What about Deep Creek Lake?

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Bar­bara Bee­lar, Oakland The writer is di­rec­tor of Friends of Deep Creek Lake.

Out here in far western Mary­land, we have learned Gov. Larry Ho­gan has signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der to de­lay open­ing of schools un­til af­ter La­bor Day. The back­drop for his an­nounce­ment was a beau­ti­ful sum­mer day at Ocean City, but Deep Creek Lake and Gar­rett County are also tourism­based economies, and most likely lo­cal busi­nesses will ben­e­fit by this ex­ten­sion of the num­ber of weeks of sum­mer va­ca­tion (“La­bor day mad­ness,” Aug. 30).

But the gover­nor could help us ben­e­fit more. We ask that Gover­nor Ho­gan make a com­mit­ment to keep Deep Creek Lake “open” for recre­ational use at least through La­bor Day and prefer­ably un­til our Au­tumn Glory fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber. Busi­ness own­ers here of­ten be­moan there are only 80 days an­nu­ally to sup­port their year­round busi­ness.

Our 91-year-old lake has 10 sed­i­mentim­paired coves be­cause the lake has never been dredged. By mid-Au­gust, these coves lose wa­ter lev­els due to with­drawal by the hy­dro-elec­tric dam. At this early time, prop­erty own­ers be­gin re­mov­ing boats and docks, and our vis­i­tors can no longer swim, fish or boat in these ar­eas.

Gover­nor Ho­gan, Sec­re­tary of Nat­u­ral Resources Mark J. Bel­ton and Comptroller Peter Fran­chot have re­cently ex­pressed un­der­stand­ing of our need for state in­vest­ment to re­move sed­i­ment at Deep Creek Lake. So now is the time to take ac­tion to pro­vide our busi­nesses and prop­erty own­ers with at least three more weeks of recre­ational en­joy­ment through La­bor Day.

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