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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The Lake Lanier Association Announces New Executive Director

Jennifer Flowers, Executive Director,Lake Lanier Association, Gainesville, GA

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Lake Lanier Association has concluded its 2-month search for a new Executive Director! Today we are announcing Jennifer Flowers as the new Executive Director for the Lake Lanier Association. Jennifer is a local Hall County resident with the education, work experience and competence to become a great asset for our Association. She comes to us from the City of Gainesville Department of Water Resources and shares our passion for Lake Lanier and preserving our natural resources”, states John Barker, President of the LLA.

Jennifer’s credentials are impressive – A UGA graduate with a B.S. in Ecology, a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and 10 years of experience working in the water resources field. In addition, she was accepted into the 2019 class for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.

I believe Lake Lanier is the most important resource for the surrounding communities and arguably all of Metro Atlanta. It is an economic driver for regional opportunities for recreation, area development and drinking water for residents and industries. Without Lake Lanier, the region and state would not be what they are today; which is why I am thrilled to be in this new role.” said Jennifer.

Lake Lanier Association has worked for 50+ years to protect the Lake and initiatives of the organization including Shore Sweep, removing abandoned and derelict boats and docks, water quality testing, boater education campaigns, Solar Lights for hazard markers and Rip Rap to control island soil erosion.

I am looking forward to the journey and contributing to the current and future initiatives of the Lake Lanier Association. I am excited to begin working with the very committed Board of Directors, volunteers, and community leaders of North Georgia to preserve a CLEAN FULL SAFE Lake Lanier”, said Jennifer Flowers.

More information about the Lake Lanier Association including how to get involved can be found at https://lakelanier.org/get-involved/ or contact either John Barker or Jennifer Flowers at 770-503-7757.

Lake Lanier Association seeking applications for Executive Director position

As much as we hate to see Joanna leave, we want to thank her for the positive impact she has made and we wish her the best. The Lake Lanier Association is well positioned for future success due, in large part, to Joanna’s contributions. The Lake Lanier Association is seeking applications for the Executive Director position. Below is a link to the job description. Resumes may be sent via email to lakeinfo@lakelanier.org.

Executive Direction Position Requirements 2019


Annual Meeting 2019

The Lake Lanier Association Annual Membership Meeting is coming up on Saturday, April 13 2019. We will be at Aqualand Marina this year. Below are more details about the meeting. If you arrive by boat, please park at the courtesy slips by the gas dock and walk up to the parking lot. We will be running a golf cart shuttle service from that parking lot to the meeting area. There is no cost for LLA members to attend. Non-members are welcome to attend and encouraged to join at the meeting. We also need volunteers to help us set up, run, and clean up the meeting. If you would be willing to volunteer at the meeting, please click on the below link to sign up. Thank you and we hope to see you there!



ALERT – Dock Missing From Its Permitted Location, Please Review Photo

The below photo is of a dock that is missing from its permitted location which is in the north Chattahoochee River area. Notice the light fixtures distinctive feature on the top of the dock. If you have seen this dock recently, if you could let us know, we would greatly appreciate the information. Our email address is lakeinfo@lakelanier.org. All information submitted will remain confidential.



ALERT – Quickly Rising Water Levels – February 22, 2019

This morning, the Chattachoochee and Chestatee Rivers are flowing at a combined 8,440 cubic feet per second, and the discharge at Buford Dam is 583 cfs, for a net inflow into Lake Lanier of 7,857 cfs, not counting rain falling onto the surface of the lake, inflow from minor tributaries, and direct inflow from the shoreline.
The lake has risen more than 3 feet since last Friday, and more than 1.5 feet since yesterday morning.
With perhaps another 0.75″ of rain forecast for today and Saturday, and with the ground already fully saturated, the lake will continue to rise significantly, and could easily rise another 6-12″ over the weekend.
Check your dock poles and shore anchor lines to make sure your dock doesn’t break free from its moorings.

ALERT – Two More Abandoned Docks – Please Look At The Photos

We have two more docks that have been abandoned along the shoreline of Lake Lanier and we are trying to identify the owners of these docks in order to determine the removal and disposition plan for these eyesores and safety hazards from Lake Lanier.One is close to Duckett Mill Park and the other is just above the Wahoo Creek/Mt. Vernon Road bridge. Both docks have been at their current locations for multiple weeks. Please look at the photos and brief descriptions below. If you know anything about either of these docks, please contact the Lake Lanier Association to help us in our investigation. Your identity will be treated as confidential.
The first dock is a single slip Quonset hut style dock. It is partially dismantled and is currently located very close to the boat ramp at Duckett Mill park.
The second dock is a single slip with upper deck dock. It is currently located on the northeastern shoreline area above the Wahoo Creek bridge. We think this dock got to its current spot from a location farther north on Wahoo Creek.

