The water quality of Lake Norman was the topic of a recent meeting of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation last Thursday at Queenâ€™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.
â€œThe overall goal of the group is to protect the water quality of Lake Norman,â€ said David Merryman, Assistant Director with the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. â€œItâ€™s important to maintain a high quality of water for drinking, recreation, and economic prosperity.â€
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.
â€œIt is illegal to dump in the lake,â€ Merryman said. â€œHowever, the laws can only be enforced if there is evidence of violation or if the violators are caught in the act.â€
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.
â€œItâ€™s a big word,â€ Merryman said. â€œBut all it means is that humans speed up the aging of the lake.â€
Because Lake Norman, which was formed in 1962, is so large, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation felt it necessary to ask for the communityâ€™s help in watching for water quality law violations.
â€œYou will be the eyes and ears for patrolling for pollution and development,â€ Merryman said during the meeting. â€œWe (The Riverkeeper Foundation) need your help, we just canâ€™t do it on our own.â€
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