Summer is here, and many King County residents are celebrating by taking advantage of the many water recreation opportunities available here.
While cooling off in local lakes and rivers is a great way to beat the heat of a hot summer day, it also is important to be respectful of neighbors and of the environment, said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents northeast King County. She has heard from citizens complaining about garbage left on their property, and they would like recreational users to be neighborly by cleaning up after themselves.
“Summer vacation is a good time to remind everyone to dispose of your garbage properly, especially in a water environment,” said Councilmember Lambert. “In addition to polluting waterfront properties and contaminating salmon habitat, throwing garbage in a state waterway such as a lake or river is unlawful.”
RCW 9.66.010 specifies that befouling a lake, navigable river, bay, stream, canal or basin is a public nuisance, and state law bans disposal of trash in the state’s waterways. An offender can be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail. The King County Sheriff’s Office will be watching for careless swimmers, rafters and boaters this summer.
“Summer is a time for everyone to have fun, including your neighbors, and to make sure to keep our waterways clean and beautiful for the next user,” said Councilmember Lambert.