DNR Sediment Study Phase II

DNR Sediment Study Phase II


After a year delay, DNR has begun Phase II of their Sediment Study Plan. Copy of the document describing the plan can be found here.

At lot of time was spent last year securing funds for Phase II work. Final outcome is  DNR has contributed $60,000, the County $95,000 and the POA $20,000. In the fall of 2011, the Policy and Review Board voted unanimously to recommend to the DNR Secretary that the department pay 100% of the study since the lake belongs to the state. This recommendation was ignored.

The DNR draft plan was circulated to the County Commissioners early this year. FoDCL advised the Commissioners of multiple shortcomings in the plan and urged renegotiation; especially since it was evident the County would be providing the majority of the funding.

Our main concern about the draft and document which was approved is that it does not incorporate study of the watershed tributaries. These streams are a major contributor to sediment accumulation and contaminants. We did not expect DNR to do this work—this agency is responsible only for the lake, not the watershed. The County is the responsibility governmental agency but has yet to adopt a watershed implementation plan for Deep Creek Lake.

Friends of Deep Creek Lake notified its mailing list of the shortcomings of the plan and 50 stakeholders wrote to the County Commissioners urging changes. The Commissioner chose not to respond to the request by these stakeholders for a meeting to talk about their concerns.

FoDCL was invited to make a presentation to the County Commissioners in May. A copy of this presentation is available here.

The shortcoming of Phase II and lack of participation by the County in the study will mean further delay and additional sediment accumulation in the impacted areas of the lake. In turn, the eventual costs for removal of the sediment will increase due to this delay. More and more lake stakeholders and recreational users will be limited by on-going sediment accumulation in the lake.

Friends of Deep Creek Lake intends to work closely with DNR study staff to provide them with data and resources we have developed on the watershed. Such effort is in keeping with the request made to the County Commissioners by Secretary Griffin in November, 2012 which is to adopt a “watershed approach” for Lake Management.