Long Lake on county agenda

The blueprints for the much anticipated and heavily planned cleanup of South Kitsap’s popular but bacteria-polluted Long Lake have been drawn up and are ready to be signed into action by the Kitsap County commissioners at their next meeting on Monday.

Technically called a Memorandum of Understanding, the blueprints outline the tasks and objectives of a cleanup project that will involve the county, state and a group of dedicated residents otherwise known as Citizens For Improving Long Lake (CILL).

Working closely with 26th District Sen. Bob Oke, (R-Port Orchard), the members of CILL, which is made up of nearby homeowners and others concerned about the health of the lake, spent the past three years researching and discussing options before formulating a cleanup plan for the lake.

What they came up with was a 10-year management plan costing a little over $1 million, but now that is being adjusted to fit the funding — a $750,000 grant being distributed through the state Department of Ecology and the Centennial Clean Water Fund.

Although CILL has done, and will continue to do, much of the work, association president Ken Spohn said since his group is a nonprofit, “they can’t just give us the money. It has to be channeled through the county.”

Therefore, the memorandum will “establish an understanding between the (Kitsap County Noxious Weed Control Board, the commissioners, CILL and the DOE) for the implementation of restoration work” on the lake, and identifies the county’s Noxious Weed Board as the “lead county entity for administrative support.”

Dana Coggon, the county’s Noxious Weed Control Program coordinator, has been meeting regularly with the members of CILL to complete the applications for the grant.

However, to make sure as much of the money as possible goes to the lake, Spohn said most of the legwork is being done by the group members themselves, who are volunteering the man-hours.

“(CILL) is really on the ball,” Coggon said, explaining that her role will largely be “signing the paperwork.”

Spohn said volunteers will begin taking samples of the water soon so they can apply for permits, and by next spring, the cleanup work — most likely by the environmental engineering company Tetra Tech — will begin.

The overall objectives of the cleanup effort, according to the memorandum, are to reduce the phosphorus concentrations in the lake, reduce the occurrence and frequency of toxic Cyanobacteria blooms, and to manage the aquatic plant population to promote beneficial uses of Long Lake.

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