The dam is going up for sale. Hmmm… That is a big one! I’ve been on the MPA Board of Directors over 20 years and short of the issue which brought our MPA Founding Father together, the proposed remake of Camp Blanchard to a campground, I have to say that this is just as big an issue to tackle – possibly bigger!
What makes this issue one of the most important? Let’s look at past MPA action and results:
* Certainly, the current DEP Storm Drain grant (and watershed survey and water quality testing) we submitted this month is a big one as it will address some weed problems for the long term, and the few high nutrient levels we have seen here and there which concern public health.
* Also, the town management of the Public Boat Ramp was a big feather in our cap as we secured the portable toilets to eliminate the use of Blueberry Island and the other islands as bathrooms. Remember the complains of what used to float in to resident’s beaches!!
* That effort also got us the Gatekeeper who closes the ramp when the parking lot is full, eliminating the parking up and down both sides of Torrey Road and an over crowding lake!
* Also, it was the MPA which continually asked the state for channel markers and a sign at the ramp – thank you to the staff at the Douglas State Forest for installing and keeping them painted and repaired.
* Oh yes – police patrols. The MPA was instrumental in getting that effort on the lake – securing a boat, some equipment, and funding for officer time. Use of the lake is down, so weekly patrols are not necessary.
* And of course the weed control efforts: lake level drawndown coordination with Guilford Ind., weed surveys, testing for nutrients from the watershed which promote weed growth.
SO, to get back to the dam and the water rights and why this is such a big issue…
sale of the dam means control of the water level. Too low water = “mud flats” as Fuddy calls it! or swamp – sand and less water for boating and swimming on the lake, dangerous exposed or under the surface rocks. Too high water – flooded property, gurgling septic systems, damage to docks and walls and if too high to yards and homes. Improper timing for lowering the lake level for the winter means more weeds (we lose lake level drawdown as a free, non-chemical control of invasive lake weeds along the shore), and fish and amphibian kills as they hiberate in the mud, docks in ice….
What can you do? Come together Thursday night with other MPA members and learn what your Board of Directors has research as an option for Manchaug Pond and see what other lakes have done when in the same situation!
See you there!