LLA News Archive

Lake Lanier Association always has something going on.
Read below to catch up on our recent activities and events.

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ALERT – quickly rising lake levels

Courtesy alert to Lake Lanier Association members: with the high rainfall around Lake Lanier and especially in the watershed above the lake, dock owners should make sure their docks, including anchor poles, can handle the expected surge in the lake level. Current inflows into the lake are running at a rate of about 12 times higher than the outflows from Buford Dam. The lake has already risen over a foot today. With inflows of over 20,000 cubic feet per second we can expect even higher levels.

Lake Lanier Association Supports Concept of Forsyth Water Treatment Facility

In response to the announcement that Forsyth County is planning to site a new water treatment facility in North Forsyth County, the Lake Lanier Association has been responding individually to citizens that express concerns about the facility. In an effort to create more education and awareness about the association’s stance on the proposed treatment facility, LLA has released this statement to local media:

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“We have been aware, for several years now, of the proposed plant in North Forsyth and are watching it to see what develops in the Environmental Protection Division permitting process. From a Lake Lanier Association perspective, we will weigh in on the water quality in the lake aspect of this issue, not the property value, placement, or property rights off the lake aspect” said Joanna Cloud, Executive Director for the association.

Lake Lanier Association is very supportive of municipalities around the lake increasing their water returns to the lake. Cloud says “Many people consider the treated water coming back into the lake as treated to such a high standard that it is actually cleaner than the water being pulled out at the intake facilities for drinking water. We have water returns above Buford Dam of only about 50% for water pulled out of Lake Lanier. We can do better. Metro Atlanta has returns approaching 80% for water pulled out of the Chattahoochee. If we want to keep Lake Lanier at higher lake levels, especially during peak summer season, recycling water and increasing our returns is part of that solution.”

The association says it will be monitoring the TMDL permit levels for the treated water as well as the discharge pipe length and depth when the plant is in the state permitting process. Cloud says, especially in areas of North Forsyth with significant agriculture and livestock, along with a higher concentration of aging septic systems, that the concern for bacteria in a Lake Lanier tributary after a significant rainfall event would likely decrease with the addition of a treated water discharge facility due to the treated water diluting the bacteria coming in due to run off. The physical location of the discharge pipe will also be of significant interest to the association in that there are already discharge permits issued in several other locations around the lake and the association is concerned about overburdening the ecosystem of any particular tributary. “Even if we can get comfortable with TMDL standards of multiple discharge permits in a single area, doubling the concerns about things like incoming water temperature or air content in the discharge make having multiple permits in single tributary challenging” says Cloud. There is already one industrial water discharge permit in the Six Mile tributary of Lake Lanier in the North Forsyth area.

The association also says it is in favor of sewer facilities over septic facilities because with sewer, especially municipality systems as opposed to private systems, there are more controls in place to prevent issues and more resources for mitigation if a problem does occur than with private septic systems surrounding the lake

HO HO HO – THERE’S HOLIDAY CHEER IN THE WATER WARS!

Clyde Morris, Legal Counsel to the Lake Lanier Association, wrote the following summary of the most recent happenings with the U.S. Supreme Court for the benefit of Lake Lanier Association members. Thank you Clyde!
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Admittedly, a case management order from a federal court judge is an unlikely source for holiday cheer. But sometimes you find happiness in places you didn’t expect.
Such is the case in the long-standing bout between Florida and Georgia over the waters of the ACF. LLA members will recall that the case is now in the hands of a new Special Master, Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Senior Circuit Judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Kelly issued an order on November 6 dealing with how the case will proceed. He quickly made it clear that he does not intend to expand the proceedings or drag this case out any more than is necessary. Even more promising is that he does not want to contribute to the states’ financial burdens, either.
The parties had submitted a joint memorandum on the issues of additional evidence, discovery, stipulations, hearings, and possible settlement. After reviewing it, Judge Kelly ruled that the existing record is sufficient to resolve the case, no additional discovery is needed, and only an additional non-evidentiary hearing may be beneficial.
In his words, “Given the voluminous record in the case resulting from virtually unlimited discovery and a lengthy trial, additional discovery will only lengthen the proceedings, delay the outcome, and increase litigation costs. There is ample evidence in the record pertaining to Georgia’s water use in the ACF basin, and Florida has not explained why a material change since 2016 appears likely. As for the effect of the revised manual, both the prior Special Master and the United States indicated that the revised manual was unlikely to change relevant flow conditions.”
Judge Kelly went on to say, “Finally, a major focus of the prior trial was the 2012 oyster fishery collapse and its causes; though Florida says that there is more information from 2016-2018 that might justify increased streamflow, there is ample lay and expert evidence in the record about these issues. The Special Master is not persuaded that more evidence pertaining to this harm is merited because the likely additional value of such evidence is outweighed by the significant cost and delay that will accompany producing and presenting it.”
While all of this is cause for cheer among those of us anxiously awaiting an end to the case, there is even more to be found in Judge Kelly’s reminder that, “Ultimately, Florida must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the benefits of an equitable apportionment decree substantially outweigh any harm that might result.”
Floridians may perceive Judge Kelly as more like Ebenezer Scrooge than Santa Claus as a result of this order. But bringing the case to the soonest possible close – and focusing on the extremely high standard of proof Florida must meet – certainly gives Georgians reason to be cheerful this holiday season.

