Published on Sunday, February 22 2015 09:36
On a rare positive note, wetlands, flood plains, and other land around parts of Jordan Lake will be protected from development under an agreement among state and federal agencies announced Friday.
Nearly 8,000 acres next to the lake, which provides drinking water for more than 400,000 residents of the Triangle, will be maintained as they currently are, according to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Much of the land has been identified by the department’s Natural Heritage Program for its rare or representative examples of ecosystems, land forms, and habitats for endangered or threatened plants and animals (a program whose funding has been drastically reduced under the current leadership).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns the land, which is part of the 45,000-acre Jordan Lake Project that spreads across Wake, Chatham, Orange, and Durham counties.
Also signing the agreement, which entails 14 separate parcels of land, were the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and the N.C. Forest Service, which all help manage the property.
On another occurrence at Jordan Lake, media reports have cited that recent winter storms have displaced eight of the 36 floating SolarBee pumps that have been placed in the lake to stir algae in hopes of reducing pollution. Many of my colleagues and I have opposed the floaters because they are ineffective for pollution controls from upstream users. In an article from the News & Observer, it was noted that “One of the 850-pound devices floated from the Haw River arm of the lake out into open water, raising concerns about boater safety.” This experiment was paid for with more than $2 million in taxpayer funds, while the Jordan Lake Rules, which actually would protect the water quality of Jordan Lake, continue to be postponed, under pressure from the development community.