In an effort to keep you, our POA membership, current on activities
impacting Deep Creek Lake (DCL), I am offering the following information which has been gathered from County, State, and elected officials on the topic of dredging in DCL:
Recently, Secretary Mark Belton, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), decided dredging within DCL would be permitted by DNR. Our elected representatives, Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel, had numerous meetings with Secretary Belton to discuss the matter and made the point that various studies had been done on sedimentation in the lake but the time had come for money to be spent for actual dredging projects to which Secretary Belton agreed. I must also add that the Friends of Deep Creek (FoDCL) organization has done a fine job in keeping this issue in front of the state legislature, our elected officials, and DNR so is owed some of the credit for moving this issue of dredging forward.
Secretary Belton contacted the County about two weeks ago and advised that DNR would permit dredging of DCL but that funding of the project would be a 50%/50% split between the State (DNR) and the County for the first dredging project undertaken. This funding scenario is consistent with that described in the Waterway Improvement Fund under the Tier II option. The Secretary also recommended the County consider using the services of the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) organization to assist in any dredging project.
Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel wrote a letter to the County in which they also suggested the County make use of the MES as they recognized the County does not have the resources required to lead or manage any dredging project undertaken. Further, our elected officials recommended consideration be given to Arrowhead Cove as the location for the first dredging project as it provides good visibility to the public.
Although the County to date has yet to receive any documentation from DNR, they are moving forward with plans to use the MES as the lead on any dredging projects. County officials believe that any project undertaken must consider the critical component of sediment mediation as well to prevent the need for dredging the same location again.
Permitting and various regulations apply (State and County) to any dredging project which is yet another reason to use MES as they have experience in obtaining necessary permits for this type of project. No cove has been selected at this time for a dredging project and much planning needs to be done as well as a determination as to how the County's 50% of the project cost is to be funded. A key component to the funding determination is, of course, obtaining good estimates of the costs of any such project once the scope of the project and specific location is selected.
County representatives will be meeting with DNR and MES contacts soon to begin the planning of a potential dredging project. Your POA Board intends to monitor this effort closely as it is of interest to many of our members. As additional information becomes available, we will forward it to you.