Winter in the Watershed

Winter in the Watershed

The Lake Lowdown – Issue 8

  • County creates new programs for lake property owners.
  • Initiatives for watershed protection and restoration
  • Policy and Review Board, January meeting.
  • Watershed planning concept being explored by others, finally.
  • 2013 Opportunities for you to get involved in watershed protection.

 

County creates new programs for lake property owners

#1 Funds allocated for buffer strip protection projects

Have you been planning to do something to protect the state-owned buffer strip? Now is the time to act! During our 2011 boat tour for the County Commissioners, they saw the need to support shoreline stabilization and erosion prevention.  In January, they voted to provide funding of up to $1,600 for each approved shoreline retention project completed by the end of June, 2013.

TO DO LIST

 

#2 Shoreline grasses

Responding to a request from Barbara Beelar, Director, FoDCL, County Commissioners set aside $1000 for a project with Northern and Southern High Schools to grow and install shoreline grasses. We look forward to the opportunity to work with these students and DNR staff on this pilot project.

We are looking for sites nowIdeal locations are shorelines with a gentle slope, where grasses are already growing nearby, where grasses have declined due to erosive force of high water levels, and/or areas of Canada Geese infestation. Buffer strip areas with steep slopes, rocky shorelines or large waves need other buffering methods.

TO DO LIST

  • The students are ready to do collect baseline data on selected sites. If you are interested in participating, write to contact@friendsofdcl.org no later than 2/28/13.

#3 Sandy debris collection

Many of us have not finished clean up from devastating Sandy. The County announced that a special collection site will be opened in the spring for this debris. Questions, contactdwbaker@garrettcounty.org.Reminder: If you need to do clean up on the buffer strip or conservation easement lands, you must contact Lake Management and obtain approval.  DNR reminds homeowners to make sure that anyone you hire for tree trimming or removal is a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert.  Questions, call Lake Management Office at (301) 378-4111.

Initiatives for watershed protection and restoration

#1 Public affairs firm hired

In December, the FoDCL Board voted to hire Gally Public Affairs firm to guide our Annapolis 2013 Campaign and efforts to educate General Assembly issues about the absence of fair state funding for Deep Creek Lake. Eric Gally is the “go to” person on the state budget.  Gally has briefed our state delegation, top administrative staff and is reviewing strategy options. Of particular interest is the Waterway Improvement Fund, which provides fund for dredging elsewhere in Maryland but, according to DNR Secretary Griffin, is not available for our lake.

TO DO LIST

  • Donate now to support the Annapolis 2013 campaign to help us meet our goal of $20,000. Send donation to: FoDCL, 779 Chadderton School Road, Oakland, MD 21550 or donate with PayPal on our web site http://friendsofdcl.org.
  • Become involved. We need computer savvy people will to build our mailing list. We need folks willing to contact their local state delegation to urge full and fair funding for the state’s largest lake. Write to us at contact@friendsofdcl.org.

#2 Petition signatures continue to grow

We now have over 1500 signatures to our petition asking the Governor to make a commitment to “Save the Lake” committing State resources and funds like he is doing in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays Programs.

TO DO LIST

  • Help us reach our goal of 2,000 names.
  • Sign the petition—attached to this email—if you have not already done so.
  • Circulate to your friends, family, neighbors and guests who come to the lake.

 

Policy and Review Board, January Meeting

As part of our effort to inform all stakeholders about important public meetings, we submitted an article to the Republican Newspaper on this meeting and have posted it on our web sitehttp://friendsofdcl.org/2013/02/policy-and-review-board-update.
The PRB is appointed by the Governor and is responsible for overseeing Lake Management programs and finances. It meets 4 times a year, on Monday nights. Most lake stakeholders do not know about this group, its importance nor have they attended a meeting to share their viewpoints about the health of the lake and watershed.
Topics of importance at the January meeting

  • Retirement of Lake Manager announced.  Carolyn Mathews will be leaving the end of April at the beginning of the busy summer season.  No process or timeline for her replacement was announced.  It is unclear whether the PRB or other lake stakeholders will have a say in the hiring process.
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil control project. DNR announced a pilot project to test controls for this invasive species. EWM will never be eradicated in DCL, the only approach is to control its spread.  DNR plans to apply an herbicide,  2,4-D, to a 2 acres site in May.

Having worked on EWM and controls for the past 2 years, FoDCL Board members have questions. Is it necessary to use this herbicide? It is related to agent orange and of sufficient concern to human health that Natural Resources Defense Council has requested EPA to ban it. Further, in the current DCL Plan, only mechanical removal methods are approved for SAV controls. The FoDCL Board and staff are working with NRDC, Maryland Pesticide Network and Enviroscience, an environmental firm in Ohio, on the impact of this herbicide as well as preferred control options

Watershed planning concept being explored by others, finally.

As the organization working on watershed issues for the past 5 years, we are pleased to others have begun to broaden their perspective. Our work has always been based on recognition the lake is only a part of a much larger ecosystem and lake sustainability requires an effective, sufficiently funded plan implemented by a unified management district.
A watershed plan already exists. The DCL Recreation and Land Use Plan was developed by DNR in 2001 as part of the lake purchase by the State, http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/dcreport.asp. The pertinent section is “Major Issues and Recommendations”. The Plan calls for “collaboration” between three entities: Lake Management/DNR, the County and the Policy and Review Board.
Plan implementation receives low grades. In 2012, FoDCL conducted an in-house analysis of implementation of the 2001 recommendations. Little has transpired in the past 11 years. We talked with representatives from the 3 lead entities and discovered none uses this Plan as a framework for oversight, nor as a roadmap or timetable for implementation.  Last November, FoDCL Board members invited DNR Secretary Griffin to make his own review of the Plan and implementation.
Questions which need to be answered before going forward.   Why were the recommendations not implemented? What were the barriers? What changes must be made to ensure a new or revised plan will be an effective framework for lake management.
Lessons we have learned from study of other lakes:

  • Single watershed management entity is necessary. At DCL there is a bifurcated structure with lake owned by State and County responsible for the watershed.  In our review of other lakes, we have found management is done by one entity—a district, commission or association—with participation by all governmental and stakeholder groups as well as the dam operator. We found no model for “collaboration” .
  • Dedicated source of funds.  Elsewhere, taxes generated by the lake are devoted to lake management, programs and restoration.
  • Open, transparent process.   Watershed stakeholders and beneficiaries must be included in creation of the management plan from the outset. Such involvement will ensure effective implementation, funding and public accountability .

 

2013 Opportunities for you to get involved in watershed protection.

  • Stream Wading in DCL watershed streams—week-ends in April, weather permitting
  • Marcellus Shale Water quality sampling to collect baseline data on watershed streams. Training session will be held in early March.
  • Water quality sampling along Red Run in Hammel Glade property owned by The Nature Conservancy.

 

Request for support.

For the past 5 years Friends of Deep Creek Lake has been actively involved in collection of field data, promotion of watershed research, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, offering a range of community education approaches as well as active involvement in policy advocacy.
We ask you to become a member, to make a donation to support our 2013 efforts. Send tax-deductible contribution to FoDCL, 779 Chadderton School Rd, Oakland MD 21550 or use PayPal access on our web site, http://friendsofdcl.org.