September 17, 2013
Lake Sammamish is one of only two places in the nation to earn a new federal designation. While the details of the program are unclear, it seems to mean that local officials will get some federal help in explaining the importance of the lake and its ecosystem.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has placed Lake Sammamish, and Masonville Cove in Baltimore, in its Urban Partnership Program, according to Denise Hawkins, of fish and wildlife.
The idea for the program came from the group that designates wildlife refuges. Typically, that means designating huge tracts of land as a refuge in order to protect wildlife habitat, Hawkins said. These typically end up in more rural areas, so in order to allow more people to be able to visit an area and learn about it, they decided to work in more populous settings.