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Cove Keepers new watchdog group

The water quality of Lake Norman was the topic of a recent meeting of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation last Thursday at Queen’s Landing in Mooresville.
The meeting was to discuss, organize, and train a new community watch group, the Lake Norman Cove Watchers.
The group, which is a sub-group of the Riverkeeper Foundation, is designed after neighborhood watch programs. However, instead of watching for crime, the group will be watching for pollution and development.
“The overall goal of the group is to protect the water quality of Lake Norman,” said David Merryman, Assistant Director with the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. “It’s important to maintain a high quality of water for drinking, recreation, and economic prosperity.”
At the meeting, which had an attendance of about 40 people, laws and regulations on Lake Norman water quality were explained along with ways to monitor and document illegal dumping.
“It is illegal to dump in the lake,” Merryman said. “However, the laws can only be enforced if there is evidence of violation or if the violators are caught in the act.”
The main goal of the new watch program is to help slow down a process called cultural eutrophication.
Cultural eutrophication is a process in which substances added to the lake by humans speeds the aging of the lake by ten. For instance a 100 year old body of water that has suffered through cultural eutrophication will appear to have aged the same as a 1,000 year old lake that has not.
“It’s a big word,” Merryman said. “But all it means is that humans speed up the aging of the lake.”
Because Lake Norman, which was formed in 1962, is so large, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation felt it necessary to ask for the community’s help in watching for water quality law violations.
“You will be the eyes and ears for patrolling for pollution and development,” Merryman said during the meeting. “We (The Riverkeeper Foundation) need your help, we just can’t do it on our own.”
The Cove Watchers is open to anyone wishing to volunteer. For more information, or to join, call (704) 373-1916 or visit the Catawba Riverkeeper web site at www.catawbariverkeeper.org.
by Chris Dean

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