Water Wars Update – February 2019

By: Clyde Morris, Legal Counsel to Lake Lanier Association
Both States filed their supplemental briefs January 31 with Special Master Paul J. Kelly, Jr., and the arguments are entirely predictable. Florida says Georgia’s overuse of water is destroying Apalachicola oyster fisheries. Georgia says its use of water is reasonable and the damage to Georgia so enormously outweighs any benefit to Florida that Florida’s proposed consumption cap would not be equitable.
In order to provide members as quickly as possible with information about the filings, we are providing short, succinct excerpts from each state’s brief that summarize the positions. We think they accurately encapsulate each state’s argument without delving into the details.
As Georgia has drastically increased its consumption of upstream waters, especially along the Flint River for agricultural purposes, the amount of water flowing into the Apalachicola has shrunk dramatically. This has had the predictable effect: the Apalachicola has suffered and its oyster fisheries, in particular, have collapsed. The question now is whether Georgia’s wasteful practices should be allowed to continue-and worsen-while the Apalachicola, its natural resources, and the communities that depend on them are decimated.
After a five week trial, Special Master Lancaster had no difficulty concluding that Georgia’s “upstream water use” has been and continues to be “unreasonable,” and that the Apalachicola Region has sustained “real harm” as a result of the decreased flow of water into Florida. Underscoring the inequitable nature of Georgia’s conduct, he also found that “Georgia’s position – practically, politically, and legally-can be summarized as follows: Georgia’s agricultural water use should be subject to no limitations, regardless of the long-term consequences for the Basin.”
Nevertheless, on the novel question of whether the Army Corps of Engineers’
(Corps’) absence from this case prevents the Court from righting this wrong, Special Master Lancaster ultimately concluded that the Court was powerless to enter a decree because there was “no guarantee” that the Corps would not offset its effects. … On that single issue, the Supreme Court concluded, he was mistaken. The Court clarified that “‘[u]ncertainties about the future’ do not ‘provide a basis for declining to fashion a decree.'” Instead, given the importance of “protect[ing] the equitable rights of a State,” the equitable apportionment inquiry must rely on “[a]pproximation and reasonable estimates” to determine what relief is appropriate. Thus, Florida is entitled to relief if, under “reasonable predictions of future conditions, … the benefits of a decree would substantially outweigh its costs.
The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that this balance favors Florida. On the benefits side, a decree capping Georgia’s consumption would significantly increase the flow of water into the Apalachicola and restore the conditions in which the region survived and thrived for centuries. And on the costs side, much of this reduction in consumption could be accomplished simply by halting wasteful irrigation practices and sensibly limiting future irrigation in ways Georgia officials have themselves proposed and other States (including Florida) have long implemented.
In remanding this case, a divided Supreme Court was unanimous in one key respect: Florida cannot prevail unless it “prove[s] by clear and convincing evidence that the benefits of an equitable apportionment decree substantially outweigh any harm that might result.” Florida has not met that heavy burden. The potential benefits to Florida from its proposed cap are small and speculative, while the harms to established economies in Georgia are certain and severe.
The record is clear that Florida’s proposed cap would impose enormous costs on Georgia while yielding at most de minimis benefits to Florida. Florida’s own expert estimated that a cap would cost Georgia more than $100 million each year it was implemented…. In truth, the per-implementation costs would range from $335 million to well over a billion dollars, not including the one-time costs that Florida seeks to inflict on Georgia. Those costs dwarf the entire value of, and outweigh any potential benefits to, the Apalachicola Bay oyster industry-the only industry for which Florida offered evidence of specific harm. Even before its 2012 collapse, the oyster industry produced annual revenues of only $5-8 million. And even a draconian cap on Georgia would increase oyster biomass in the Bay by only 1.4% and generate (at most) another $40,000 per year.
Georgia accounts for 92% of the population, 99% of the economic production, and 96% of the employment in the ACF Basin. And Georgia uses ACF waters to support a population of more than 5 million and an economy that generates around $283 billion in Georgia’s Gross Regional Product (“GRP”) each year. Yet Georgia … uses only 2.4% of the water crossing the state line during non-drought years … and 6.1% during dry years. At all times, the vast majority of available water in the ACF Basin flows into Florida.
And even if Flint River flows did increase to some small extent, that extra water would not flow across the state line at the times and in the amounts necessary to redress Florida’s alleged injuries. *** Even if severe cutbacks were imposed on Georgia, the Corps has confirmed that it would not materially increase its releases from Woodruff Dam into Florida during drought operations or extreme low flows, but would instead use that water to refill its upstream reservoirs. *** (G)iven the Corps’ operations and the relatively small amount of water that might be generated by a cap on Georgia, flows across the state line would be roughly the same with or without a cap during the drought conditions that are the exclusive focus of Florida’s case.
Florida has not proven, by clear and convincing evidence or otherwise, that the potential benefits of its requested cap substantially outweigh the resulting harms. The evidence shows just the opposite: “If we contrast the de minimisbenefits that Florida might receive from small amounts of additional water during nondroughts with the massive harms that Georgia would suffer if this Court cut its water use in half during droughts, it is clear who should prevail in this case.”

ALERT – Dumped Dock In Four Mile – Please Look At The Photos

ALERT, we have a platform dock that was dumped in a cove in Four Mile last night. Below are a couple photos of the dock. It is a swim platform style dock with lots of wood debris piled on top and a swim ladder installed on the side. If anyone is familiar with a dock similar to this installed at a private property location that is no longer at that installed location, please contact us at lakeinfo@lakelanier.org with any information you have related to this dock. We will not release your name in this matter.

Back of Four Mile Dock2

Back of Four Mile Dock

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:


“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


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!
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!

Boating safety_Postcard_4.25x6_Page_1Boating safety_Postcard_4.25x6_Page_2

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