By Greg Baker – April 2023
I am shocked at how quickly we are almost a third of the way through 2023. With warm weather approaching, I hope all our members are enjoying the lake and all that she has to offer. Memorial Day, the unofficial start to the boating season at Lake Anna is just around the corner and I thought it appropriate to share what LACA is doing surrounding Harmful Algal Blooms this coming summer and ask for your help. (Again)
First, Kick the HAB was a roaring success financially. We asked for our member’s support and you did not let us down. Our fundraising goal was $110,000 and I am happy to report that our members and others that love the lake contributed over $145,000.
I wrote an article for the Lake Anna Life & Times recently that goes into the success (and some failures) of our first Kick the HAB program. The article explains what we learned from the work LACA was able to perform based on your generosity. If you would like to get into the specifics of what our volunteers accomplished, you can read that article online here.
I also spoke at the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors meeting to debrief our elected officials on our efforts. The Free Lance Star wrote an article about the debrief which you can read online here. There is also a link within the article to the video of the debrief that I presented.
As the year ended, LACA had funds left over from the Kick the HAB program. After serious discussions, the board decided to leverage our success and our member’s generosity on behalf of Lake Anna. LACA retained a law firm that specializes in legislative efforts to persuade the state legislature to appropriate funds in the state budget specifically to combat HAB at Lake Anna. Not to study the issue further, but to actually provide funding for mitigation and remediation for HAB. The goal of the funding would be to eliminate or reduce recreational, no-swim advisories from Virginia Department of Health for the year.
The law firm’s efforts were fruitful and the issue was addressed in both the senate and house budgets. The house budget has $1 million dollars set aside specifically for fighting HAB on Lake Anna and the senate budget has $500 thousand set aside. Many of our members responded to our E-Grams and wrote emails of support for this funding. I have to believe that those emails were a big help and the board appreciates everyone that sent one.
Unfortunately, the house and senate were not able to come to a compromise on the proposed budgets and passed a “skinny” budget to keep the state government operating with a plan, but with no additional spending. For now, our funding effort is in limbo. However, we are very hopeful that after the state primaries in mid-June, the assembly will reconvene specifically to pass a new budget. Be assured that neither the house nor the senate is happy with the “skinny” budget and are motivated to pass a more robust budget. Our hope is that the $1 million set aside in the house budget will be included in the final budget.
Regardless of the outcome of this effort, the board and our volunteers are not satisfied with continued recreational advisories and just studying the issue. We are motivated to continue to come up with solutions to this problem. With that said, LACA is excited to announce our effort for 2023, Kick the HAB … AGAIN!
We hope to raise $50,000 from your additional generous tax-deductible donations to execute several additional projects in 2023. Our volunteers have identified three locations on the lake to install Ultrasound Systems that have been proven to be effective in keeping HAB in check. Assuming we reach our fundraising targets, these Ultrasound technologies will be installed on Duckinhole Creek, portions of Pamunkey Creek and Goldmine Creek to test the concept at Lake Anna.
To learn more about the program, you can read an article authored by our hard-working Water Quality Committee Chair, Harry Looney on pages 6 & 7 in the Spring 2023 Lake Anna Life and Times. You may read the article online here. There is also additional information on the program on our website.
All the research that we are doing related to mitigation and remediation of HAB is being shared with the appropriate state agencies. If we are successfully in the state providing funding for HAB remediation and mitigation, this effort will provide some possible blueprints on how to quickly implement our efforts on a larger scale for the entire lake.
None of this will happen without your help! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Kick the HAB … AGAIN! You can donate by clicking this link and be sure to indicate that the donation if for Kick the HAB … AGAIN! Please help us spread the word with your neighbors and friends that might not be members and look out for fund raising events during the summer.
Thank you for your support!