By Irene Luck - November 2020
Covid couldn’t stop LACA from holding its annual meeting, even though it had to be postponed briefly and then held virtually on Saturday morning, October 24. Nearly 150 members and guests logged in to hear what the civic organization has been doing in the past year.
With the third season of swim advisories, due to harmful algal blooms, the board chose Dr. Jennifer Graham, Research Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey as the guest speaker. Dr. Graham’s topic, “Cyanotoxin Occurrence in the U.S. -- A 20-year Retrospective,” provided an in-depth history of the occurrence of algal blooms and how the evaluation process has changed over the years. Her presentation is included in the record of our minutes and if you missed the meeting you can access the recording on our website or by clicking here.
We also welcomed our two new board members – Pamela Hahn, the Mineral/Louisa regional director, and Rick Nehrboss, the Brokenburg regional director. Both were elected in July during online voting, another new process for the association. President Greg Baker also introduced Jean McCormick, the Cuckoo regional director who was appointed in September following the resignation of Dick Shrum.
One of the key accomplishments for the organization this year is the new website which offers members the ability to maintain their own information and allows the board to send the newsletters via email, resulting in a tremendous savings in the budget. The website allows for more flexible contact with our members, more up-to-date information as well as the ability to pay membership dues and make donations online.
The biggest focus of LACA this year has been related to the harmful algae blooms and water quality with the Water Quality Committee and Environmental Preservation Committee teaming up to work on potential solutions from different angles.
LACA is also contributing $10,000 to the Lake Anna Advisory Committee’s [LAAC] sediment study which is currently underway. LAAC is a sister organization comprised of representatives from the three county Supervisors [Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania] as well as citizen representatives from each county. They are undertaking a three-phase effort to determine the source of the algae reaching the lake and find ways to mitigate the causes. The Water Quality and Environmental Protection committees are also closely monitoring the efforts of LAAC
Another feature of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Jack Bertron Distinguished Service Award. This year, three people were recognized for their contributions to the organization and the Lake Anna community.
Patty Shapiro retired from the board this year after serving for 15 years, first as the association’s secretary from 2006 to 2010 and then as the Brokenburg regional director from 2010 until her retirement.
Ken Remmers stepped away from leading the Water Quality Committee in 2019 but continued to work with the new leadership in the transition. Under his leadership the water monitoring program expanded its focus and outreach by partnering with numerous agencies in the state. He was presented the award for the second time for his many hours of service to protecting Lake Anna.
Steve Falkenthal also received the award for the second time as he retired from his role with the Water Quality Committee. Steve spent many hours navigating through the water quality data, ensuring the equipment was calibrated and ready to go each testing day and working to ensure the program maintained its Level 3 certification with DEQ.
Both Ken and Steve put in many hours improving the standards used by the water monitoring teams in keeping LACA as one of the few citizen monitoring teams recognized by DEQ as capturing data equivalent to theirs.
President Greg thanked all three honorees for their many years of dedicated service to the volunteer organization, often while still working regular jobs.
Reports from other committees are captured in the recording of the meeting and a synopsis of each committee’s activities can be found on our You Tube channel by clicking here.
If you have friends or neighbors who aren’t members of LACA but are interested in hearing the information presented, please share it with them and encourage them to join. LACA is an all-volunteer organization so if you would like to get involved, reach out to one of the board members or committee chairs – their contact information is all on the LACA website.