A press release from the Deep Creek Lake Steering Committee:
In August of this year, the Department of Natural Resources and the Garrett County Commissioners appointed a Steering Committee to guide the development of a comprehensive watershed management plan for Deep Creek Lake. After receiving public comments through the month of October the Committee created a list of problem statements and draft goals that are the basis for forming four (4) sub-committees. These 4 sub-committees will review the background information and research available, refine the goals, develop objectives and strategies and identify short and long term priorities for the following topics:
· Lake Levels – to address concerns that the variations in lake levels are affecting shoreline stability & recreational access; to address concerns that a change in the current structure of lake releases will impact the economy of downstream users; to address the stability of cold water fisheries which are dependent on continuous cold water releases; to address the continued profitability of Brookfield Power which is also dependent on lake levels
· Water Quality – to address concerns that water quality in the lake will worsen. Specific sources of concern include septic systems, sewage spills, stormwater runoff, geese, gasoline engines, roads from gas extraction sites, lawn management and agriculture; to address the concern about the growth of SAV affecting recreational uses and the spread of invasive SAV; to address the concern for shoreline erosion, loss of trees in buffers and sediment movement in the lake and deposition in the coves
· Negative Impacts of Growth – to address concerns that uncontrolled industrial, commercial and residential development will adversely impact water quality, increase traffic, degrade roads and impair the aesthetic beauty of the lake and watershed. Specifically concerns involve increased impervious cover, increase in pollution from stormwater runoff, impacts from septic systems, wastewater treatment capacity and gas extraction development and reduction in tree canopy from clearing.
· Accountability – to address the concern that there is a lack of understanding, clarity and accountability regarding who/what agency is responsible for different management actions on and around the lake and in the watershed; to address concerns that agencies are not working together in a coordinated fashion and a localized management authority is needed; to address concerns that there is a lack of access to information on the lake governance as well as information on the watershed and the lake
These sub-committees will report their findings to the Steering Committee, which, in turn, will craft the Watershed Management Plan for the Garrett County Commissioners and the Maryland Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.
The Steering Committee invites citizens, lay and professional, who may be knowledgeable of and have experience with the topics listed above and are willing to serve as a volunteer to send a letter of interest and a resume. Be sure to state what sub-committee you or your recommended candidate are interested in serving and include appropriate contact information. All letters of interest should be sent to:
Garrett County Planning & Land Development
203 S Fourth St, Rm 210
Oakland MD 21550
All letters need to be received by November 25, 2013. The Steering Committee will review the applications and announce the members of the sub-committees at their meeting on December 2, 2013. It is anticipated that the sub-committees will commence meeting during the first or second week of December. Each sub-committee will have substantial work to complete by the spring of 2014.