Enjoy King County’s lakes, rivers and Puget Sound with care this Fourth of July | King County

With sunny skies and soaring temperatures leading up to the long Independence Day weekend, King County officials are urging everyone to be extremely careful when heading out on the water.

“Rivers and lakes are beautiful, but they can be dangerous too, and it is important to use caution and wear a life vest when going out on the water,” said Christie True, director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

A 2012 study of recreational river use along the Cedar River confirmed that water-related summer recreation is greatly determined by warm temperatures.

“Lifejackets are to water like seatbelts are to cars – standard safety equipment for the trip,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “For safer swimming, take advantage of local lifeguarded beaches or pools.”

When temperatures are in the 70s, there are likely to be floaters on the river. Swimming, inner-tubing and related activities soar when temperatures top 80 or more.

Lakes, rivers and Puget Sound can all be extremely cold this time of year. Swift rivers fed by an above-average snowmelt are still hovering below 50 degrees, while temperatures on Puget Sound and area lakes not much warmer.


For details about river safety, visit For more information on water safety and drowning prevention, visit the King County Water Safety website,


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