Lake James News Article

Alabama Governor Designates Lake Martin 'Treasured Lake'
Posted: 12/29/2010

Lake News

Tuesday, December 28, 2010, Governor Bob Riley signed Executive Order #54 encouraging the creation of the “Treasured Alabama Lake” designation. The ceremony was held at 10:30 at Children's Harbor on Lake Martin. The designation will be awarded by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to Alabama lakes that meet water quality standards for cleanliness and nutrient enrichment.

At the event, Governor Riley said “Alabama is blessed with such an abundance of natural resources. Too often we take it for granted, but acre for acre, you won’t find another state in the country with the wealth of natural resources Alabama has. We have inherited from God and from generations that came before us a land that is rich in beauty and diverse in landscape. We have an obligation to protect and enhance our environment so that future generations can inherit what we enjoy so much today. That’s why I’m proud we are establishing the Alabama Treasured Lakes designation.”

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has worked with Governor Riley and numerous stakeholders to pursue the goal of establishing a Treasured Alabama Lake designation. Lake Watch at Lake Martin has lobbied for ways to assure that Lake Martin and the Tallapoosa River remains one of the most treasured Lakes in Alabama.

Lance LeFleur, Director of ADEM said “The Department is very proud to be a part of this historic moment that will result in additional protection for Alabama’s water resources. I appreciate all of the efforts put forth by the local stakeholders in this area, the leadership of Governor Riley, and the hard work of the dedicated staff at ADEM to make this dream a reality.”

Dick Bronson, President of Lake Watch of Lake Martin said, "We've always known that Lake Martin was the cleanest lake in Alabama and this designation is verification of that belief. It's also a testament to nearly 18 years of water quality monitoring by Lake Watch volunteers who were trained by Alabama Water Watch personnel at Auburn University."

Some believe that the treasured lake designation will be a tool in negotiating water policy with Georgia. If the standards are kept high, it gives Alabama a tool to argue for more resources.

The Executive Order reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Alabama has vital water resources in lakes and waterways; and

WHEREAS, the quality of Alabama's water is of concern from both an environmental and economic perspective; and

WHEREAS, lakes represent an important economic, recreational, and environmental resource for the state; and

WHEREAS, there are lakes in the state where water quality exceeds the minimum standards set for their designated uses; and

WHEREAS, lakes exhibiting exceptional qualities are deserving of special recognition; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has statutory authority to protect the quality of Alabama's surface water resources pursuant to the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Alabama and for other good and valid reasons, which relate thereto, do hereby direct the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to utilize all available guidance, data and information to set designation qualifications, identify candidate reservoirs and create an appropriate special designation recognizing treasured Alabama lakes within six months of the date of this executive order.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately upon signing and shall remain in effect until amended or rescinded by the Governor.

DONE AND ORDERED this 28th day of December 2010.

Dignitaries at the event included:

Lance LeFleur, Director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management
Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources
Dick Bronson, President of Lake Watch of Lake Martin
Ben Russell, President of the Lake Martin Resource Association and Russell Lands Founder
Jerry Fielding, State Senator
Mark Tuggle, State Representative
Lee Sentell, Director of Tourism
Barnett Lawley, Conservation and Natural Resources Director

Alabama has more than 77,000 miles of rivers, lakes, and streams

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