Friends of Deep Creek Lake Board presented its 3rd Annual Stewardship Awards this past week. It was fitting the award ceremony was at a social gathering at Trader’s Coffee House of local citizens and scientists here for the Marcellus Shale Workshop.
The three Marcellus Shale Water Monitoring volunteers sampling the Deep Creek Lake watershed streams received the 2012 Volunteerism Award. Charlie Lefebure has been monitoring 3 sites along Cherry Creek. Jeff Nelson monitors Shingle Camp Run and Red Run and Bob Marko has been working a site at the base of WISP/ASCI
The monitoring sites were selected by DNR as areas on streams below lands which have been leased for shale drilling. “All three of these volunteers have demonstrated tremendous dedication to their work” said Barbara Beelar, from Friends of Deep Creek Lake when announcing these awards. Volunteers sample their sites weekly which requires strong commitment. The information collected creates the baseline data for surface water across the County. If and or when drilling takes place, this data will be basis for determination whether there are any impacts on local streams.
The Public Service Award went to Christine King from DNR. Christine is the DNR water monitoring scientist who heads up the Marcellus Shale Water Monitoring project. She provides training, oversight of volunteer sampling ensuring quality controls and other back up task for the 6 dozen volunteers engaged in sampling throughout the County. As with other work on Marcellus Shale, Christine responsibilities are on top of existing jobs demands.
This year was the first year Friends of Deep Creek Lake did not award an Agricultural Stewardship Award. Board member Paul Weiler noted that financial supports for runoff and soil conservation have dried up, making it harder for farmers to invest in prevention measures.
“We created these Awards to recognize the excellent work done by volunteers, public servants and farmers in helping to meet our goals of conservation and protection of the Deep Creek Lake watershed.” Said Beelar, “This work is critically important to sustain the lake but not fully appreciated by all who enjoy the lake and watershed.”