Citizens for Improving Long Lake
Port Orchard, Washington   

Brief History

Fifteen years ago CILL was formed to reduce the toxic algae and noxious weeds from Long Lake. We received $940,000 from the State of Washington to help us with our goal and to use that grant as “seed money” to eventually start our own self-taxing district. Over the years we were very successful in reducing the noxious weeds and the lake clarity has doubled. Now that our grant money is gone, the lake is no longer being maintained and we had the largest algae bloom in the history of CILL.

December 2014 - After 12 years of hard work to reach to our goal to have an election for a Lake Management District for Long Lake, there was bad news.. After calculation of the 254 complete ballots returned, the proposal failed to gain majority approval (48.2% approve to 51.8% reject).

We have listened to the voters and redistricting the boarders of the proposed Lake Management District to Lakefront owners only.

Common Questions: 

The weed issue, where did they come from?

Invasive non-native plants have been brought in on boats/trailers and on seaplanes over many decades. The invasive plants (Myriophyllum spicatum - Eurasian Watermilfoil and Egeria densa – Brazilian elodea) were under control and the native lake plants were reestablishing aquatic plant communities during the recent lake management program (2006-2010) funded by the State of Washington. These successes have begun to degrade since the management activities stopped for lack of funding.

What about the algae, how is that treated?

The methods used in the recent state funded treatment effort (2006-2010) focused on reducing the availability of phosphorous (the main nutrient for algae). This is accomplished by treating the lake with alum. Alum is a salt that is a spice used in cooking that is also used in water treatment plants to help purify drinking water and lakes to limit phosphorus. Alum binds with phosphorous making it too heavy to float causing the alum and phosphorous to sink to the bottom of the lake. This does two things, it takes the phosphorous out of the water  and coats the lake bottom, like icing on a cake,  preventing phosphorous from percolating from the lake bottom back up into the water column.

For more information about Alum click here.

Funding, why can’t we charge at the State boat launch and at the County Park?

Since the Department of Fish and Wildlife owns the boat launch we cannot charge a fee per state statute. As for the park, in the past, they did charge for parking and the money brought in almost enough cover the costs of charging the fee (attendant wages, enforcement). The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has a fee attached to boating licenses to help pay for invasive species and weeds.

Why isn’t Kitsap County or the State paying for this?

Kitsap County Public Works Stormwater Division and the Kitsap Public Health District have used over a $1,000,000 in stormwater management fees and grants over the last 10 years to improve water quality within the Long Lake watershed. These efforts have included improving/reducing stormwater discharges into the Lake and fixing failing drainfields within the watershed that provided extra nutrients for algae and invasive plant species.  Per statute, stormwater management fees cannot be spent on management within the lake or other water bodies (they are for upland use only).  Additionally, the State approved $970,000 to treat the lake from 2006-2010. That was a demonstration project to show how the lake could be managed to reduce the water quality issues and algae blooms. The demonstration was successful and the proposed scope of work for the Lake Management will build from these proven methods. As for the Lake Management District (LMD), both the State and the County will be paying the special assessments just as the private property owners.


Is it true that the fund can be used by the County for other projects?

No. Funding from District special assessments can only be spent on lake management activities included in the proposed scope of work. All funds will be deposited into a special account dedicated solely to district activities.

What about other sources of funding like grants?

Having a watershed wide LMD is one of our goals. Thats requires making little steps starting with the lakefront owners and then expanding but that takes money to educate  our neighbors on the benefits of a healthy lake. In order to be eligible to apply for private, federal and state grants the County needs to have matching funds available to show local commitment. State funds may be available through the Washington State Algae Control Program (up to $50,000 every two-year period) but require a LMD to be in place generating local commitment. Additionally, Kitsap County will be augmenting any lake management district with efforts such as public education and stream flow monitoring through the Stormwater program. 


This is what happens when we don't continue to 

maintain Long Lake.

Oct. 2nd 2011