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About Blue Green Thumb Watershed Program

Your actions can make a difference to protect water quality in your watershed and provide habitat for wildlife.

Long-term goal is to have:
• Educational workshops
• Tours
• Demonstrations and Presentations
• Monitoring

Stewardship: is defined as individual or collective practices that demonstrate a long-term commitment and a sense of personal responsibility for a particular resource.

A watershed consists of all of the land which contributes water to a specific body of water. To outline watershed boundaries, connect the points of highest elevation around a body of water such as lake, stream or river on a topographic map. Water falling within this bowl flows by gravity, in streams and groundwater. Any substance within the watershed which can be transported by water eventually reaches the lowest point such as a lake and affects water quality. Protection efforts often focus on shoreline land use, perhaps mistakenly creating the impression that only activities along the shore influence water quality. In truth, land use anywhere within a watershed affects water quality.

The Preservation Association of Devils Lake was founded in 1982 by citizens concerned about invasive species that degraded water quality.

Devils Lake is a 680-acre freshwater lake connected to the Pacific Ocean by the D River - referred to as the shortest river in the world. A lake "clean-up" was needed that eventually resulted in the stocking of Chinese grass carp (White amur). Grass Carp were initially stocked in Devils Lake at a density of approximately 40 fish per acre. The grass carp were 8 to 11 inch triploid grass carp. Grass Carp have been stocked three times in Devils Lake as follows:
  1) 10,000 in September of 1986
  2) 17,090 in March of 1987
  3)   5,000 in July of 1993
      32,090 TOTAL

The grass carp removed all lake vegetation. An increase in cyanobacteria blooms was noted. Joe Eilers analyzed lake core samples to determine algal species. Tests showing the presence of cyanobacteria do not necessarily mean there are toxins present. An ELISA test can show the presence of microcystin, a known liver toxin. Cyanobacteria toxins may not necessarily produce symptoms immediately but chronically over a long period of time, especially to the young, elderly, those with pre-existing conditions and pets. However, reactions can vary and depend on body weight with smaller children and pets a concern.

The Preservation Association of Devils Lake started the Blue Green Thumb Watershed Program website after Devils Lake on the Central Oregon Coast documented cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) toxins during and after algal blooms.

The website is patterned after:
1. Blue Thumb -
2. Blue Thumb -

About half of Devils Lake shoreline is in Lincoln City and half in Lincoln County. The Lincoln City economy is dependent on tourism. Cyanobacteria do not always produce toxins, but have the potential to do so. Cyanobacteria toxins are released after the cell dies off – therefore there may be no visible sign of algal blooms but the toxins are in the water. Their presence can potentially reduce property values and effect lake recreation.

Cyanobacteria use phosphorus and nitrates, compounds often found in fertilizer and other products used for yard care. Actions of citizens can make a difference in protecting water quality.

Most of the information for the Blue Green Thumb website was taken from The Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL) website. The PADL website contains a large amount of information that applies to Devils Lake. This website is presented in hopes to reach a larger audience to help residents in the central Oregon Coast not just the Devils Lake lakefront and watershed property owner.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods to help developed properties function more like natural, undisturbed forest and meadowland. Water that is conveyed to a lake by an undisturbed watershed is usually quite pure, because the watershed’s soils and plants act as a natural water purification system. BMPs help developed properties mimic natural conditions, preventing sediment and nutrients from entering our surface waters and filtering runoff water through the soil. By implementing BMPs, property owners can help water quality.

GreenScaping - download pdf


Blue Green Thumb Watershed Education Program -
A program of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
Copyright © 2003-2010 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367