a practice/training session over the summer. You can let me know if you would like to get trained in the BIBI collection process, and help with this. We do only the collection, and pay an expert to do the actual analysis - hopefully, we can secure Mindy Allen's services again this year.

Jim Karr Visit - UW professor Jim Karr, who developed the BIBI testing method, will be visiting the Saunders residence on McAleer Cr., on the morning of Apr. 16. Jim Mead and Don Fiene will join the gathering to meet Prof. Karr and hear his thoughts on stream stewardship.

Regular Quarterly Water Testing - Also on the 16th, we will be doing our regular water quality testing. With Don, Jim, and David tied up that morning, we'll really need as many of the rest of us as possible to help out. Invite your friends and neighbors! As usual, we'll meet at 9:00 in the lower level of the mall, and testing takes about an hour and a half. I'll be doing some phone calling, but please let me know if you'll be able to participate. In case you missed it, here's a link to an article the Enterprise did on our water testing program last January:

Stream restoration/improvement projects - Adopt-A-Stream ( has several projects in the works to improve culverts for fish passage, at least one, on Brookside Creek, in conjunction with the Stewardship Foundation. They are also conducting a campaign to contact and educate streamside residents in LFP about good stream stewardship practices. There may be opportunities for us to help with these activities, and with possible public meetings, later in the spring and summer.

Lake Ballinger improvement activities - The Lake Ballinger Home Owners Assn. held their third meeting about improving water level control and water quality, on March 30. I was able to attend, and let them know that we who are downstream (Lk. Ballinger is the source of McAller Creek) appreciate and suppport their efforts. They have three jurisdictions to work with (Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace), so they've got a lot of sorting out to do. All three contribute storm run-off into the lake. I believe MLT controls the wier mechanism used to control water level, and there is concern that it is not working properly. The scouring efects of high water run-off on McAleer Cr. are a major concern for us. I met Mike Shaw, the MLT Stormwater Program manager, and plan to follow up with him. Plus - they've got two golf courses on the lake, and it's not clear how actively they are pursuing good water quality practices.

StreamKeepers of Lake Forest Park Website - Derek has been laboring (Ed: Laboring? ha. more like procrastinating) over the fall and winter months to get a "prototype" website up and running. You can visit the site at It's a great start, and we should be thinking of how we might like to see it extended or modified. Derek is interested in more than "good ideas." He needs appropriate text to back up our ideas, so he's not stuck with all the research and writing. If you have thoughts about this, please be in touch with Derek to see how they might fit in.