DNR seeks input on Southern Maryland lakes
State agency receives $3 million for restoration, protection
Representatives of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources were at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata campus Tuesday evening to hear the public’s suggestions for improvements to two of the agency’s lakes.
St. Mary’s Lake, in St. Mary’s River State Park, and Myrtle Grove Lake, in the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area west of La Plata, are two of 16 state-owned lakes for which DNR is developing a work plan to remove sediment, treat contamination, corral invasive species and improve recreational activities.
The State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund, which was established earlier this year, allocates $3 million over three years for DNR to identify priority projects and lay out the budgets for them.
Ten of the lakes are managed by the Maryland Parks Service. The Fishing and Boating Service manages four of them, and two are managed by the state’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.
As part of the planning process, the agency is convening five public open houses across the state to educate the public about the plan and seek their suggestions for ways to improve the quality of the lakes; Tuesday evening’s open house was the second to be held.
Biologist Mike Naylor, DNR’s point person for the project, said that he and his colleagues make themselves available in person as a
way to meet local environmental groups and also as a way to touch base with colleagues working at the various state parks and watershed management
“We don’t know what we’re going to hear, but the idea is to go out to the public, tell them what we’ve been directed to do, and get their ideas for what needs to be done,” Naylor said. “We talk to the lake managers to get some
ideas about the kinds of things that are typically done and then present that to the public. We’re trying to make it an interactive process,” he said.
Bruce Michael, director of DNR’s Resource Assessment Service, said that most of the issues fac-
ing the state’s lakes, all of which are artificial, are the result of aging.
“They’re slowly filling with sediment, they’re becoming more … nutrient enriched, and that creates a whole series of problems that this money can hopefully address,” Michael
Both St. Mary’s Lake and Myrtle Grove Lake are heavily used, but neither have any unusual or outstanding problems that require immediate attention, Michael said. “Every lake could benefit from additional funding,” he said.
Updates can be found on DNR’s website at dnr. maryland.gov. Residents who were unable to attend Tuesday’s open house but who would like to provide feedback can reach Naylor at mike.nay[email protected]land.gov.