Petition. We now have over 1200 signatures and more are coming in! We will continue to collect these until we meet with the Governor. You can sign here.
Action: As you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on all the lake has contributed to your lives. Print out the petition, pass it around with the gravy for more signatures! We will be very thankful!
Meeting Audios Now On line. We have just posted the audio of both the 11/14 DNR state of the lake presentation as well as the 11/15 Water Quality Working Group meeting.You can find these on our web site friendsofdcl.org (At the bottom of this post). If your time is limited, (joke) listen to the last section of the 11/14 meeting and the first section of the meeting on 11/15.
DNR State of Lake presentation. Over 150 people attended the DNR meeting last Wednesday evening. DNR staff reported on various research projects– sediment accumulation, SAVs, Eurasian Watermilfoil, and 4th year of water monitoring. There were no concrete connections made by DNR as to how any of these studies would evolve into programs and restoration efforts.
We are attaching both the Republican article on the meeting as well as yet another, amazing Editorial.
Meeting Take Aways. Comments from the community clearly illustrated the disconnect between DNR focus on research studies and deep concern about the condition of the lake experienced by many lake property owners. Numerous stakeholders spoke of the loss of recreational uses they have been experiencing in the past years. Many talked about their family connections to the lake over decades and concern whether their children, grandchildren will be able to enjoy this very special corner of the world.
There were 3 central, interconnected issues.
- The lake is owned by the State of Maryland.
- When the State purchased the lake it undertook responsibility for lake management which is ineffective and lacks a watershed approach, which Secretary Griffin has called for.
- When the State purchased the lake it also undertook financial responsibility for management, planning, programs implementation and restoration but now informs stakeholders no State funds are available we stakeholders will need to pay.
We cited the buy down to illustrate current problems. When the State purchased the lake, it turned around and sold off much of the deep buffer strip, a legacy from PennELec and critically important to protection of the lake over the past decades. The state received over $13 million dollars from the sale of buy down lands. The proceeds went into the State General Fund, not into the Lake Fund for use for programs and restoration efforts.
The tone of the meeting was emotional as people spoke of their deep concerns for the future of the lake. DNR Secretary was unprepared for these comments and seemed to have taken them personally, as did his staff.
Brian Greenberg, member of FoDCL Executive Committee, spoke from the audience asking Secretary Griffin to move forward and open communications with the stakeholder community. One single 2 hour a year is not enough given the intensity of concern, observed decline in recreational enjoyment and fears for the lake future.
The Maryland license plate says Treasure the Chesapeake. We are moving forward to a meeting with the Governor urging him to also Treasure Deep Creek Lake.
We hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends this holiday and take a moment to reflect on all the blessings you receive from your connections to “our” lake. Peace
Barbara Beelar, Executive Committee and Board