I invite you to celebrate National Lake Appreciation Month in July.

We are blessed in western Maryland with a wide range of lakes, reservoirs and ponds which offer lots of recreational opportunities as well as provide drinking water and flood control.

A visit to any one of these lakes is the ideal remedy to the July heat or a summer vacation adventure.

In our immediate area there are six reservoirs: Youghiogheny, Jennings Randolph and Savage River Reservoirs, all of which are operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Savage is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as part of Big Run State Park and Savage River State Forest.

Broadford Lake provides water to the town of Oakland and a variety of recreational activities.

Piney Reservoir serves the Frostburg area and is available for fishing.

Both Accident and Grantsville have town ponds, and there is at least one private lake, Little Meadows.

Five of the lakes are state-owned or managed: Herrington Manor, Deep Creek Lake, New Germany, Savage River Reservoir and Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap.

All of the 500-plus lakes in Maryland are manmade, but lakes just don’t get the respect the deserve in our Bay-centric state.

Just like farm ponds, all these lakes fill with sediment and require dredging to restore them to full use.

How are these state-owned lakes doing? Not well. A recent DNR study shows lakes in our area are showing signs of decline. All show signs of sediment accumulation.

All but Herrington Manor have at least one aquatic invasive species in them. Some have algal blooms with Savage Reservoir and Broadford Lake having toxic algal blooms.

In recognition of Lake Appreciation month, Gov. Larry Hogan joined governors across the country issuing proclamations acknowledging our state lakes and saying that “Maryland recognizes the need to protect these lakes and reservoirs for future generations.”

While we appreciate the governor’s proclamation, the facts are clear.

The state-owned and managed lakes need more than protection.

They need the state to implement restoration projects and make a commitment to substantial financial investment.

Each day of inaction means conditions get worse and it will be more costly to remedy. We could get to a point we have to write off these lakes because they are too expensive to restore.

We don’t believe anyone wants this. 

Barbara Beelar

Friends of Deep Creek Lake

Oakland

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