Blue-green algae may cancel Annual New Year's Day Polar Dip

Resolution Run not impacted

December 22, 2017 - by Melissa Bianconi

The Annual Polar Bear Dip and Resolution Fun Run at Lake Padden Park are currently on as scheduled for Jan. 1, 2018, but City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation officials are closely monitoring the presence of blue-green algae in Lake Padden. 

Water samples were sent to Seattle for testing on Wednesday, Dec. 20.  Results came in today and showed almost non-detectible levels of Microcystin, a potentially dangerous toxin associated with blue-green algae. Based on these results, County Health officials recommended removing the caution signs at the lake.

While the presence of the algae is on a downturn, Parks and Recreation officials warn the past few days of sunshine could lead to a resurgence. If that happens, there is a possibility the Polar Dip could be cancelled on short notice. “We will be extremely cautious in making this decision” said Leslie Bryson, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Bellingham.

A final call for the Polar Dip will be announced on the Parks and Recreation Facebook Page no later than Dec. 31. The Resolution Run around the lake will occur as scheduled.

Media Contact

​Steve Janiszewski

Park Operations Managers

Parks and Recreation Department


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