100 Foot Rule Postcard

LLA is kicking off a boating safety campaign in 2019 related to awareness of the 100 foot rule. This postcard is the first piece of that campaign and we will start distributing these postcards at the boat show in January – along with some other swag related to this same concept. Can’t wait to get these out into the community!

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Derelict Dock Video from WSBTV

Good coverage on the derelict dock issue from WSBTV.  https://www.wsbtv.com/video?videoId=841061938&videoVersion=1.0

Advance Drop sites are now open!

The Shore Sweep advance drop locations are now open and will remain open until the evening of Friday, 9/14/18. You can leave bagged trash or large debris at these sites during this time and we will send a crew to pick up at the Shore Sweep event on 9/15. Please be sure to leave the debris high enough or tied off so that it doesn’t float back out into the water. Look for the banners posted and leave the debris close to the banner. Please do NOT use these sites for trash drop off other times of the year outside of our authorized advance drop location window.

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There are eight advance drop locations. The lake map coordinates are from the Atlantic Mapping Recreation and Fishing Guide for Lake Lanier.

Map coordinate J-7, closest buoy marker 1SM, old beach at Shady Grove Park
Map coordinate H-7, closest buoy marker 4YD, Beaver Ruin Road shoreline area
Map coordinate L-3, closest buoy marker 2SC, Gwinnett Park
Map coordinate N-9, closest buoy marker 14, Gaines Ferry Islands
Map coordinate L-18, closest buoy marker 33, Keith’s Bridge Island
Map coordinate M-24, closest buoy marker 49, Old Dawsonville Highway road bed near DNR regional office and Martin Docks
Map coordinate M-28, closest buoy marker 2WC, unnamed island in Wahoo Creek
Map coordinate D-21, closest buoy marker 21C, east side of Nix Island in the area of Athens Boat Club

Shore Sweep 2018!

The Shore Sweep 30 Year Anniversary Celebration event last weekend was a huge success and a great way to kick off Shore Sweep 2018! Thank you to the 400 people that attended and to the several hundred people that signed up to help at Shore Sweep 2018 coming up on Saturday, September 15th.

Advance drop sites will open this weekend, 9/1.

CHECK OUT THE ADVANCED DROP SITE LISTING
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Shore Sweep 2018 – Saturday, September 15th, 2018

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Join Us For The Shore Sweep 30th Anniversary and Volunteer Appreciation Celebration!

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Water Wars: The Supreme Court Dodges A Decision

The Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling on the Florida v. Georgia lawsuit wherein Florida sought an equitable apportionment of the waters in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Florida claimed that Georgia’s excessive use of water harmed the Apalachicola Bay environmental and fishing industries with a primary emphasis on the oyster industry in the bay.

Today, the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Special Master with clear instructions to establish more detailed information as to the nature – and amounts – of any harm claimed by Florida.

Equitable apportionment legal precedents require establishing not only the general nature of harm but a balancing of the harm to one state to achieve a benefit to another. The dissent clearly shows the actual harm that would occur to Georgia compared to the potential benefit to Florida of a cap on Georgia’s water consumption.

The Lake Lanier Association believes that the dissent written by Justice Clarence Thomas presents persuasive facts that were ignored by the majority opinion.

Lake Lanier is the water resource that benefits the entire state of Georgia and all downstream water users, including Florida. Having a sustainable Lake Lanier for the future is critical for all water users.

We look forward to continuing to make the case for the recreation economy, not only for the counties surrounding Lake Lanier but also for the state of Georgia, and to working with stakeholders in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to promote the Sustainable Water Management Plan (SWMP) developed by the ACF Stakeholders organization.

For a more detailed write up of today’s Supreme Court ruling, see our synopsis at:  http://lakelanier.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Water-Wars-The-Supreme-Court-Dodges-A-Decision-June-27-2018.pdf

Member Social – Saturday, June 16th, 2018 2-6PM at Bald Ridge

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Lake Lanier Association requests deviation of the WCM

The Lake Lanier Association has issued a request of U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Brigadier General Diana Holland to authorize a deviation of the Water Control Manual for Buford Dam and Lake Sidney Lanier regarding water releases for the next several weeks. Details of the request are contained in the attached letter to General Holland.

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North Georgia Community
Foundation Building
615F Oak St, #200
Gainesville, GA 30501-8526

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