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As Temps Rise, Invasive Weed Prompts Closure Of Several Bellevue Beaches

Kurt Clark
Meydenbauer Beach Park

As temperatures hike into the high 80s this week, many will be flocking to beaches to cool down. But some swimming areas in Bellevue will be temporarily shutting down this week, specifically Bellevue’s Newcastle, Meydenbauer and Clyde beach parks.

The culprit for the closures is milfoil, an invasive weed that the state Department of Ecology views as the most problematic plant in Washington. The city of Bellevue and homeowners will be applying herbicide to shoreline areas adjacent to the three beach parks to control invasive milfoil blooms.

Credit Washington Department of Ecology

“This year, it’s been fairly problematic because of all the days of sun we’ve had,” said Rick Bailey, grounds contract administrator of Bellevue Parks and Community Services.

Bailey said that milfoil pushes out native aquatic vegetation, affects the chemistry and oxygen levels of the lake, and causes sedimentation. According to the state Department of Ecology, milfoil forms mats of vegetation on the water’s surface that interferes with activities such as boating, fishing and swimming. While herbicide will not be sprayed on the parks directly, the parks’ swimming areas will be closed down as a safety measure.

“We’re just taking the extra step to keep swimmers out of the water as a precaution,” Bailey said, “just to make sure that in case there is any drift from the properties to the beach park, there’s no swimmer that’s unknowingly being exposed to the product.”

Although the swimming areas will be closed, the three beach parks will still be open to the public. People can also visit Bellevue’s other beach parks during the week, including Enatai, Chesterfield, and Chism beach parks. All beach parks and swimming areas in Seattle remain open this week.

Beach Park Swimming Area Closures

Meydenbauer Beach Park (419 98th Ave. NE) – 7 a.m., Tuesday, July 15 to 7 a.m., Wednesday, July 16

Clyde Beach Park (2 92nd Ave.) – 7 a.m., Tuesday, July 15 to 7 a.m., Wednesday, July 16

Newcastle Beach Park (4400 Lake Washington Blvd. SE) – 7 a.m., Wednesday, July 16 to 7 a.m., Thursday, July 17