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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Symposium to focus on Lacamas Lake health

By , Columbian staff writer

Officials will soon gather to delve into the science and data that guides their management of one of the county’s most finicky, bacteria-laden lakes.

The Lacamas Watershed Symposium, hosted by the Clark County Clean Water Commission, will occur from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 at Lacamas Lodge, 227 N.W. Lake Road in Camas. The public may virtually tune into the discussion through Webex.

Lacamas Lake frequently contains elevated levels of bacteria in warmer months, leading county health officials to regularly issue advisories for lake recreators — exposure to these toxins can lead to sickness in humans and small animal fatalities. As summer heat continues to intensify, experts say these occurrences are becoming more common.

In late September, Camas Public Works unveiled a draft plan designed to reduce toxic algal blooms in Lacamas, Round and Fallen Leaf lakes. Key elements concentrate on removing Lacamas Watershed’s excess nutrients — phosphorous and nitrogen — that feed cyanobacteria, or the culprit behind blooms.

Cost estimates to tackle such an endeavor hover around $4.1 million for a decade of chemical treatments, monitoring and public outreach.

Representatives from Clark County, the Washington Department of Ecology, Lacamas Watershed Council, city of Camas, Watershed Alliance of Southwest Washington and Clark Conservation District will present at the symposium.

Event information can be found at clark.wa.gov/public-works/clean-water-commission.

Columbian staff writer