Presently there are two significant issues about which we would like to update you that concern DCL. The first pertains to funding of the State Lakes Preservation and Restoration Fund (SLPRF) that was established in law this year by the state legislature. The second issue concerns dredging of portions of DCL. I would like to let you know how the board sees each of these issues and the status of each of them. It is important to note these issues are independent of one another with each having its own goals and challenges.
The Board understands, after discussion with legislators, representatives of Garrett County Government, the Chamber of Commerce, and other interested organizations that:
- the State Lakes Preservation and Restoration Fund (SLPRF) is intended to benefit all 16 of Maryland's lakes;
- the SLPRF needs to be funded;
- the DNR will be responsible for establishing an annual work plan for the SLPRF which will identify how funds will be allocated/spent.
- The POA Board believes the control and prevention of AIS is the top funding priority for DCL.
- The Board supports the concept that funding the SLPRF should be initiated and managed by the Maryland Legislature. Senator George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel concur with this approach.
The POA Board, at the appropriate time, will encourage POA members to support this approach to funding the SLPRF by corresponding with appropriate, identified legislative representatives.
With respect to possible dredging, the Board takes the following positions:
- The Board has no objection to responsible, funded, dredging of sediment impacted areas of DCL, consistent with the criteria below. However, the Board believes control and prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species is currently the first priority for DCL.
- The pilot dredging project in Arrow Head Cove should only proceed if the following criteria are met:
Sediment Remediation is part of the project to insure the area dredged remains open and free of further sediment accumulation;
Care is taken with regard to the health of the SAV, fish, and other ecosystems in the Cove to maintain their health;
Success criteria for evaluation of the pilot project are established and measured;
All required permitting has been acquired;
Funding for further dredging, as a follow on to the pilot project in Arrowhead Cove, can reasonably be expected if the pilot is successful based on an evaluation of the established success criteria.
Garrett County has submitted their application for funding from the State Waterway Improvement Fund at the Tier 1 Level for the Arrow Head Cove pilot project which would be 100% state funding. Currently, there has been no further activity related to the project as money expected for securing the various permits required as well as the planning for sediment mitigation has not been received.